The state of media quality in SEA

16 September By IAS Team

Singapore brand marketer roundtable sheds light on how to tackle trust and transparency issues in the industry and why getting it right is important for brands to scale the next decade of growth.

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Trust and transparency issues remain key concerns for the industry. According to the latest report from Integral Ad Science (IAS), consistent measurement (47.3%), ad fraud (42.8) and brand safety (36.9%) are top concerns for marketers. “I feel that a way for us as an industry to break through these trust and transparency issues is to really focus on quality,” says Laura Quigley, MD, Southeast Asia, Integral Ad science. “We need to ensure that we’ve got the tools and the controls to buy quality – I think that’s the way to counteract this industry challenge that we’re having.”


Connecting campaign exposure to ROI is a key concern

According to IAS’s latest report, 75.4% of advertisers see not being able to connect campaign exposure to ROI as the strongest threat to digital advertising budgets in 2019. “The agency will often come back and say they’ve delivered a billion impressions, but a billion impressions that don’t translate to sales mean nothing,” says Roshni Chatterjee, marketing director, Kraft Heinz.

At Adidas, sharing sales data with agencies about whether or not digital campaigns actually are driving sales has proven to be an effective strategy. “We do share a seven-day report with our agency and say ‘hey, our sales are up to expectations or not, let’s do something about it if it’s not working, or maybe we even do some a/b testing in terms of the creative,’” says Adidas’ Liliane Sek, senior director, brand activation. “I think just getting eyeballs for your campaign but not driving conversions is not what the key stakeholders in the business want to hear. They are only going to give you more marketing budget if it’s also resulting in some conversions.”

Combating overreliance on metrics

Agatha Yap, director of marketing for McDonald’s, makes a clear distinction with her agency between what’s ‘hygiene’ and what’s ‘innovation’. “Hygiene means that for 80% of spend I need to see that traffic at the door because this protects everybody’s job. It keeps the CEO happy to sign off the business dollars and give us the spend. With the remaining 20%, we have to invest in innovating and having the guts to try new things and even if we fail, we can learn from it.”

Keeping up with changing consumer behaviors

Next phase of growth Marketers and brands are preparing to address the next phase of growth in the digital media sphere as they embrace emerging technologies. Although many brands are still at the early stage of discussion and awareness around technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), they are keen to get more involved and are excited about the immense potential these technologies offer the industry.

With ad fraud and its mounting losses being a massive problem for the industry – in Singapore alone, IAS calculates this year’s ad fraud to be in the region of $1.3 million – many experts are understandably excited about AI and its effectiveness as a weapon that can fight ad fraud.


“For me, in my entire career, I’ve never been as confident as now about what’s coming next and that’s AI and machine learning,” says Tony Marlow, CMO, Integral Ad Science. “The bad actors in our industry are using AI and ML to commit fraudulent schemes. So, in some sense, perhaps the best way to think of it is that it takes a bot to catch a bot – so we need sophisticated AI / ML in order to proceed and prevent that kind of fraud. For me, simply put, the future is about the robots, AI, and the rise of machines.”

Source: Campaign Asia-Pacific. Read the full article.

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