UK Innovation Summit recap: 2019 industry priorities

05/24 By Paul Nasse

During our recent UK Innovation Summit we held a fascinating session with our clients discussing the current priorities for the digital advertising industry. Based on the latest IAS UK Industry Pulse survey, the panel, made up of GSK, Publicis and Gumtree, discussed four key areas – transparency, consistent measurement, ROI and video.

The conversation brought to light common pain points, difference in opinion, but most importantly solutions as to how to move the industry forward, and improve the digital ecosystem.

The key takeaways from the session were the following:

1. The first point discussed was need for true transparency and collaboration across the whole industry. The IAS Industry Pulse data showed that lack of media quality transparency posed a significant threat to the budgets of brands, as well as agencies. The panel agreed true transparency would only be possible when each corner of the industry is held responsible for being transparent with their data and their objectives. The panel also agreed lack of education around media quality transparency played a part. With more communication and greater accountability, the panel agreed we could reach the level of transparency currently desired, and crucially, benefit the most important person in the ecosystem – the consumer.

2. Based on data from the Industry Pulse survey, IAS found that the need for consistent measurement was the number one priority for brands in 2019. The panel discussed the need for consistency between reported data and KPIs, highlighting these metrics are hugely important, particularly now some c-suite are exposed to the data such as viewability figures. Consistency, they agreed, was also key in building trust between partners, a crucial part of the ecosystem.

3. We moved on to talking about the evolution of measurement, specifically connecting campaign exposure to ROI. The group discussed how different brands, businesses and markets will all have different KPIs to measure against and therefore will prioritise different metrics. Equally, Gumtree commented that some of the most successful campaigns have the worst metrics because they are native and provide a seamless experience. Looking beyond binary, traditional metrics, such as viewability, to more business oriented goals should be a focus for brands over the next few years, they agreed. However, the panel highlighted that the more ‘basic’ metrics are only beginning to be understood by those outside the immediate media team and therefore should not be banished just yet.

4. Finally, one of the biggest opportunities (and challenges!) identified in the IAS Industry Pulse survey was video advertising. The desire to shift spend towards video is presently very clear and from an advertising perspective, must always begin with the consumer. However, the panel agreed there remains a gap from a video measurement perspective and as an industry we must strive towards more strategic and agile partnerships if we are to achieve this. Publicis noted the efficacy of the IAS data here, enabling brands and advertisers to have deeper conversations with publishers to identify issues, analyse what the issues are (such as measurement challenges or problems with content) and solve it together. As an area we are all growing in, there can be a danger of writing someone off, merely due to a few bad experiences – be cautious not to do this, they agreed, and instead be open and communicate to resolve.

The survey results highlight some of the most crucial areas of focus within the digital advertising industry at the moment. In hearing the panel, including individuals from each corner of the industry, what became clear is the need for the industry as a whole to provide more transparency into data, foster greater collaboration with industry peers and continue educating others on the importance of measurable digital advertising metrics. The majority of the industry is striving towards very similar goals – we just need to work closer as a team and get there together.