The year started on a critical note when Proctor & Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard threatened to pull spend from digital advertising as he said ‘the days of giving digital a pass are over’. Outlining the need for digital to clean up, or not get paid, Mr Pritchard brought to light the issue of viewability, better measurement standards and lack of third-party verification that have been plaguing the industry since many years.
A new research report released by Kantar Media, called DIMENSION, also highlighted the need for the advertising industry to find a way to measure performance accurately and consistently.
The report shows that brands are unable to consistently measure the impact and effectiveness advertising from channel to channel, and from market to market, which risks damaging consumer relationships. The study found that a lack of consistent, comparable measures to understand the audience and gauge the effectiveness of advertising is a significant concern for those working in the communications planning ecosystem. Unless consistent metrics across traditional and digital channels are developed, industry growth will be put at risk.
Andy Brown, CEO & Chairman, Kantar Media, said, “Without the availability of consistent, comparable metrics, brands and the advertising industry cannot accurately measure their audience, the impact and effectiveness of their marketing and the accuracy of individual campaigns. It’s a collective challenge for our industry: unless we work together to solve this problem, the growth of the sector will be hindered.”
The consumer’s viewpoint
A trend that stood out from the report was that consumers are generally receptive to advertising (with 68 per cent of respondents saying they actively like or accept being advertised to) but over-targeting on digital platforms threatens to undermine brand marketing efforts (71 per cent of respondents claimed to see the same ads over and over again, finding them too repetitive).
Seventy-three per cent of consumers think that advertisers are doing a better job of reaching them now than they did in the past, while 36 per cent feel that advertising is changing for the better.
The report also found that 20 per cent of connected adults say that they always use an adblocker. Amongst these adblocker users, 47 per cent claim to like or tolerate advertising, which suggests that these consumers are more concerned with some aspects of online advertising and not opposed to advertising as a whole.
However, traditional platforms such as TV and print have more positive response from consumers than online formats, despite technology advances. This could be because of the blunt, repetitive targeting driven by brands’ inability to understand how their ads are being deployed on digital platforms.
Data: An advertiser’s best friend
The study also highlights the need for industry leaders to access data within walled gardens if they are to truly build effective consumer-centric communication plans that are comparable across all channels.
While media agencies have become adept at using data, but their creative counterparts still need to take up the same and arrive at a point where data feeds ideas as opposed to driving short-term actions, the report outlined.
Another finding from the report was that not all data is equal as advertisers need to become ‘smart data consumers’, interrogating what they have and understanding its limitations. The future is collaborative, not transactional, the report suggested.
Mr Brown concluded, “So long as standards differ between markets and across media forms no one wins. Brands can’t track spend, agencies can’t deliver the best solutions for their clients, and consumers’ openness to marketing will diminish if the channels used to reach them are not used intelligently. That collective challenge cannot be solved without consistent, comparable metrics across every channel and every major advertising market.”