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BizReport : Advertising archives : January 30, 2018

"Seal of approval" needed to raise perception of commercial digital ad research

A quarter of advertising and media professionals dismiss digital ad commercial research studies as self-serving while one in five consider a lack of quality renders them useless, according to, errr, new commercial research.

by Helen Leggatt

When advertising technology company Inskin Media and digital data collection and online sampling company Research Now surveyed 220 advertising and media professionals about their views on commercial research studies about digital advertising, they found very few put much faith in them.

In fact, just 5% felt such studies were of a good enough quality to be of any use while 19% consider them largely useless due to quality issues. Respondents felt that the highest quality research was produced by research agencies - just ahead of industry associations and ad validation/measurement vendors - while media sellers were ranked lowest in terms of perceived quality.


For the most part, respondents believed commercial research studies on digital advertising were self-serving and influenced by the sales agenda of the research owners. More than half (57%) believed this issue alone was a big obstacle to quality research.

"The industry has been deluged by studies on digital advertising over the last decade, most of which is used as a Trojan horse to promote a sales agenda," says Steve Doyle, Inskin Media's chief commercial officer.

"Unfortunately, most of it isn't fit for purpose and it's tended to tar everyone with the same brush. Paradoxically, it's also created the problem of undermining genuine findings if the company doing the research has a commercial interest in proving them, so the results are mistakenly ignored when it comes to improving strategy and planning"

Doyle admits he is "aware of the irony of producing a research study saying research quality is inadequate."

So, how can the perception of commercial research be improved? A comprehensive methodology helps, as does adequate sampling. Another solution, put forward in Inskin's research and cited by 71% of respondents as being the most effective, is for the implementation of a "seal of approval" awarded by an independent industry body.

"Indeed," says Doyle, "the support for an independent seal of approval is reminiscent of what's happened in Germany. The major trade bodies along with Google and Facebook launched 'Qualitätsinitiative Werbewirkungsforschung' - an initiative to increase transparency and quality in advertising effectiveness research."

Tags: advertising, commercial, digital advertising, media, research

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