NEW YORK – Investments in advertising technology will help marketers and media companies become better at reaching audiences more effectively, says Sean Cunningham, president and chief executive of trade group VAB. These investments will be evident, even if the timeline is slower than some people expect.

“My members are investing in dozens of enabling companies and dozens of data-driven companies,” he said in this interview with Jon Watts, editorial director of Beet.TV Events, at the Advanced Advertising Summit here. “If there is a complaint about speed, then it’s a fascination with the speed of tectonic plates. Look at what’s happening on a daily, weekly, monthly basis with respect to just how much investment and energy is going into putting the best ad ecosystem we can together.”

A key area of development is in media measurement to ensure programming and advertising are reaching the right audiences. The metrics help to differentiate the value of an ad impression to a marketer in different contexts.

“These are the metrics that we’re working on…to satisfy the marketers’ knowledge that an impression is not an impression is not an impression,” Cunningham said.

User-generated content (UGC) on social video apps like TikTok have certain appeal to some audiences, but not necessarily the ones advertisers want to reach.

“UGC that may come from TikTok, or something like that, that may be just seconds long and may be made by a 14-year-old — to another 14-year-old, that may be fascinating,” Cunningham said. “To someone who’s selling Audis, it’s probably not.”