As mentioned, at BAA I gave a presentation on how disruption is permeating advertising, media, and marketing today. Today I will share with you the second installment of this three-part series…

One of the biggest issues facing advertisers, marketers and agencies today is the concept of “Trust.”  Not “Trust” in the context that advertising lawyers usually consider – the truth and falsity of advertising claims.  Rather, the issue is “Trust” as it relates to digital media.  And this issue relates to brands as well as media buying agencies.  Digital media is an integral part of all marketing and promotion today, and marketers and their agencies are part of that process and have responsibility for it – and may even have liability.  For this reason, it’s critical that marketers and agencies understand the issues at play.

Trust is necessary when it comes to numbers, process, procedures and results – and most importantly, the parties involved in bringing about these results.  For example, one of the key data points for digital advertising is knowing if it has been viewed by consumers, compared to it simply being served.  Are consumers actually viewing the ads? Some estimate that as many as one third of all served ads are “non-viewable” – estimated to be a cost of between 5 and 10 billion dollars a year.  What’s the result for clients?  Their dollars have not been well spent.  The industry response?  An industry consortium called “3MS” – Making Measurement Make Sense – is working towards a common media measurement framework that will allow for a standardized way to perform cross-device analytics.  And what about advertising fraud, and the rise of robotic or automatic systems that manipulate the digital advertising process? As part of another strong industry effort, the Trustworthy Accountability Group has come about to monitor and identify fraudsters.

There are other elements of Trust: think about the specter of unauthorized rebates, whereby monies are given by digital media to one or more parties without brands’ consent.  Marketers and agencies alike need to ensure they understand the terms of their agreements and stay on top of the changes that are happening in the industry and the types of practices that are becoming widespread.  Marketers, agencies, publishers and trade associations are coming together to develop “Trust” mechanisms and create a united front as they journey forward on the road of digital media.