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Not too surprisingly, advertisers approach the digital media buying decision with different insights requirements in mind than the TV media buying decision, according to new research [pdf] from Advertiser Perceptions. In its survey, the firm found that optimization and conversion tracking are the most important research and insight capabilities sought when making digital and mobile media buying decisions, with a slight majority deeming them “very important.”

By contrast, audience analytics/measurement (3rd on the list for digital media) was tops for TV media buying decisions, followed by ad campaign reporting (#5 out of 10 for digital).

Audience Insights

Among the advertisers who find audience insights to be very or somewhat important, the most important capability is that it generates actionable consumer insights that have bottom line relevance to the business.

About one-third of this group of advertisers says that they find audience insights to be completely trustworthy, with another half saying they’re somewhat trustworthy. While not being fully trusting of these insights, advertisers using them seem to rely on them quite often: 44% use them frequently, and another 36% use them often.

Advertising Effectiveness Research

When evaluating advertising effectiveness research for media buying decisions, two factors stand out as most important to advertisers overall:

  • That it optimizes the campaign and adjusts strategies while still in market, as opposed to solely reporting results when the campaign is complete; and
  • That it measures the performance of specific media or media combinations (which was the most effective at achieving objectives).

That second point relates to continued desires – and struggles – to optimize the media mix.

Advertising effectiveness research tends to engender the same level of trust and frequency of usage as audience insights: 33% find it completely trustworthy, and another 59% somewhat trustworthy. And about 45% use the research frequently, with 41% using it moderately.

Audience Analytics/Measurement

Audience analytics and measurement are considered more important than audience insights and ad effectiveness research when making digital/mobile media buying decisions. But not more trustworthy…

In fact, among those who find audience analytics and measurement capabilities to be important, only 29% trust them completely, although another 59% believe them to be somewhat trustworthy.

Well-publicized measurement issues from third-party partners such as Facebook may be contributing to a lower level of trust in audience measurement. Indeed, just 24% of respondents feel that the sources of third-party / partner data they have access to for digital campaigns are very accurate.

As one might expect, the ability to validate impressions via accurate viewability measurement is the most important factor for audience analytics and measurement.

Fraud is a big component, of course, and roughly half of the advertisers surveyed believe that at least 10% of their spend is lost to fraud. This is at best an estimate, though, as only about 1 in 10 have undergone specific research and audits to arrive at their figure.

Furthermore, relatively few advertisers are engaging in formal verification and analytics: only half or fewer verify their digital and mobile campaigns most of the time, whether using a media brand/partner, independent third party or in-house.

The full report can be accessed here [pdf].

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 197 agencies (60%) and marketers (40%), roughly 8 in 10 of whom work with annual budgets of at least $50 million.

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