Transparency Opportunity Blog Series: Quantifying Trust

At Metamarkets, we provide programmatic buyers and sellers with the tools needed to turn mountains of programmatic data into revenue driving insights. We believe that you empower people when you provide them with the information they need to make decisions. Unfortunately, the ad industry has created an ecosystem where many brands and marketers don’t get transparent access to the data they need.

We believe that radical transparency is needed in programmatic marketing – and to shed light on this issue we recently commissioned research (see: The Transparency Opportunity) to better understand the perceptions of brands, agencies and publishers that influence the purchase of digital media.

This is the first of a three-part series taking a deeper look at the results of that research and our takeaways for the programmatic marketing industry. Today, we’ll look at the results focused on data trustworthiness.

Questioning the Data

One of the most interesting results in our survey of marketers came from the following question: “What percent of the data that you currently make decisions based upon would you say isn’t trustworthy?”

As you can see from the graph above, the results indicate a high degree of distrust in today’s programmatic data. Looking at the overall data from all respondents, you can see that 68% answered that they distrust 11-20% of their data or more. What’s more, a decent percentage (16%) of all respondents said they distrust 31-40% of their data or more.

The most skepticism for data came from those working for brands. Nearly half (49%) of brands said they distrusted 21-30% of their data or more. The degree of distrust among publishers and agencies was not far behind.

To put that in perspective, brands and agencies pour billions of dollars into programmatic channels every year. One recent report on the size of the programmatic market from eMarketer estimated that $32 billion will be spent on programmatic display ads in the U.S., not to mention additional spending on the exponentially growing market of programmatic video. That means that at least several billion dollars worth of advertising each year is producing data that marketers don’t have faith in. These brands are making major decisions on where to direct their multi-billion dollar advertising budgets without confidence that they are choosing the best path. It is no wonder that major brand leaders like P&G’s Marc Pritchard are calling for increased transparency given the high stakes involved.  

So, where can we go from here to establish more trust in programmatic data? The problem cannot be pinned on one single intermediary in the supply chain – all sides are withholding information, and there needs to be a way to build confidence so that more participants will be comfortable sharing and transacting.

One absolutely critical step is to work together as an industry to separate the measurement of programmatic markets from the monetization paths to ensure open and honest information flows. By decoupling the execution function from the measurement system, we can enforce more accountability across the board and increase trust with marketers. By establishing agnostic third-parties to set measurement standards and provide clarity around data, marketers would have common currencies and baselines upon which they base their faith in the data behind programmatic transactions.

Invest in Trust

With the right investments in interactive analytics, marketers can more take control of their programmatic data and establish the data transparency that their partners at brands, agencies and publishers demand. As an independent analytics provider, Metamarkets gives its users a real-time, transparent view of what’s happening in the media marketplaces where they operate and allows them to instantly drill down to get deeper layers of insights on programmatic data.

Stay tuned for more posts in this series coming soon, and be sure to download the full Transparency Opportunity report for more details on the findings, or connect with us here to talk about how to make the most of your programmatic data.