Many brand owners in China want more transparency on the costs of purchasing digital ads, according to new figures from R3 and Admaster.

According to the researchers’ 2012 annual survey, a large majority (84%) of advertisers agree that it is “important” for independent third parties to analyse digital marketing outcomes and build industry benchmarks.

Moreover, just 16% say they are currently getting “competitive” digital media rates. The majority (69%) believe they are only getting the “industry average”, while 6% termed their rates “uncompetitive”.

“Marketers will only continue to invest more in digital if they can enjoy the same levels of accuracy and insight they are achieving with other media,” Greg Paull, principal of R3, said. “It’s time for greater transparency and results.”

Despite these concerns, marketers still plan large increases to their digital adspend, and are forecast to raise online budgets by 27% in 2012, up from 2011’s 18% increase.

Almost a third (31%) of brand owners plan to raise budgets by 20% or more.

When asked about venues for this increased investment, respondents were most likely to cite online video, with 23% planning to raise budgets in this area.

Micro-blog marketing came second on 20%, with social networks third on 16%. 

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