How serious do you think the transparency issues are in the industry at the moment? What can the industry do to ensure greater transparency?
Both transparency and brand safety are rightly very hot topics at the moment, and it’s fundamentally important to the industry that we address them head-on. If we want to continue
to maximise the opportunity digital advertising is presenting us, it’s essential we come together as an industry and work with advertisers to navigate safely through this issue.
How does KPEX ensure the transparency for clients?
KPEX only represents New Zealand’s premium broadcasters and publishers such as Fairfax, NZME, TVNZ and Mediaworks. Therefore, advertisers can be 100 percent confident their activity will only be running within brand-safe environments. In addition, KPEX provides advertisers the opportunity to target through a fully transparent system that allows brands to see the content page or URL before advertising on it. This all means that an advertiser can both be confident with the environment and the content on the page before appearing on the KPEX exchange, providing full transparency to the brand.
Is there enough clarity regarding the media supply chain in digital media? Do marketers actually know what they're paying for? How can we rectify this issue?
We definitely need a more open conversation between advertisers, technology providers, agencies and media owners to ensure everyone understands the technology being used (and fees being charged) throughout the supply chain.
Much of the technology for programmatic is valuable in ensuring both efficiency and effectiveness, but it’s a complex space so we all need to continually educate ourselves to take advantage of the opportunity. Advertisers need to fully understand how their budgets are being spent and to also proactively up-skill in this area so they can ask the right questions of their partners.
At the same time, media owners, technology providers and agencies have a responsibility to be transparent around the supply chain in regard to what technology is being used, how it will benefit the advertiser and the commercial model behind it.
How important is third-party verification of digital measurement data? Should we have a standardised approach applicable across all digital media?
As we have seen over recent months, it’s not acceptable for global media owners to be ‘marking their own homework’ as Martin Sorrell puts it. It’s wholly unacceptable to be misreporting performance and there is a need for a rebalance of power (driven by agencies and advertisers) to hold media owners to account. Third-party verification will be key in driving confidence for advertisers individually and the digital market as a whole.
However, before we even get into third-party verification, we need to be clearer on measurement as a whole. We need to put in place some market-wide standards and benchmarks for performance expectations. Advertisers need a clear shortcut to understand the environments their advertising is being placed within and the performance they can expect.
At KPEX, we see market-leading video completion rates and excellent viewability scores within premium environments. Consequently, it’s no surprise our sites often achieve superior performance for advertisers than from other corners of the internet. Market standards and third-party verification will help advertisers identify the digital sites that are really creating value for them.
How do you think the issue of transparency and brand safety will evolve in the coming years?
It’s important to remember that the speed of change and growth in digital has been exponential over recent years. We believe the current transparency and brand safety conversations are speed bumps in the maturing of the market.
The technology required to provide advertisers full transparency and brand safety exists today, however, we are seeing a lag in industry standards and education. As the transparency conversation grows and the industry puts in place measurement, performance and commercial standards we will see this issue dissipate over time.
There is no question that programmatic advertising (and the technology it uses) provides advertisers with an unprecedented ability to target existing or potential customers more accurately, more efficiently, with more impact and more measurably than ever before. The programmatic opportunity for the advertisers is huge and we need to provide the confidence for them to continue to grow investment in the channel.