It’s fair to say that digital advertising is suffering from a crisis of confidence. Transparency issues, brand safety and data protection breaches all hit the headlines in the past two years leading to increased distrust to the industry and causing “marketer of the year” and P&G marketing boss Marc Pritchard to describe 2017 as “the year that the bloom came off the rose for digital media”.
Budgets in digital continue to grow, with UK spends topping £11.55bn in 2017. But, with such investment has come increased levels of scrutiny and on many levels, digital is still trying to catch up.
It’s important for Agencies not just to recognise this, but to put the relevant steps and processes in place to ensure that they can be trusted by the consumers they talk to, and the clients they service.
At Total Media, integrity is built into our mission. One of our core values, “doing the right thing – even when no one is looking”.
Innovations in digital have changed the face of media planning and buying, creating a blind spot for brands. It’s no longer as easy to match the impressions on media plan back to websites served, and as JLR found out, it’s not always easy to guarantee ads are served in brand safe environments.
The industry is adapting to these changes. But, whilst technological advancements in safety and transparency will go a long way, it is important for agencies to commit to improving trust and working with partners who guarantee brand safety.
As Sanjay Nazerali – CSO of Carat Global – puts it “we’re moving to an evolution in our industry, where we are increasingly guiding our client’s areas of specialism that they don’t have – and at that point trust becomes the most important thing between an agency and its clients”.
One way to improve trust in the advertising industry is to build plans which feature better ads. Understanding how consumers react to media, how trusted it is and how messaging can be received are integral in delivering a successful campaign. Consumer trust equals better results.
A survey by Choozle showed that 30% of online users disliked online ads whilst 50% were neutral. Only 7% responded positively to ads.
Respondents reported ads slowing page-load times, irrelevant ads that repeated and ads taking up too much screen space as reasons they viewed digital ads negatively.
What users do like, according to the study, is being exposed to new products. On desktop, users liked tailored relevant ads, and on mobile, users like ads which keep the cost of applications low.
Behavioural planning isn’t a tag line, it’s due diligence. It brings better ads to consumers and better results to clients. Understanding what users like and how they like to be communicated to should be the imperative for media agencies who want to deliver trustworthy campaigns.
Digital innovation has opened many doors for brands and advertisers alike, offering new and engaging ways to reach consumers. However, only through responsible planning and a commitment to doing the right thing, can agencies rise to the challenges set in the past few months.
In Marc Pritchard’s Own Words “Many of these are common sense steps that are long overdue. But they free up time and money for what is really important and what really matters – better advertising and innovation.”