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09 Jul 2024
Marketing | 3 min read

Transparency in Advertising: The Push for Greater Clarity and Accountability

Rockerbox - Ashley McAlpin Written by Ashley McAlpin
on July 09, 2024

The advertising industry is experiencing a transformative period driven by technological advancements and evolving consumer behaviors. As advertisers push to reach audiences across various digital and non-digital platforms, the need for transparent and reliable performance metrics has never been more critical. But, navigating the measurement landscape has proven difficult as privacy, security, and data challenges arise. 

Today, the industry as a whole relies heavily on in-platform reporting metrics provided by giants like Facebook, Google, and TikTok. While these metrics offer valuable insights, they often lack the granularity and transparency needed for a comprehensive understanding of ad performance. For instance, metrics such as clicks and impressions do not fully capture user engagement or intent, leading to discrepancies and potential mistrust among advertisers. According to a recent study by eMarketer, the majority of marketers in 2023 believe that the lack of transparency in digital advertising is a significant issue hindering their efforts to optimize campaigns effectively.

This issue is compounded by the disparity in how different platforms define engagement metrics. For example, Meta's definition of an "engaged view" is the total number of actions users take within 10 seconds, while Snap counts the total number of 15-second impressions. These inconsistencies make it challenging for advertisers to compare performance across platforms accurately.

Changes and Innovations in Advertising Platforms

In response to these challenges, major advertising platforms are beginning to implement changes aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability. One notable example is Meta's Conversions API (CAPI), which provides advertisers with more accurate data by allowing them to share key web and offline events directly from their servers to Facebook’s servers. This innovation helps bridge the gap between on-platform and off-platform data, theoretically enabling advertisers to measure the full customer journey and optimize their campaigns more effectively. 

Similarly, platforms like Google and TikTok are investing in advanced measurement solutions and collaborating with third-party partners to provide advertisers with a clearer picture of their ad performance. TikTok, for instance, is working with measurement partners  (like Rockerbox) to develop standards that help advertisers confidently measure their ad performance on the platform, resulting in advertisers seeing up to a 6x increase in conversions and 75% improvement in CPA  .

These efforts are crucial for building trust and ensuring that advertisers can make data-driven decisions. 

Rockerbox's Perspective: The Need for Third-Party Verification

At Rockerbox, we recognize that while these advancements are steps in the right direction, in-platform reporting will always have its limitations. Metrics provided by individual platforms are inherently biased, as they serve the interests of the platform itself. This can lead to inconsistencies and a lack of holistic understanding when comparing performance across multiple platforms.

We’ve spent the past two years prioritizing relationships with the top advertising channels like Reddit, Snap, TikTok, and Pinterest to deliver our customers deterministic, view-based datasets that allow them to scale these walled gardens more effectively.

This deterministic data allows us to track user interactions across different devices and platforms, providing a more accurate representation of the customer journey. This level of granularity is essential for optimizing ad spend and improving ROAS.

The push for greater transparency in advertising is a crucial step toward a more accountable and effective industry. While platforms like Meta, Google, and TikTok are making significant strides with innovations, the inherent biases in in-platform reporting cannot be overlooked. Rockerbox's commitment to partnering with ad platforms ensures that our clients receive the most accurate, transparent, and actionable insights available.

The advertising landscape today continues to evolve, and so do we.

No more confusion. Just real marketing insights.

Talk to our team about how Rockerbox can change the way you spend—for the better.