A Move To Quality

Quality is a word in digital media that hasn’t been spoken much in recent years. It’s been overcome by words and phrases relating to efficiencies, programmatic, reach, audience extension, and the like. However, it’s word that is of great importance to luxury buyers and brands and the pendulum is starting to swing back where quality is making a comeback to our lexicon.

Why should quality media be important to premium and luxury brands and how can it be measured? It is important because premium and luxury brands have spent years, decades and even centuries building quality products and building preeminent brands. Quality is so often at the center of a premium and luxury brands products that the idea of marketing in ways that don’t reinforce this quality is anathema to the company / brand itself. Simply considering having a premium brand next to poor quality content with a poor user experience and weak creative speaks to why quality should be at the center of every premium brand marketer's playbook.

Measuring quality can be done quite easily when the marketer has this at the center of their playbook. First, the ad needs to be seen by an actual user - one that is interested in the brand. This requirement drives the need for high levels of viewability and zero fraud. Requiring high viewability and zero fraud must be driven from the marketer themselves. With nearly 60% of all ads not viewed online and one-third of all ads fraudulent, the CMO needs to be educated as to why these are important questions to ask when buying digital media.

Second, quality should be measured by the company in which the brand keeps. Not only is the user that is viewing the content appropriate for the brand, but is the content itself appropriate for the brand message. Quality in content, context and look and feel and experience. Importantly, this does not limit the brands exposure to only the top publishers, but to mid and long tail quality niche content as well.

Third, the quality of the ad experience itself needs to be strengthened. As an industry, we still rely on standard media driving the bulk of impressions, yet the performance so often comes from big and beautiful ad units that truly engage the consumer. We need to be bold and move away from the belief that brands need the “bulk” of standard media to drive a low effective CPM (eCPM) and instead focus on the media that works for brand advertisers — big and beautiful high impact ads. Martini’s research based on thousands of campaigns confirms that affluent consumers are three times more engaged with high impact ads that include content.

Fourth, the quality of the engagement with a user needs to go much beyond the click. As an industry there are few that would argue with this, but what to supplement the click measurement with? The IAB says it well with their definition of ad engagement as “a spectrum of consumer advertising activities and experiences — cognitive, emotional and physical — that will have a positive impact on a brand.” To measure this, it will take creative thinking, going beyond the click, and measuring a variety of elements of a campaign.

Lastly, what in the marketplace makes us think that quality is making a comeback? Certainly announcements from the likes of GroupM that they are not buying on the open exchange and will only be focusing on viewable, non-fraudulent inventory from reputable sources is a great start.

Importantly, it’s being felt at the ground level and the senior level. We are hearing the discussion of quality emanate from CMO’s office to the media buyers and the creative agencies. Quality is coming full circle and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited for premium and luxury brands.

After all, utilizing digital as a platform, there is massive opportunity to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time, done so in a way that doesn’t have to skimp on the quality of the delivery.

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