Study: 21% of marketers pull back ad spend due to poor digital measurement

Dive Brief:

  • Ninety-five percent of marketing leaders surveyed in a new report from the CMO Council believe digital media must become more reliable. Inaccurate, questionable or false digital media reporting have led 21% of marketers to cut back on their advertising spend, per findings made available to Marketing Dive, and have also increased scrutiny of platforms like Google and Facebook.
  • The report, “Engage at Every Stage: An Investigation of Video Activation,” was conducted with ViralGains and found that 70% of brand leaders said that negative news headlines have impacted their budgets. Marketers also questioned viewability standards, with just 3% agreeing on the Media Rating Council’s definition of 50% of content playing for two consecutive seconds with the sound off. Of those who agree with the standards, 30% said their approval is only because there isn’t a better metric to embrace.
  • Seventy-three percent of those surveyed want more transparency into traffic, viewers and engagement; 45% want real-time access to customer data and intelligence and 40% want fees based on performance outcomes. Many reported plans to increase their investments in online video ads, which 28% believe are more important than other media investments and 40% said are growing in importance. Ninety-five percent plan to increase investments in digital video in 2018, and nearly half will increase their spend by up to 25%.

Dive Insight:

The CMO Council’s findings illustrate how marketers’ frustrations with digital media have continued to mount even as budgets put toward the channel, and especially formats like digital video, continue to grow. This stark contrast points to the uneasy push-pull marketers are feeling, where consumer demands for certain types of media can outpace the ability to gauge that media’s success. This trend is compounded by the failure of some major digital advertising platforms like Facebook to transparently and accurately account for digital metrics and ad measurement.

The report also uncovers frustrations with how marketing success is defined with digital channels, including through broadly accepted industry standards like the MRC’s for viewability. Just 3% of marketers agreeing with the MRC standard, and others only accepting it due to a lack of better options, suggests there may be an opportunity to develop alternatives as the channel evolves.

These frustrations emerge as the role of the CMO, which historically has been focused on areas like creative strategy and branding, continues to shift to require more agility with technology and data and also the ability to better prove ROI. The need for greater transparency and reliability is crucial in this regard, as marketers that don’t live up to these expectations could see their accounts go up for review, per the CMO Council’s report.

Originally published by Marketing Dive