New CMO Council report on digital media reliability expectations

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. Most see a need for more effective data transparency and detailed, timely and reliable reporting systems.

According to a new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, news coverage about inaccurate, questionable and false digital media reporting measures have already caused 21 percent of marketers to pull back on advertising spend. More than 70 percent of brand leaders admit that negative news headlines have had an impact on budgets.

The new report, titled “Engage at Every Stage: An Investigation of Video Activation,” was produced in partnership with video journey company, ViralGains, and reveals that 95 percent of marketing leaders surveyed believe digital media must deliver more reliability. To download the report, click here.

In a clear rebuke to the digital media industry, marketers are also calling “viewability” standards into question as only 3 percent of respondents agree on the definition advocated by the Media Rating Council. This defines reasonable viewability as 50 percent of content playing for two consecutive seconds with the sound off. In addition, 30 percent 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,” noted Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council. “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 percent of respondents believe is more important than other media investments and that 40 percent say is growing in importance. In fact, 95 percent of marketers intend to increase investments in 2018, with nearly half increasing spend by up to 25 percent.

Marketers expect more from their investments, demanding total transparency into traffic, viewers and engagement (73 percent), real-time access to customer data and intelligence (45 percent), and fees based on performance outcomes (40 percent). 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 report is based on research conducted by the CMO Council through an online audit that collected insights from 233 senior marketing leaders. Of these, 163 are actively investing in digital video advertising. Some 43 percent of respondents represent companies with revenues greater than $1 billion, and 47 percent hold the title of CMO or senior vice president of marketing for their organizations.