Does it ever feel like your new digital super powers actually make your life more complicated?

A growing number of marketers are coming to that conclusion.

In’s Responsible Media Global Forum with GroupM and the 4As, plus with IBM Watson Advertising, MediaMath, Nielsen and Pubmatic, a series of guest speakers wrestled with balancing the new capabilities with a drive for simplicity.

Opacity begets complexity

ANA CEO Bob Liodice said a major problem is “information asymmetry”, the “increasing level of opacity” over advertising data.

“This is very different from where we were 10 years ago, when we had such a relatively simple landscape,” he said.

“Marketers are receiving relatively less and less information for which to be able to make responsible media investment decisions. We have less to make those calls and less to be able to analyse the impact of those results.”

Uniformity can create simplicity

4A’s EVP for government relations Alison Pepper said agencies are having to live with the new regulated environment – but they deserve a consistent approach.

“I think we’re no longer in an environment where we can really truly rely on self-regulation to do what needs to happen to keep our industry thriving and vibrant,” she said. “I think we are at an inflexion point.

“We’re really going to have to regulate … at a national level so that we don’t see this bifurcation of different privacy regimes happen at the state level. Agencies have so many touchpoints into how they’re getting data and how they’re using data that I think agencies increasingly have a really strong interest in seeing one national standard. They really need uniformity.”

Progress is happening

IBM Watson Advertising revenue head Jeremy Hlavacek said improvements are coming.

“It’s clearly time for improvement and reinvention. I’m encouraged by the increased transparency that we’re demonstrating on our platforms,” he said.

“And I’m encouraged by how we can take this ecosystem to the next level and have it be both data-driven and intelligent, but also consumer-friendly and privacy-safe.”

Inclusion imperative

GroupM global head of programmatic Max Jaffe said agencies are also having to ensure responsible media buying in this complex environment.

“The idea of inclusion in the social responsibility and understanding what properties our clients in GroupM is really supporting is really at the forefront of our minds and has been for a bit,” Jaffe said.

“Understanding how (players’) alignment and what their focus is on these types of issues and topics is really important.”

Cleaning supply high on agenda

The considerations keep coming, however, as 4A’s chief operating officer Ashwini Karandikar says the drive to guarantee the provenance of ad inventory remains important.

“In the past, the notion of cleaning up supply was mainly restricted to programmatic media,” Karandikar said.

“At this point, there is so much programmatic guaranteed buyers that are already in place across all media types, across television, across audio, across just standard digital properties that are applying these same principles in terms of how you plan, buy, optimise, analyse, and go back and feed all this data back into your next planning cycle is possible for all media types.”

Performance & responsibility

It all boils down to a need to balance two key pillars – performance and responsibility – according to MediaMath chief partnerships officer Laurent Cordier.

“We should aim (to) make programmatic performing, make programmatic transparent, make programmatic valuable,” Cordier said.

“The second side is, ‘What’s your responsibility, how do you see your responsibility or your role in continuing to favour or flourishing an open ecosystem?'”

This video is part of the Global Forum on Responsible Media produced by Beet.TV, GroupM with the 4A’s. This track on data, identity and a transparent supply chain is sponsored by MediaMath.  For more videos on this topic, visit this page
The entire Forum can be watched on-demand here, and all videos from this project can be found here.