Marketers warned to vet data as ad techs are accused of peddling myths and selling ‘garbage’

Ad tech companies are knowingly selling “garbage” data to customers who are being blinded by the apparent need to load themselves with an endless supply of customer information, delegates at the Mumbrella360 conference have been told.

Bryan Melmed, vice president of insights at digital intelligence firm Exponential, accused some firms of peddling the “myth” that “more means better”.

He said they are taking advantage of marketers who feel they don’t possess the required knowledge to properly vet the data.

“The myth that is being perpetuated across the market is that more means better,” Melmed told Mumbrella on the sideline of the 360 conference. “A lot of the data being introduced is not vetted,  it’s not relevant, it’s not precise and the vendors know that for the most part it’s very difficult for a buyer to understand if the data is good.”

Bryan Melmed, VP Insights, ExponentialMelmed, who admitted “he makes more enemies than friends” among ad tech firms, cited a US study which played 11 data providers against each. It revealed how four vendors were offering data that was “garbage”.

“I don’t mean to suggest that everyone is in one it, I’m sure there are good players within bad firms,” he said. “But there are so many layers to how data is collected and modelled and incentives for each player in that eco system to fudge the number a little bit.”

He added that other firms may have developed good ideas, not been able to quite make it work but are “selling it anyway”.

“The marker is so frothy. There are entrants who are trying to make a quick buck who don’t have the reputation that you would expect in our industry who are knowingly selling crap.”

One of the issues is the trusting nature of marketers who are dazzled by the issue of data, Melmed said.

“They don’t feel like they know better, they don’t feel like they have a sense of what really is going on or that they have the knowlkedge needed to be able to vet these data vendors,” he said.

He urged firms looking to buy data to ask simple questions, such as how long a company has been around and how many users it has, before considering a purchase.

Steve Jones


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