Trust, safety and the pursuit of transparency in online media have been top of mind for marketers this year. From Procter & Gamble’s crackdown on wastage in its media buys, to question marks over the efficacy of media agencies, events over the last year have spotlighted just how little control marketers have had over their online advertising.
Here is a look at how brand marketers’ are evolving their digital advertising strategies, in four charts.
Marketers are still prioritizing reach
This year there’s been a lot of talk from marketers about reassessing their emphasis on scale in digital ads. P&G slashed its digital ad budget by $100 million in April, without seeing much difference on revenues. But since cutting the number of sites it runs ads on by 70 percent in April, P&G has steadily increased the number of sites it advertises on and in August there were 21 percent more sites it had ads on versus the same month last year. Brands like L’Oreal increased how many sites they ran ads on by 80 percent, Volkswagen by 59 percent and Unilever by 17 percent, over the third quarter versus the same period last year.
Simultaneously, programmatic spend for those same brands has been steadily rising over that same quarter, which suggests they have gained more transparency in campaigns, observed Tod Krizelman, CEO and co-founder of MediaRadar. Brands are demanding better transparency, whether that’s in the exchanges they use or the ad tech contracts they own, and that’s changing the way they buy media not necessarily how much they spend, explained Krizelman.
Marketers still don’t get the ad tech stack
Aside from the biggest advertisers, too few have the level of knowledge needed to take control of an ad tech stack. A report from media strategy consultancy ID Comms found that 41 percent of 229 senior marketing, media and procurement executives surveyed admitted they are still using ad tech “ineffectively” or “completely ineffectively.” Only 15 percent of the advertisers believed they are using their tech stack “effectively,” while no marketers claimed to be using it “very effectively.”