Earlier this year both Facebook and Google released their attribution tools for marketers, and more recently Snap announced the acquisition of location-based startup Placed, to prove brands that advertising on Snapchat drives store visit (among other things). While one could argue that the more attribution solutions available in the marketplace the better – to drive some good old-fashioned competition – all three announcements were received with growing concern by marketing executives, worried about the lack of separation between the entity running the media and the entity measuring its effectiveness. Ultimately, how trustworthy can you be if you run the media and give yourself great reviews on how it performed? Can you imagine if Nielsen did that for TV advertising? Not in a million years. Then why should we allow this to happen across other platforms?
The importance of media agnostic, third-party verification is a serious topic of conversation in the industry right now, extending beyond attribution to all measurement areas. Earlier this year, Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer, made it clear that platforms need to implement MRC-accredited third-party viewability measurement or risk losing P&G’s business. And other brands will follow. According to a recent ANA survey on Walled Gardens, 89% of ANA members want independent MRC audits for the big digital platform players.
As a marketer, a media planner, or a media buyer this should come as great news: the industry at large is moving in the right direction, recognizing the potential conflict of interest of a media company also powering verification and measurement.
As a media company, embrace this powerful trend and partner with (not buy) independent measurement companies, from viewability to attribution.
To quote Crossmedia’s CEO Kamran Asghar, who in a recent Digiday article said his agency would never use attribution services from Google or Facebook, “We do our best to avoid any vendors — be it media or tech — that pose a conflict of interest. Google is a media company, and, therefore, clients should monitor it — and all channels — with credible third parties who are independent of selling media.”