Rebuilding Trust Through Transparency



by Tom Cherry,
CEO, POP Tracker LLC

The 2016 ANA report highlighted trust issues between media agencies and advertisers, and recent studies show this agency/client relationship continues to struggle. Transparency, or lack thereof, features high on the list of reasons fueling this sentiment.

On September 24th the ANA’s Trust Consortium published Issues that Contribute to the Breakdown of Trust in the Advertising Ecosystem. The survey was conducted in August and highlights media rebates, traffic fraud in digital advertising and data confidentiality as the top reasons for the “Breakdown of Trust…”.

In early September, ID Comms shared “Negative views on media rise among marketing and media leaders” in a blog post by Paul Stringer, highlighting the results of their ID Comms 2019 Global Media Thinking Report. The headline summary from the report is that “Media and marketing professionals have a lower opinion of media and media agencies than they did two years ago.”

Addressing transparency and rebuilding trust in the complex ecosystem of Digital advertising, which represents over 50% of the total ad spend, is a demanding proposition. OOH is relatively small ($8 Billion) compared to Digital, and it’s a perfect format to show how trust can be built through transparency. OOH companies can easily provide clients what they are asking for using currently available technology.  My hope is that increasing trust helps increase the OOH buy.

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

Addressing transparency and trust is not something that can wait. We know we need to tackle this now, but we aren’t very good at paying attention to tomorrow’s problems today.

We talk a lot about STIC – Standardization (data), Transparency, Integration (systems) and Collaboration. Yet, change is slow. Rebuilding trust requires actions as well as words. Many OOH leaders tell me they don’t face immediate STIC problems, but they admit a risk exists if these areas are not improved.

Addressing STIC should be supported by all participants in OOH. At POP Tracker, we spend a lot of time studying campaign performance. We see Proof of Posting delivered via email, two weeks or more after execution. That’s not transparent and it’s not good enough. When PowerPoint reports are sent to clients with nice photos but no metrics, it hinders the analysis of OOH performance. Advertisers expect and receive real-time performance data in other ad mediums and deserve the same from OOH.

We know OOH is Real and can be trusted, and is supported by the OAAA in their new campaign. OAAA’s chief marketing officer Stephen Freitas said, “The goal of the campaign is to demonstrate to media and marketing executives the power of OOH to create immersive brand experiences in the real world.” OOH is big, bold and beautiful and you can trust it because you can see it, in the real world.

However, in our data driven world we need to support the big, bold and beautiful with metrics, data and analysis, and close the loop by providing the information clients are receiving in other media formats. When this data is standardized, it can be integrated across systems which fosters collaboration. When everyone has access to the same data, we can share analysis and in turn be more transparent.

Let’s take action to make OOH the cornerstone of trust for the entire advertising industry. Perhaps the next ANA survey will report an uptick in sentiment.

About POP Tracker

POP Tracker (POPT), a cloud-based workflow solution for the Out of Home and Retail industries, seamlessly integrates into the supply chain to provide transparency into media development, production, distribution, installation and removal.

Data can be captured using the POPT mobile app or supplied to the platform via API. Activity is tracked via a centralized, third party portal, resulting in better accountability and increased efficiency for each participant.

The POPT platform can function separately or be integrated into existing client workflows to guarantee information is available in the most convenient and efficient format. Reporting and analysis improve campaign performance and help maximize returns on future media and installation choices.

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