Marketers have been struggling with transparency in data for years. Some blame programmatic ad-buying technology. Others point fingers at reporting.
The truth from transparency and real-time data will set marketers free from the fear of wasting budgets, insists Anda Gansca, CEO and cofounder at data company Knotch.
Some distribution channels work better for certain audiences and creative assets. Knowing this turns "nebulous guessing games" into an efficient marketplace and prevents brands from targeting the wrong audience on the wrong advertising network, Gansca said.
She also added that marketers need to remember people are not only defined by their behavior or demographic, but also by their opinions. And, consumers will take the next action whether or not the they feel positive or negative about the brand, as long as the brand sends a message and responds to their feedback.
Gansca plans to join Kristin Lemkau, CMO at JP Morgan, on the main stage at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to discuss transparency, waste in ad distribution dollars, and how programmatic will continually disappoint the industry when marketers disregard data.
Analysts at Forrester Research have also called for transparency for B2B marketers "to assess the performance of their buying platform and media efficiency."
The Forrester report, "Making Programmatic Advertising Work for B2B Businesses," was released in March and focuses on account-based marketing (ABM) and how marketers can use programmatic advertising, data, partners, and inventory sources to meet objectives.
The biggest challenge, per Forrester, is the lack of reach and transparency in ABM platforms because they are less experienced in sourcing inventory, particularly B2C inventory, and often have limited to no access to video and mobile ad inventory.
Gansca doesn't think the lack of transparency comes from using programmatic buying platforms. "I thought the lack of transparency had everything to do with the software, but it's really an incentive problem," she said.
Too many marketers blame the technology, when they should look more closely at the processes, she added. For example, if the marketer pays the agency, the agency pays the distribution channel, and the distribution channel pays the data company to measure the performance of the distribution channel -- then there's an inherent incentive problem.
"If you're allowed to grade your own homework, you'll never give yourself a 'C,'" she said. "The data often times comes back through the agency much too late, saying that the distribution channel overperformed."
Gansca said most times humans are the problem with data reporting. An independent third-party data company, rather than the creators of the campaign, should measure the performance.
Also, some of the inherent issues of programmatic center on brand safety, Gansca said. Transparency is part of the problem, but it's again mostly a "human problem." Those wanting to compete in a commoditized market should compete by targeting and using unique data sets, but mostly they should compete on price.
She suggests companies should consider the pricing model or how the brand takes their products to market, not necessarily the technology, to gain transparency in the numbers, which will ultimately provide higher returns on investments.