Digital media spending is weaponised says M&C Saatchi chief data officer

Digital media spending needs to switch to focus on quality as well as cost, argued M&C Saatchi’s chief data officer James Collier on the fourth and final day of IAB Australia’s MeasureUp Mornings in the presentation How Media Quality Helps Drive More Effective Campaigns.

In his presentation, Collier stated: “Given the accelerated importance of e-commerce and digital transactions, overwhelmingly, measurable digital media market has come under the most scrutiny with the cost per everything these days now being analysed, trended and, I’m sad to say, actually weaponised in some meetings. Even the slightest whiff of inefficiency in any part of a marketing program and you see entire channels, publishers, partnerships being placed on pause or re-evaluated. For me, ruthless optimisation really is the order of day.”

James Collier

Collier said earlier in the presentation: “I think I can say with some certainty that the last 18 months have been like nothing any of us have ever experienced before. The economy has run from being ice cold to red hot, some Australians, sorry Victoria, has spent 37 weeks locked indoors, right?

“And many businesses, many of our clients in this industry, they’ve been forced to trade in this evermore maddening, partially open and partially closed. And with so much uncertainty surrounding us, I guess it should be of no surprise that many brands and many marketers have started to focus on maybe the one thing that they still have some semblance of control of, and that is cost and in particular, the cost of media.”

Collier continued: “I firmly believe we need to better balance the conversation, giving equal weight to cost and quality. And this actually unfortunately means a bit of a change in marketing’s thought process, which currently focuses on and absolutely approves the cost of media first before hopefully reconciling that cost with an acceptable level of quality.

“What I believe is that, instead, brands and agencies together need to agree on a quality standards for their digital media first, and then work on delivering the best price to achieve that standard without compromise. So, quality and cost: not just cost. By elevating quality in the marketing conversation, you’re going to increase the probability you’ll earn your consumer’s attention.”

Collier concluded his presentation by stating that when it comes to digital media: “What looks cheap is usually expensive. And what looks expensive is usually cheap when you’re evaluating your media through the lens of quality. So the whole equation, it’s actually flipped on its head and that’s why I believe the conversation needs to change.”

A slide from the presentation

In the same presentation, DoubleVerify country manager ANZ, Imran Masood, stated that the benefits of focusing on quality can provide benefits to local Australian publishers.

Massood said: “It’s really about ensuring that advertisers and Australia can invest in quality, Australian content and content in this marketplace, and keep the industry alive. It keeps it growing, et cetera, and lets publishers understand what’s really working and how they can manage it. The profitability of their company based on the quality that they know that they have good quality content.”

The IAB Australia MeasureUp Mornings event ran from 25 October to 28 October.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.