SAN JOSE, CA: A huge majority of global marketing leaders (95%) believe digital media must become more reliable, according to a new survey from the CMO Council, which confirmed widespread industry dissatisfaction with digital media platforms.

The study, entitled Engage at Every Stage: An Investigation of Video Activation, also revealed that ongoing news coverage about inaccurate, questionable and false digital media reporting have already caused 21% of marketers to cut back on their advertising spend.

What’s more, over 70% of brand leaders reported that negative news headlines have had an impact on their budgets, according to the poll of 233 senior marketing executives conducted in partnership with ad tech firm ViralGains.

Yet despite this negative outlook, a full 95% of marketers still intend to increase investment in digital video this year, with nearly half planning to raise spending by up to a quarter.

However, they demand more from their investments, requiring total transparency into traffic, viewers and engagement (73%), real-time access to customer data and intelligence (45%) and fees based on performance outcomes (40%).

Close to a third (28%) say online video ads are more important than other media investments and 40% say they are growing in importance.

Yet, in another finding, the CMO Council found there are serious concerns about ad viewability standards, with just 3% of respondents agreeing on the definition advocated by the Media Rating Council (MRC).

This defines reasonable viewability as 50% of content playing for two seconds with the sound off, but the survey found almost a third of marketers (30%) who agree with the MRC’s standard say they approve of it only because there isn’t a better metric to use.

“Marketers can’t continue to judge success through superficial metrics like impressions when they are increasingly held accountable for driving meaningful, bottom-line results,” said Tod Loofbourrow, CEO of ViralGains.

“Unfortunately, current industry solutions and standards are failing to facilitate this change on a number of levels – from antiquated definitions and measurements to massive breaches of data privacy,” he added.

Also commenting on the survey findings, Liz Miller, SVP of marketing at the CMO Council, said: “The frustration across the marketing ecosystem is palpable, and new headlines that breach trust and showcase systemic carelessness have inflamed the issue.

“The industry as a whole must align on transparency and reliability. If we don’t live up to these expectations, we will see more accounts up for review and more orders being pulled.”

Sourced from CMO Council; additional content by WARC staff