Have marketors gone overboard for digital?

Submitted by: Shareena Patel 25/01/2016

What you see is not necessarily what you get! Whilst digital channels offer tremendous reach, there is increasing questioning around the truthfulness of digital effectiveness. According to the latest Edelman Trust Survey, print and other traditional channels are still tops for trustworthiness.

Marketors are today heavily focussed on digital channels and measuring the success of a campaign has become commonly reliant on automated instant statistics; but just how trustworthy are these? Of course there are always risks in measuring campaign effectiveness but digital marketing has had a bad press lately with accusations of fraudulent bot driven statistics that can dramatically inflate the real performance, and cost, of a campaign.

Perhaps this explains the high level of trust for print and traditional media revealed in the latest Edelman survey for print and traditional media.

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2016, mentions that traditional media is said to be trusted by 70% of respondents. CEO, Ed Williams, commented "It is clear from the findings that even with new ways of finding news and entertainment online, that traditional media are still at the heart of people's consumption. Even by following search engines or using social media, they are still coming across the same familiar media brands, especially in news." Speaking on Radio 4's Media Show earlier in the week, he added that "serious times call for serious news... what we're seeing is that people are being drawn back to traditional media...  seven out of 10 people in our survey would trust traditional media over new media sources".  Williams goes on to say that "people tend to turn to familiar sources in troubling times." According to this annual survey 82% agreed that "we all need more trustworthy information" and 59% agreed that “social media is a becoming a less trustworthy source”.

Perhaps one of the reasons why marketers are changing their approach and adjusting their pockets could be due to the distrust in digital ad fraud. Generally, marketers thrive off digital advertising and majority preach how it can deliver inexpensive advertising to direct consumers which it can, but there are risks. Ad fraud has been a long term battle that most marketers tend to hide from or for some, remain unaware of the affects it has on their investment. It has been said by the Association of National Advertisers, based on a study by their partners WhiteOps, that $7.2 billion is expected to be lost globally due to nonhuman traffic to the advertisements in 2016. Automated software known as bots are the main vehicle for ad fraud. Bots represent 3% to 37% of the impressions on digital advertisements, up 2% – 22% on last year’s figures

"The level of criminal, non-human traffic literally robbing marketers' brand-building investments is a travesty," Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO, said in a statement. "The staggering financial losses and the lack of real, tangible progress at mitigating fraud highlights the importance of the industry's Trustworthy Accountability Group in fighting this war. It also underscores the need for the entire marketing ecosystem to manage their media investments with far greater discipline and control against a backdrop of increasingly sophisticated fraudsters"

It seems the power of the printed word still rings true and marketors need to consider the very real effectiveness of traditional channels like print. Much research shows the power or print and we recommend highly the excellent Marketreach reports; 'This Time It’s Personal’ and ‘The Private Life Of Mail’, which reveal the deep impact on consumers triggered by a well-constructed mail campaign.

Source: Ad Age / Newsworks