During a Q&A session at the recent Brand Innovators Digital Video Advertising Summit, Bonin Bough, VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement for Kraft Foods, made a positive statement for the emerging medium by illustrating the large CPG’s commitment to it. Bough explained to his interviewer, Gian Lombardi from YuMe, that Kraft is being amazingly progressive when it comes to embracing digital video. “We’re going after digital video (and mobile) in a massive way. We are moving to screen neutral watching – why wouldn’t we?”
When asked what has to happen at organizations to justify additional digital video buying, Bough suggested that we must dig into the marketing mix models and look at case studies and proof points. He agreed that the GRP is selling digital short but marketers need to work with what’s currently available and they need to push on the measurement people. Then we need to win and continue winning the hearts and minds of internal stakeholders.
Bough pointed out how the digital guys are growing up and some (like himself) are now beginning to run an organization’s entire media department. He rationalized that execs pushing digital are not trying to alienate television; however, on the contrary, it’s more about taking advantage of the huge channel that is TV by evolving and integrating it with other media. One of the best current examples of this is Marc Fonzetti and Verizon Wireless.
The industry is still buzzing from when Marc Fonzetti, Media Director for Verizon Wireless, produced a ‘Digital Daypart’ just days before the recent New Fronts. The Digital Daypart was a closed-door Summit that was attended by each and every one of Verizon’s holistic video partners. The purpose was to knock down the agency/partner/vendor silos and bring together all providers (traditional and digital) that have a place on the digital video plan for a completely open strategy session. As a result, all service providers in the mix received the proper attention and opportunity and, in the end, Verizon was able to receive full, unfiltered value from all of its partners. This type of progression and leading by example is what helped Fonzetti become known in the industry as the “Godfather of Digital Video” while he was leading media for North America at Reckitt Benckiser – a company that is considered a pioneer and major ROI case study of digital video.
Now, with all that said, are brand managers becoming increasingly comfortable with digital video investment? What would make them more comfortable? The growth in digital video shows that some are comfortable but the industry needs all to be comfortable, as comfortable as when they are buying ‘safe’ TV. The only thing that will make this happen is common Digital Video and Television language, in the form of metrics and measurement. This is easily facilitated via transparency and confirmation of brand-safe environments, as well as confirmation that a brand’s digital video assets were actually served and seen by the intended audience. The industry is making progress here with even more evolved metrics powered by providers such as Telemetry. Telemetry, positioned as a “Digital Media Forensics” company, has partnered with forward thinking clients, including Verizon Wireless – to make the promise of digital video come true. We asked the following tough questions (that many brand marketers either can’t answer or won’t go on record) of Anthony Rushton, CEO of Telemetry.
Brandon Gutman: What is the best option available for brands to track the effectiveness of their digital video advertising?
Anthony Rushton: Right now, Telemetry aside, brands must rely on vendor side analytics or traditional ad server statistics. So what’s wrong with these options? Well for starters, relying upon vendor, ad network, tier 1 or otherwise, data via pixels is suicide. Not only extremely limited by nature but also totally partisan and not in keeping with the likes of the multi million dollar investments we are seeing within digital video advertising. Traditional ad servers are legacy systems designed to handle and track display and rich media campaigns, as such they are limited by nature but also totally partisan by way of their ownership models. Unbeknown to most advertisers, ad servers tend to be owned by the recipients of their growing budgets. That’s correct, the publishers own the means of evaluating performance. Advertisers need independent representation and their digital video assets need to be audited via the safe extraction of secure metrics. That’s the best option, and the safest option.
How can marketers best measure the value of their digital video spending?
The term “measure” has been distilled over time to the extent that it simply refers to mouse over, click through and general user engagement metrics. With the traditional ad server or vendor served approach, this is exactly what advertisers will rely on to ascertain their ROI. Now, in the days of $100K per month spends this may have been acceptable. With spends exceeding $2 million per month within digital video advertising there is a need for greater intelligence and accountability. At Telemetry we don’t assume the digital video ad even makes it to the end user. Instead, and way before the analysis of user engagement, we run through six real time audit checks to ensure the ads are placed correctly, shown to the correct audience and handled with the diligence expected of the advertiser. We then mandate back to the advertiser so that they are able to tighten their contracts to ensure any inefficiencies are wiped out through vendor self governance. We believe that the vendors are the key to accurate value measurement across the board. They not only have the option to behave transparently by allowing independent analysis in, but also have the ability to eradicate inefficiencies through shared learning. Transparency is the key, along with the assumption that just because a digital video ad is called it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be delivered.
What happens when advertisers invest $50 million dollars into digital video advertising without independent representation of their interests?
Where do I start? Without independent representation advertisers may fall foul of hyper inflated media packs where audience reach is exaggerated, partisan and limited performance statistics that are misleading, brokering and exchange tactics where in the buy may be trafficked through blind networks that were not on the plan, invisible media where in the digital video ad is simply never seen on screen, audible sound muting programs where in pre rolls are muted within the media players to avoid distraction of the user and enable the burying of ads below the fold. Phew! We haven’t even reached user engagement issues and you can see the scale of it. It’s really simple. Those vendors that wish to win the game against you and your agencies can, and will. They are technically superior and without independent, equally qualified representation, advertisers will fall foul of the gross inflation of budgets that they them selves are set to sign off on. Get independent digital media auditing of your digital video buys or pay the price.
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