90% of European industry stakeholders believe brands would spend more on digital channels if cross-media measurement capabilities were improved, according to a new study from IAB Europe.
The study also found that the two other top priorities for marketers were greater integration with programmatic tools, and unsurprisingly, brand safety.
An overwhelming majority of the 700 publishers, advertisers and agencies questioned as part of the group’s digital measurement priorities report said the ability to perform cross-media evaluation was one of the key factors in helping attract more investment in digital.
The figure shows a marked shift in priorities for both buy and sell-side stakeholders, with just 78% having cited this as an issue which needed industry-wide solutions in 2014
The report follows on by moves from different players in the space to facilitate cross-media measurement. Earlier this year, Google announced that in the US it was making traditional TV inventory available via DoubleClick in a bid to better evaluate how ads or the small screen boost search activity.
When it comes to cross-media measurement stakeholders want to be able to measure TV and digital more than any other combination (96%). This trend has not changed since the last study in 2014, however outdoor and online advertising is the combination that has increased the most in importance since then, with 63% of stakeholders citing this as a concern (most likely due to outdoor media moving to digital screens.)
Viewability and brand safety
Given the furore around YouTube’s brand safety crisis, as well as brands like P&G and Unilever demanding greater efficiency from their digital spend, brand safety and viewability were also high on the agenda for stakeholders.
Overall, brand safety has increased in importance for marketers and publishers alike by 20% since 2014, with 86% saying that the ability to measure how safe an environment is as being key to driving digital spend.
More than 90% of stakeholders stated that it was important for industry-agreed digital audience and effectiveness studies to be available in programmatic trading tools alongside measurement and trading data.
The research into this has provoked warm industry reaction, including from Ben Ward, commercial director, at Mothercare Ireland, who said: “The need for group studies and measurement is a key tool in assisting retailers, publishers and advertisers alike in better understanding the market and where best to focus their attention and budget.
"We find huge benefits in such collaborative studies and the learnings around their results form a key part of our digital decision making process.”
85% of those questioned stated that a better understanding of how digital channels can work in combination with other media for advertising campaigns would help the sector flourish – interest in this issue was up by 5% since 2014.
Meanwhile, the number of marketers calling for an industry-wide measurement currency used by all media suppliers has dipped by 3%, with 75% currently citing it as a key priority.
“It is now more critical than ever to reinforce the quality of the digital advertising environment to ensure that advertisers have strong confidence, and underpin the delivery of free content," said Townsend Feehan, chief executive at IAB Europe.
"Ensuring that viewable impressions are measured correctly and consistently across all markets in Europe is a key first step and the aim of the cross-industry European Viewability initiative."
Earlier this month, IAB Europe came together with other industry bodies as part of the European Viewability Steering Group (EVSG) to launch a set of measurement values which aim to reduce discrepancies in the data provided by different viewability measurement tools.