CMO Council Member Study Reveals Many Will Boost Spend in Online Video Advertising and Voice Willingness to Pay Premiums for Guaranteed Views and Deep Customer Insights

SAN JOSE, Calif. (April 24, 2018)—In a wake-up call to digital media platforms like Facebook and Google, marketing leaders globally say they will no longer tolerate deficient advertising measurement. Most see a need for more effective data transparency and detailed, timely and reliable reporting systems. 

According to a new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, news coverage about inaccurate, questionable and false digital media reporting measures have already caused 21 percent of marketers to pull back on advertising spend. More than 70 percent of brand leaders admit that negative news headlines have had an impact on budgets.

The new report, titled “Engage at Every Stage: An Investigation of Video Activation,” was produced in partnership with video journey company, ViralGains, and reveals that 95 percent of marketing leaders surveyed believe digital media must deliver more reliability. 

In a clear rebuke to the digital media industry, marketers are also calling “viewability” standards into question as only 3 percent of respondents agree on the definition advocated by the Media Rating Council. This defines reasonable viewability as 50 percent of content playing for two consecutive seconds with the sound off. In addition, 30 percent of marketers who agree with this standard admit that they can only approve of it because there isn’t a better metric to embrace.

“The frustration across the marketing ecosystem is palpable, and new headlines that breach trust and showcase systemic carelessness have inflamed the issue,” noted Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council. “The industry as a whole must align on transparency and reliability. If we don’t live up to these expectations, we will see more accounts up for review and more orders being pulled. That’s not to say all is lost; there is still excitement about the next evolution in digital engagement, especially through online video content.”

This negative outlook of the digital media landscape comes as marketers intend to significantly boost investments in online video advertising—a channel that 28 percent of respondents believe is more important than other media investments and that 40 percent say is growing in importance. In fact, 95 percent of marketers intend to increase investments in 2018, with nearly half increasing spend by up to 25 percent. 

Marketers expect more from their investments, demanding total transparency into traffic, viewers and engagement (73 percent), real-time access to customer data and intelligence (45 percent), and fees based on performance outcomes (40 percent). Intelligence is also a core demand when it comes to digital advertising as marketers are looking to learn more about their customers through the in-demand channel.

Says ViralGains CEO Tod Loofbourrow: “This research indicates that the timing is right for a massive revolution in digital video. Marketers can’t continue to judge success through superficial metrics like impressions when they are increasingly held accountable for driving meaningful, bottom-line results. Unfortunately, current industry solutions and standards are failing to facilitate this change on a number of levels—from antiquated definitions and measurements to massive breaches of data privacy. 

“In order to shift the tide, we must blend advanced ad technology with the fundamentally human arts of storytelling and conversation in order to help advertisers generate deeper consumer insights that lead to more relevant messaging and better results. That’s what we do, and our customers are transforming advertising in a way that benefits brands and consumers alike.”

The report is based on research conducted by the CMO Council through an online audit that collected insights from 233 senior marketing leaders. Of these, 163 are actively investing in digital video advertising. Some 43 percent of respondents represent companies with revenues greater than $1 billion, and 47 percent hold the title of CMO or senior vice president of marketing for their organizations. 

Additional insights around the following are also included in the report:

  • Access to and ability to leverage deeper insights about customer engagement, intent and real-time behavior

  • Outline of the measures and metrics marketers believe they can access to track impact

  • Time to insight assessment as marketers outline how long they must wait to access and act on intelligence from online video engagement

The 17-page executive summary brief is available to download as well, along with an illustrated infographic depicting top data points from the study.


About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership, and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council's 15,000-plus members control more than $500 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 65,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, Brand Inspiration Center, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, and the GeoBranding Center. For more information, visit

About ViralGains

ViralGains is a video ad journey platform that enables marketers to engage people with relevant brand stories in the contexts that people most favor. Using the platform to engage in a two-way conversation, brands discover exactly what people want—and how they feel—and build a unique journey that connects highly qualified consumers with relevant messages that generate awareness, motivate intent, and impact purchase decisions. ViralGains is headquartered in Boston, with regional offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Detroit. For more information, please contact us at