VIEQUES, PR — In an age where the media we use give off signals back to advertisers, marketers are being sold on the potential to thread each in to a holistic view of customers and of their ad effectiveness.

But the reality so far is a little different, a panel of advertising tech execs discussed at a retreat convened by Beet.TV:

  • Merkle programmatic head Mac Delaney

  • MediaLink data and technology SVP Matt Spiegel

  • Coull CEO Irfon Watkins

  • Furious Corp CEO Ashley J. Swartz

“Big-brand marketers are still struggling with getting a lot smarter and more sophisticated with currencies and the metrics available to them,” consulting firm MediaLink’s Spiegel claimed. “We’re still in the early days.”

What’s the hold-up? Spiegel explained: “The technology is there, the ability to look at the data exists. What has not changed is the budgeting process. That’s why attribution has not taken off as many of us thought it would have. It is a process problem at the marketers’ side.”

Ad planning software provider Furious’ Swartz completely agreed. She said marketers are still budgeting on fiscal calendars whilst decisions on ad optimisation at happening at the ad impression level.

She said marketers should heed “kaizen“, the Japanese discipline of “continuous improvement”: “Continually ingesting data an making systems and efficiency greater and greater over time.”

The panel agreed that marketers, amid high degrees of disruption, are clinging to familiar metrics.

“We’re talking about all these transformative things,” said video analytics startup Coull’s Watkins. “But, in the end, it all comes back to knowns – we want safety. We want the revolution – but actually we want a safe one.”

That adds up to what panel moderator Joanna O’Connell has called “the bloodless revolution“, a change which seems profound but which ends up looking a lot like the TV industry in the end.

This video was produced at the Beet.TV executive retreat presented by Videology.  You can find more videos from the session here.