According to a new study from the United States-based Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, news coverage about inaccurate, questionable and false digital media reporting measures has already caused 21% of marketers to pull back on advertising spend.

More than 70% of brand leaders admit that negative news headlines have had an impact on budgets.

The new report, titled Engage at Every Stage: An Investigation of Video Activation, was produced in partnership with video journey company, ViralGains, and reveals that 95% of marketing leaders surveyed believe digital media must deliver more reliability.

In a clear rebuke to the digital media industry, marketers are also calling "viewability" standards into question, as only 3% of respondents agree on the definition advocated by the Media Rating Council.

This defines reasonable viewability as 50% of content playing for two consecutive seconds with the sound off. In addition, 30% of marketers who agree with this standard admit that they can only approve of it because there isn't a better metric to embrace.

"The frustration across the marketing ecosystem is palpable, and new headlines that breach trust and showcase systemic carelessness have inflamed the issue," noted Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing for the CMO Council.

"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. That's not to say all is lost. There is still excitement about the next evolution in digital engagement, especially through online video content."

This negative outlook of the digital media landscape comes as marketers intend to significantly boost investments in online video advertising – a channel that 28% of respondents believe is more important than other media investments and that 40% say is growing in importance.

In fact, 95% of marketers intend to increase investments in 2018, with nearly half increasing spend by up to 25%.

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

Intelligence is also a core demand when it comes to digital advertising as marketers are looking to learn more about their customers through the in-demand channel.

The report is based on research conducted by the CMO Council through an online audit that collected insights from 233 senior marketing leaders. Of these, 163 are actively investing in digital video advertising.

Some 43% of respondents represent companies with revenues greater than US $1 billion, and 47% hold the title of CMO or senior vice president of marketing for their organisations.

Additional insights around the following are also included in the report:
  • Access to and ability to leverage deeper insights about customer engagement, intent and real-time behavior
  • Outline of the measures and metrics marketers believe they can access to track impact, and
  • Time to insight assessment as marketers outline how long they must wait to access and act on intelligence from online video engagement.
The 17-page executive summary brief is available to download too, along with an illustrated infographic depicting top data points from the study.

For more information, visit You can also follow the CMO Council on Twitter.

Image courtesy of the CMO Council.