Here’s More Evidence That Digital Media Ads Are Overrated


The CMO Council on Tuesday (4/24) released a report that investigates how some of the nation’s top marketers and advertising decision-makers are calling for more transparency.

Titled “Engage at Every Stage: An Investigation of Video Activation,” this study finds that inaccurate, questionable and false digital media reporting measures have already caused 21% of marketers to pull back on advertising spend.

Additionally, the study finds that media spend in this area will be very much linked to reporting accuracy.

Is this another opportunity for radio and TV to strike back at digital and social media?“In a wake-up call to digital media platforms like Facebook and Google, marketing leaders globally say they will no longer tolerate deficient advertising measurement,” the CMO Council says in announcing the availability of the report. “Most see a need for more effective data transparency and detailed, timely and reliable reporting systems.”

In fact, news coverage alone about inaccurate, questionable and false digital media reporting measures led 1 in 5 marketers to pull back on advertising spend.

Even more, upward of 70% of brand leaders admit that negative news headlines have had an impact on budgets.

The new report was produced in partnership with “video journey” company ViralGains. It reveals that 95% of marketing leaders surveyed believe digital media must deliver more reliability.

It’s a “clear rebuke” to the digital media industry, and more fuel for organizations such as the RAB and TVB to retell the ROI strengths of radio and television, respectively.

The CMO Council report also finds that marketers are calling “viewability” standards into question — a mere 3% of respondents agree on the definition advocated by the Media Rating Council.

This defines reasonable viewability as 50% of content playing for two consecutive seconds with the sound off.

In addition, 30% of marketers who agree with this standard admit that they can only approve of it because there isn’t a better metric to embrace.

“The frustration across the marketing ecosystem is palpable, and new headlines that breach trust and showcase systemic carelessness have inflamed the issue,” notes CMO Council SVP/Marketing Liz Miller. “The industry as a whole must align on transparency and reliability. If we don’t live up to these expectations, we will see more accounts up for review and more orders being pulled. That’s not to say all is lost; there is still excitement about the next evolution in digital engagement, especially through online video content.”

This negative outlook of the digital media landscape comes as marketers intend to significantly boost investments in online video advertising—a channel that 28% of respondents believe is more important than other media investments and that 40% say is growing in importance.

In fact, 95% of marketers intend to increase investments in 2018, with nearly half increasing spend by up to 25%.

What else has the CMO Council report found?

Marketers expect more from their investments, demanding total transparency into traffic, viewers and engagement (73%), real-time access to customer data and intelligence (45%), and fees based on performance outcomes (40%). “Intelligence is also a core demand when it comes to digital advertising as marketers are looking to learn more about their customers through the in-demand channel,” the CMO Council says.

ViralGains CEO Tod Loofbourrow adds, “This research indicates that the timing is right for a massive revolution in digital video. Marketers can’t continue to judge success through superficial metrics like impressions when they are increasingly held accountable for driving meaningful, bottom-line results. Unfortunately, current industry solutions and standards are failing to facilitate this change on a number of levels-from antiquated definitions and measurements to massive breaches of data privacy. In order to shift the tide, we must blend advanced ad technology with the fundamentally human arts of storytelling and conversation in order to help advertisers generate deeper consumer insights that lead to more relevant messaging and better results. That’s what we do, and our customers are transforming advertising in a way that benefits brands and consumers alike.”

The report is based on research conducted by the CMO Council through an online audit that collected insights from 233 senior marketing leaders and qualitative interviews with brand leaders at such companies as Keurig, PepsiCo, Nestle Waters, and Cox Communications. Of these, 163 are actively investing in digital video advertising. Some 43% of respondents represent companies with revenues greater than $1 billion, and 47% hold the title of CMO or SVP/Marketing for their organizations.


Additional insights around the following are also included in the report:
·       Access to and ability to leverage deeper insights about customer engagement, intent and real-time behavior 
·       Outline of the measures and metrics marketers believe they can access to track impact
·       Time to insight assessment as marketers outline how long they must wait to access and act on intelligence from online video engagement

A 17-page executive summary brief is available here.