Only 5% think current digital ad research is adequate

A seal of approval by independent industry body seen as best way to improve quality

London, 15 January 2018Only 5% of media and advertising professionals believe commercial research studies on digital advertising are of a good enough quality.

The influence of the sales agenda of the company owning the research is seen as the biggest obstacle to producing good quality research – cited by 57% of the 220 industry professionals interviewed online by Inskin Media and Research Now SSI. Nearly one in four (23%) generally disregard commercial research projects as nothing but marketing/sales tools while 19% consider them largely useless due to quality issues.

Research agencies (scoring 4.0 out of 5) are regarded as producing the highest quality research, narrowly ahead of industry associations (3.9) and measurement/ad validation vendors (3.6). Media sellers (3.1) rank last in terms of the perceived quality of 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,” said Steve Doyle, Inskin Media’s CCO. “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 adds that he’s “aware of the irony of producing a research study saying research quality is inadequate.”

The quality and detail of the methodology (cited by 61% of respondents) is the most important factor in assessing the validity of research, followed by its relevance to current industry issues (54%).

A “seal of approval” awarded by an independent industry body is seen as the most effective way to improve how people perceive digital advertising research (cited by 71%) narrowly ahead of a detailed methodology explanation for every study (70%).

“The rise of online survey platforms means anyone with a few hundred quid can produce a survey but hopefully the industry will start demanding far more rigour and detail about the methodology, as well as taking into greater account the agenda of the company producing it,” says Doyle. “Indeed, 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.”

Industry professionals most prefer to hear about the insights from research in face-to-face presentations (cited by 56% of respondents), followed by infographics (45%) and trade magazines / blog posts (37%). Webinars are the least favourite method (cited by just 14%).

Methodology

Inskin Media commissioned Research Now to understand advertising/media professionals’ attitudes to the quality of commercial research studies produced on online advertising. Commercial research covers all research activities directly or indirectly funded by for-profit organisations (such as a media seller, adtech company, media buyer, but also by industry associations). 220 people were surveyed online between August and December 2017.

About Inskin

Inskin Media is an advertising technology business, specialising in rich-media branding formats. We combine a focus on design and technology to maximise the value of every single impression. Our business is based on long-term partnerships, to deliver brand campaigns on every device across brand-safe editorial inventory which can only be accessed through Inskin. Inskin is DTSG Brand Safe and Anti-Ad Fraud certified, and a founding registrant of the IAB Gold Standard. We support direct and programmatic bookings, and work with leading data providers to support first and third party data targeting options. Since its launch in the UK in 2009, Inskin has grown from start-up into profitable, international business, employing 125 staff across its London, Hamburg, Kiev, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai offices. Our expansion has been recognised by multiple high-growth awards: European Business Awards 2016/17, The Sunday Times Tech Track 100, Media Momentum Awards, Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

About Research Now SSI

Research Now SSI is the global leader in digital research data for better insights and business decisions. The company provides world-class research data solutions that enable better results for more than 3,500 market research, consulting, media, healthcare, and corporate clients. Research Now SSI operates globally with locations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, and is recognised as the quality, scale, and customer satisfaction leader in the market research industry. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, please email marketing@inskinmedia.com