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17 January

During the year of 2017, and for the first time in history, the giant duo of Facebook and Google slipped in their market share. And, surprisingly, this came BEFORE the Guardian and the New York Times unleashed their exposés on the topic of Cambridge Analytica, in which it was discovered that Facebook had been aggressively marketing users’ data with little transparency or agency!

Consumers expect their brands to be above board and honest. Here are a few facts to validate that consumers appreciate a brand’s digital honesty now, more than ever:

  • A recent study by Label Insight revealed that 94% of today’s consumers are loyal to a brand that is transparent
  • 73% say that they would be willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency
  • The Altimeter Group’s study revealed that of the 1,753 influencers surveyed, 71% said that their followers remained engaged because of the influencer’s authenticity
  • 30% of today’s consumers say that they now have little or no trust regarding products they see on Facebook
  • 38% of consumers report that they would lose confidence in a brand if they discovered that the content wasn’t genuine

Genius Monkey agrees with those who demand transparency; we demand it, too, because we realize that trust is everything. This is why we strive to always be on top of the leaderboard when it comes to transparency in attribution and measurement, as well as detecting and minimizing fraudulent traffic. We want to meet the goals of our clients regardless of where our ads are placed.

This demand for better accountability and improved service all started approximately two years ago, when Facebook admitted to artificially inflating their metric for the average time that users spent watching videos. They stated that it was because they were only counting views of more than three seconds. It then continued into last year following the discovery that some of the ads were posted on YouTube very near content that had been deemed to be racist or extreme in some fashion.

Because of this scandalous firestorm, some big names in marketing have been reshaping their relationships with these two huge ad behemoths. In fact, they placed more pressure on these giants by leveraging their rivalries with the not-quite-so-huge companies like Twitter and Snapchat – all in the name of putting more pressure on the two market leaders, Google and Facebook.

Now, as Genius Monkey has been preaching for years, there are several companies who actively police their ad purchases to ensure they stay away from objectionable content and criminal behavior.

Better yet, there are those who have taken our suggestion of having multiple third-party verification services, using one of them to monitor the others in a police-the-police fashion. There are even those who are cutting their budgets and insisting on more transparency from Google and Facebook regarding the performance and effectiveness of their ads. They need reassurance that they are not wasting ad spend.

Deborah Wall, at that time the U.S. Marketing Chief for the McDonald’s Corp, said while addressing Facebook, “If our boards come to us and ask us, ‘Do you know where these dollars went?’ and we cannot confirm it, we have a problem and therefore, you do.”

This is all proof positive of the importance of transparency and honesty. What’s even more important though, is to always stay media agnostic, using attribution to best qualify which ads are working and where they are most effective. When you do this, everything else usually falls into place.

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