ORLANDO, Florida – Against a backdrop of headlines calling into question digital business practices by media agencies, the digital supply chain needs “clean up” its duplicative players or else marketers could pull back on their participation. That’s the prognosis of MediaLink Managing Director Matt Spiegel, who sees way too much duplication in that supply chain.

In an interview with Beet.TV at the Masters of Marketing Conference of the Association of National Advertisers, Spiegel cites a lack of clarity and trust expressed by some industry participants. “It’s been a kind of rebates and margin discussion” for the past couple of months.

“Now I think we’re actually getting more into the root of the problem, which is there’s just too many different partners doing too many overlapping things,” Spiegel says. “And the end result is the connection between a marketer and a consumer, to put that together is actually way harder than it should be.”

He’s not talking about companies doing sketchy things but things that aren’t truly productive.

“Let’s stop with all the hops, wasted partnerships,” Spiegel says. “I think we can clean that up and I think markers will get a better result. I think too many guys in the middle are focused on moving some media billings, and that’s not making the industry any better.”

Amid much digital innovation, the ad industry is still at the learning curve stage of what data and technology can do, according to Spiegel. “Now what happens is we can overcorrect,” he adds. “We’re in a risk that if we don’t get really clear on how this technology works, when it’s most applicable, what data is most useful, marketers could pull back.”

Spiegel thinks there’s been a rush to an “audiences matter and context doesn’t type analogy, which is just wrong. Of course experiences matter. Of course context matters.

“Let’s continue to have the experiential side of contextually understanding what an individual is doing, but let’s understand that individual a lot better when we market to them,” Spiegel says.

We interviewed him at the ANA Masters of Marketing annual meeting in Orlando. This video is part of a series produced at the conference. Beet’s coverage is sponsored by Cadent. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.