Less than a quarter (24%) of mobile media planners use third parties to measure and validate their data, according to new research, despite ongoing calls from marketers for digital giants to increase their third party measurement partners.
GroundTruth (formerly xAd), conducted the study in conjunction with ExchangeWire, which saw it survey over 150 mobile ad buyers in the UK on whether they are using third-party validation for viewability, brand safety, and fraud and the importance they place on this verification.
The research finds there is a gap between what marketing leaders demand in the industry - following a number of high-profile metric errors from Facebook and Dentsu Japan - and what they themselves do in practice.
However, the number is expected to increase to 45% in the next 12 months. Of those currently using or planning to use independent measurement providers, almost three quarters (70%) plan to use a third party to validate their mobile location data.
There’s a clear disparity between mobile media planners who use independent measurement providers and those who do not. Over two-fifths (42%) of users say the primary benefit of being third-party verified is being able to instil confidence in their clients that they are getting value for their money, compared to 29% of the respondents not using third-party providers. In addition to this, over a third (36%) of those currently using third-party verification say the primary benefit is being able to provide transparency.
Highlighting the importance mobile ad buyers place on understanding exactly what inventory they are buying, the majority (62%) of respondents working with third-party measurement providers admit the ability to provide accurate metrics for fraud, brand safety, and viewability is more important than price.
However, while respondents were generally happy with third parties’ ability to measure viewability (61% are very satisfied) and brand safety (58% are very satisfied), there is still work to be done when it comes to the validation of fraud measurement where only 43% are very satisfied.
Instead, many advertisers are turning to location data to understand more about their audiences. Media buyers say they evaluate location campaigns on the ability to build accurate audiences (43%) and by validating the accuracy of location targeting (39%).
Theo Theodorou, general manager of GroundTruth EMEA, predicts the evaluation of location data will continue to progress in line with viewability, fraud, and brand safety rules.
He said: "More and more, marketers and agencies are recognising the power of location data to build a clearer picture of real world audience behaviour."
But he believes there is still "much to be done" to meet the industry demand for higher standards and to encourage mobile media buyers to fully utilise the third-party measurement tools available to them.
"As agencies and marketers seek to provide clients with confidence they are getting value for their money and robust brand safety, greater transparency is essential and this can be achieved by working with third-party verified providers," he added.