By: Susan Panico, Senior Vice President of Strategic Solutions, Pandora
My first digital media buy wasn’t a buy at all. In fact, it was “added value” to a print buy. That was back in the day when buttons and banners were new and enticed people to “click through” to a website, but that was about all they did (yes, I am dating myself!). As marketers, we didn’t foresee how cluttered it would become and, even more concerning, how little control we had over where our ads appeared.
This is the situation the industry finds itself in today, as the world’s largest digital media publisher faces backlash after it was discovered that ads were appearing next to offensive content. The Economist described the situation best: “never before have so many advertisers raised concerns about what they call ‘brand safety’ all at once.”
As an industry, we’ve debated a lot of whack-a-mole topics: Will programmatic replace real sales people? Will ad blocking put publishers out of business? Will people see my ad? Did real people see my ad? And most recently, where will my ad end up?
What this really comes down to is quality. How can advertisers achieve scale–in the most efficient and effective way possible–while not sacrificing the quality of their ad placements?
This is an important question to ask before buying audio, display or video advertising–three solutions Pandora frequently offers our brand partners. Maintaining quality is our utmost priority and something our team at Pandora has thought long and hard about (and continues to think about) in order to understand how we define quality for ourselves and the brands we work with.
At Pandora, we unwaveringly accepted the responsibility to ensure brand messages are served in a brand-safe and viewable environment. So, what does that mean exactly?:
That’s why the onus is on us as marketers, brands, agencies and publishers to fight hard to enforce our own standards and ethics around quality. As marketers, we have a duty to protect the integrity of the brand we support, so doing the necessary due diligence to confirm where our ads get placed is imperative to ensuring that every impression is a quality impression.
Susan Panico is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Solutions at Pandora, working to fuse the passion point of music with the power of personalization to deliver marketing solutions that capture hearts, minds and ROI for Pandora brand partners. Follow her on Twitter at @SusanPanico.