Survey: Marketers Say Lack of Data Transparency Stunts Programmatic Growth

Survey: Marketers Say Lack of Data Transparency Stunts Programmatic Growth

Brands, Agencies and Publishers Willing to Increase Budgets for More Trustworthy Data

SAN FRANCISCO, May 1, 2017 – New research released today indicates that a lack of data transparency is inhibiting the growth of programmatic media buying and that 41 percent of respondents agreed they would not significantly increase their programmatic budgets until there was better transparency around data.

In a white paper released today titled “The Transparency Opportunity,” the results of a survey conducted by research firm Industry Index and commissioned by Metamarkets revealed the attitudes of brands, agencies and publishers that influence the purchase of digital media. Among the key findings were that three quarters of marketers (75 percent) said they are concerned about the lack of data transparency in programmatic advertising.

Survey data also revealed the following insights about the demands for increased transparency in digital marketing:

  • Nearly half of all brands (49 percent) said they can’t trust a fifth or more of the data upon which they base media buying decisions. And 16 percent of all marketers (brands, agencies and publishers) in the survey distrusted at least 30 percent of their data.
  • 32 percent of marketers named “a lack of transparency” as the biggest factor inhibiting the future growth and scale of programmatic marketing.
  • Nearly three quarters of marketers (74 percent) said that if they had access to more transparent data, they would increase their spend in programmatic advertising by at least 11 percent, and in some cases by 50 percent or more.
  • When asked to name the most important areas that required transparency, 88 percent of marketers said that “standard viewability metrics” were important or very important in programmatic media buying.
  • 72 percent of marketers said the lack of these standard viewability metrics were inhibiting the growth and scale of programmatic media buying, while 78 percent said ad fraud was inhibiting growth and scale.
  • 73 percent of marketers agreed or strongly agreed that a unified set of transparency standards across screens would cause them to shift budget toward more transparent vendors.
  • 55 percent of marketers said they would be willing to switch away from their current vendor to a more transparent vendor.

“These results show that marketers realize greater transparency drives better performance, and they’re willing to back up that belief with their checkbooks,” said Metamarkets CEO Mike Driscoll.  “This reinforces a trend that our clients, some of the world’s largest media marketplaces, have witnessed: greater transparency leads to higher marketing spend.”

For more information on the survey results and perspectives from marketers on data transparency, download the white paper here: The Transparency Opportunity. To learn more about how interactive analytics from Metamarkets can help establish the transparency marketers are demanding on programmatic data, visit