Better audience measurement is now the No. 1 issue among those in the ad industry, a shift from 2016, when cross-device audience recognition was tops on the minds of media buyers, ad execs and publishers, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
And of the 108 IAB members that participated in the survey (“The Outlook for Data 2017: A Snapshot into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight”) 71% said they expect to spend more on data services in 2017, up from the 67% who said they increased data spending in 2016.
“Cross-media measurement and attribution are critical issues that demand focus and significant resources this year and beyond,” said Dennis Buchheim, senior VP of data and ad effectiveness for IAB, and GM of the IAB Data Center of Excellence. “Over the course of 2017, IAB plans to work vigorously towards solutions in identity, attribution, and measurement — developing guidelines, standards, and services that will benefit the entire industry by simplifying and enhancing data-driven media transactions.
“In addition, our work with the IAB Digital Data Solutions Certification Program and broader education and community-building efforts will raise the level of professionalism in the digital advertising industry and establish stronger operational teams in data management.”
More than 57% of respondents said cross-channel measurement and attribution was the issue they’ll be devoting most of their time and resources to this year, beating out No. 2 “programmatic media buying for established formats” by nearly 10 percentage points.
Compiled by ad consulting firm Winterberry Group, the report saw respondents point to the difficulties in proving a return on investment with data programs (45%) and lack of internal experience in data (45%) as the biggest obstacles between ad companies and better measurement.
“More and more stakeholders from across the ecosystem are making significant investments in data,” said Jonathan Margulies, managing director of Winterberry Group. “This research points to greater sophistication in data-driven marketing and media, and with it new opportunities and challenges to address in the coming year.”