News Corp Chief Executive Blames Programmatic Networks for Eroding the Content Legitimacy

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Brands are increasingly playing like media companies, trying to compete in a hyper-personalized marketplace by leveraging accelerate content discovery platforms. Marketers no longer wait for campaigns to generate traffic; rather it’s programmatic algorithm that runs the campaign performance using customer data from multiple devices. In a bid to promote brand content at a breakneck pace, marketers overlook the quality of the content. That’s exactly what Robert Thomson, the Chief Executive of News Corp, has to say about content’s integrity. He cited Times Of London’s report n big brands funding “extremists and hardcore pornographers.

Robert James Dell'Oro Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp
Robert James Dell’Oro Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp

“Digital distributors have long been a platform for the fake, the faux and the fallacious (and) have eroded the integrity of content by undermining its provenance. Ad agencies and their programmatic networks are also at fault because they have sometimes artificially aggregated audiences, and these are then plied with the content of dubious provenance.”

In an increasingly competitive programmatic ad marketplace, advertisers seek reassurance about their brand inventories that are displayed across channels.

“In the ad market, there has been an awakening and there will surely be a reckoning,” said Mr. Thomson. “Audiences are craving integrity,” noting how many News Corp mastheads have reported strong growth in readers and subscribers. Thomson added how content integrity is the most priceless asset for any brand. However, digital media owners and distributors continue to embrace “the fake, the faux and the fallacious”, affecting the legitimacy of the content creators.

Programmatic marketing, though in its infancy, has sprouted a wide range of opportunities for media owners, offering an effective content distribution model. However, the content legitimacy and its accountability remain a dubious aspect of programmatic marketing, especially when it narrates a rhetoric storyline sans logic.

Content – as a brand asset in marketing, extends commercial and social influence to every identity in the digital supply chain. The quality of content (especially the ambiguous ones) affects the commercial and social currency when programmatic algorithms deliver them. A tweak in the programmatic can change the factual integrity of the content – something brand marketers can no longer afford to experiment with.

Thomson squarely blamed the ad agencies and their programmatic networks for stashing dubious content across the web, social and mobile. He maintains that brand affinity and integrity are core elements of a sustainable relationship between advertiser and consumer, and yet affinity and integrity are far too often missing in the modern marketplace. The hardest challenge advertisers in 2017 will encounter is the analytics quoted by the digital platforms and ad agencies. They don’t want muddled metrics and they don’t want digital platforms and ad agencies arbitraging ambiguity.

Thomson recounted the efforts carried out at News Corp to deal with programmatic frauds. “We are (also) testing our own digital ad network, which will provide a measurable, high-quality audience for advertisers, who are increasingly wary, and rightly so, about the murky, tenebrous world of digital advertising.”

Automation and machine learning capabilities in MarTech have allowed programmatic to raise its bar for customer experience. Intelligent algorithms allow micro-segmentation of customers based on their behavior, demography, buying pattern and even use of apps. Data-driven multi-touch attribution helps clear the bottlenecks in content delivery, enabling advertisers to schedule the right message at the right time.

As DMPs acquire higher efficiency and collaboration with the supply-chain systems, real-time programmatic content will help plug the gap between fake and real.

Content legitimacy in a programmatic ecosystem will decide the future of B2B commerce across the diversified customer base.

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