I’ve had a number of interesting conversations with advertisers in recent weeks regarding brand safety and our guarantee. Whether at the iMedia Agency Summit or as part of 2010 upfronts, it’s been an interesting topic now, given the wave of new to market page level content filtering and ad verification technology.
What’s compelling is that the feedback I received was pretty consistent. Brand marketers today are very interested in the quality of the publisher and the position of the placement – and a bit less concerned about page content that may result from audiences providing feedback to or joining in with the conversation about the content in “live” sections of the web page. This is a direct response to the acceptance that we now live in a world where media is social and consumers expect to have the opportunity to interact with the content. Of course, this whole premise is based on a fundamental assumption that starts with publisher quality and the quality audiences attracted to this content. Marketers understand that the ecosystem today is very democratic.
Of course, if a marketer had a very specific concern (think airlines and disaster-related content on top-tier news sites) then we could and would deploy one of several off-the-shelf content filtering technologies now available to both agencies and networks (and I was happy to see a few of those companies participate at the December iMedia conference in Arizona). But, after running thousands of campaigns, page-level content filtering requests are limited. It’s just not as relevant when you’re running only on top-tier publishers.
Follow up discussion revolved around the Undertone Guarantee. When asking our customers why the Guarantee is important to them, I hear the following: Long before there were verification and content filtering technologies, Undertone built technology and just as importantly, a process, to monitor the quality of the publishers we work with, the effectiveness those publishers demonstrate at delivering our clients’ messages, and the emphasis those publishers put on the quality of the content on each page – whether professionally produced or user-generated. We have and will continue to put our money where our mouth is as we evolve to meet our growing customer base. The marketplace responds in kind to that message. When it comes to our passion for quality, some may actually say that Undertone is over the top!
We’re happy to see that our customers and competitors are responding to our positioning on quality and our guarantee. It’s an important conversation, and in fact it’s really gratifying to have our competitors join in the dialogue – even if they can’t match our guarantee.