Have you heard the term “digital transparency” being bandied about lately? Have you thought it meant that those who market online need to be as honest with their prospects as possible? Spot on!
Digital Transparency Defined
Accountability in this instance requires the maintenance of business ethics. It entails three things:
Possible fraud: did online ads paid actually appear, and to real people, not bots?
Viewability: did the ads show up on a website long enough for someone to actually see them? Or did they disappear in mere nanoseconds?
Brand positioning: did the ads appear where the advertiser would want them to? For example: did an ad for a fast food chain’s new bacon deluxe burger appear in a news story about a rising childhood diabetes epidemic?
Why Digital Marketers Need Transparency
Another no brainer: if you don’t know “’where your money is spent…. [y]ou can’t make well- founded decisions.’” You also could see your ad spend hit the roof with little true ROI as a result. There’s also the chance you could be a victim of ad fraud.
That needs to change. Today. As the post linked to above stated, digital advertisers became used to this. In the brave new digital marketing/advertising world, it was the just the way “things were done.” Companies became inured to “pouring money into [the] black box” that had online marketing written upon it.
Why Didn’t Advertisers Demand Digital Transparency Before?
Most likely two reasons:
- Agencies purchased digital ads in bulk and then marked a percentage of it up for their clients, depending on how many ads they decided to run. These ad campaigns were so relatively inexpensive yet incredibly successful that advertisers never uttered a peep of dissent.
- The cause could also attribute to marketers not fully understanding how the whole process worked. Regardless, the ads brought in more revenue than money spent, so folks rejoiced. Until they didn’t.
As digital marketing and advertising became mainstream, marketers started looking into details. They wanted to understand the true cost of their ad spends. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that an Association of National Advertisers and the firm K2 Intelligence last year outlined all the different ways agencies were making money via ad buys. Their clients took note and agency accountability has been the result.
Two of the possible less-than-stellar digital advertising activities included domain spoofing and invalid traffic. The former entails ad networks, publishers or exchanges hiding the nature of their traffic to look like legitimate websites. The latter involves impressions or clicks that inflate an advertiser’s costs. This includes intentionally fraudulent traffic as well as clicks viewers made accidentally.
What You Can Do About It
We recommend you work with marketing professionals who not only understand digital advertising, but who have always followed the highest of business ethics. Ingenex Digital Marketing has served non-profits, educational institutions, start-ups, and many different types of businesses for years. Not to mention, we’ve always done so with a firm focus on our own corporate social responsibility.
Contact us to learn more about how we can build your trust through transparency and what we do to combat digital ad fraud. Better yet, talk to Jeff Hayes, our director of client services. He will discuss your needs and how we could help you advertise your products/services online…with full digital transparency!