How Advances In Viewability Boost Programmatic Buying

Marketers' biggest challenge has always been reaching the folks who want to buy their product. That’s why retailers have been thrilled by programmatic marketing — a practice through which retailers can reach customers with display ads based on the site pages they visited, the content they’ve consumed, and even the search terms they’ve entered into sites like Google.

Essentially, programmatic marketing is giving marketers super powers. And new advances in ad viewability are making them even more powerful.

The Power of Ad Viewability

Programmatic marketing is made possible by real-time-bidding (RTB) on ad exchanges, which allows marketers to automatically bid to serve display ads to specific users. So, if you’re a marketer for an insurance company and you know a user just searched for “affordable auto insurance” on Google, you’ll place a high bid to serve that user an ad offering deals on affordable auto insurance.



But while reaching the right person is important, so is making sure that they have a chance to see the ad. A recent study by Integral Ad Science found that users are 250% more likely to convert when they’re exposed to multiple long impressions of an ad (in view for 5 seconds or more), versus multiple short impressions (in view for less than 5 seconds).

And it applies for even one impression. A user exposed to one long ad-impression is 31% more likely to convert than a user exposed to a short impression. That’s pretty incredible — and very significant

The Problem: An Epidemic of Ads That Can’t Be Seen

Simply put, marketers are paying for a lot of ads that are being served but not seen. Some ads are stacked on top of one another, meaning that only the ad on top is in view. Other ads are made invisible after being stuffed into a 1 x 1 iframe. Others are even being fraudulently viewed and clicked on by bots. And others still are being refreshed and swapped out every second by sketchy publishers trying to maximize the ad impressions delivered.

Ultimately, this has led to an epidemic of un-viewable ads. Integral’s study found that only 40% of ads bought through ad exchanges are truly in view.

But don’t think that means you should buy directly from publishers: only 50% of ads bought directly from publishers are in view.

In fact, the best solution to this problem is achieved through programmatic buying.

The Solution: Predictive Viewability

Lucky for us, ad technology companies have developed ways to predict the quality of an ad impression before you make a programmatic buy, providing crucial information like:

-Page Context (News? Gardening? Porn?)

-Brand Safety Score (Are there curse words on this page? Porn? Curse-word-filled porn?)

-Viewability (Quality of the ad: 91st percentile? 20th percentile?)

-# Ads on Page (So you know your competition)

-Suspicious Activity (Is there fraud ahead?)

-Ad Collisions (Likelihood of it occurring)

Allthese factors are crunched to give an overall quality score for the ad impression. Ultimately, these new predictive metrics allow programmatic marketers to make sure that they only buy ads that are going to be seen, and seen in brand-safe environments. This allows them to eliminate an incredible amount of waste and get a big leg up on marketers buying directly from publishers, who face the unfortunate reality that half the ads they buy are never seen.

Predictive viewability also makes the Internet a better place. Publishers that offer a high-quality, brand-safe environment from ads are rewarded, meaning that quality content is rewarded. Programmatic buying and selling becomes much more efficient, helping display’s ROI trump other channels — which leads to greater brand investment. And readers are treated to a single elegant ad, instead of a schizophrenic iframe swapping in new impressions every second.

More and more media-buying platforms are offering this kind of predictive viewability solution, and it’s great news for marketers everywhere. Without a doubt, brands have a new must-ask question of their media partners: Do you have ad viewability covered?

1 comment about "How Advances In Viewability Boost Programmatic Buying".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Remy Edwards from Facilitate Digital, June 10, 2013 at 7:22 p.m.

    Good article, Chris. It goes without saying that ad viewability is imperative to the effectiveness of programmatic buying. As agency partners we have done considerable research that exposed tremendous amounts of wastage in online advertising. If marketers continue to spend blindly without the ability to measure the true visibility of online advertising - they run the risk of adversely impacting the benefit of programmatic marketing.

Next story loading loading..