CANNES — The world of online advertising has grown up by using metrics like click-throughs as proxies for advertisers’ real end goals, like driving sales.

Now, slowly, as new attribution technology hots up, brands are being promised the ability the ability to close the loop.

But, whilst, to many, this evolution appears to be driven by brands, agency tech chiefs, in this Beet.TV recorded panel discussion, say some clients have a long way to go. Here is a flavour of what they said…

IPG Mediabrands chief data and marketing technology officer Arun Kumar:

“Depending on who in the client organisation you talk to, you tend to get get a couple of different definition of ‘What is an outcome?’

“There is a disconnect in the conversations you have in procurement (and the brand). There is a desire in one part of the organisation to drive toward the outcome – and the other part doesn’t necessarily believe that that is measurable or comparable across a wider set of the ecosystem. There needs to be an alignment.”

Dentsu Aegis Network product and innovation president Doug Ray:

“You get what you measure. If you’ve got a procurement department, they’re looking at ‘How do we extract cost and drive down that cost? … If I can buy what I bought before more cheaply, the thesis is the return on investment will be improved’.

“There is a race to the bottom. It can only be bought so cheaply before you’re starting to fundamentally disrupt the quality of that inventory.

“We’d like to change the conversation and look at the value-in versus cost-out. It may cost you a higher CPM – but, if the response from the consumer is greater, then the overall value of that media buy is going to be better for that client.”

GroupM North America CEO Brian Lesser:

“The technology would be easy to solve. The most powerful media companies right now have a better understanding of consumers than many advertisers do – they want to hold on to that leverage, they want to define their own metrics, they want to grade their own homework. We’re left with Nielsen, which is imperfect at best.”

Hearts & Science CEO Scott Hagedorn:

“A lot of clients believe there’s one true god and that god is Nielsen – and that is wrong.

“If you’re an application … you have to install the Nielsen app in to your SDK, and there’s not a lot of room for that. We think 40% of all video or content that could be measured is not. That’s a big problem.

“The great thing about programmatic … and fusing different panels … in to a DMP is, you can actually start to look at the causality of marketing.”

This video is from The Mastercard Automated Advertising Panel at Cannes Lions 2017. For more from the series, please visit this page.