Integral Ad Science on Friday announced the launch of Causal Impact, a new ad measurement tool meant to help advertisers understand the impact of viewability rates on digital ad campaigns.
“[We can] finally answer the real question that every advertiser wants answered: 'Which of my ad placements are truly making an impact and influencing consumer actions?'” stated Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral.
Causal Impact puts consumers into two groups -- those that have been exposed to at least one viewable ad (the test group) ad and those that haven’t (the control group) -- to determine the impact viewability has on conversion rates. A digital display ad is deemed viewable if at least 50% of the ad’s pixels are in-view on the consumer’s screen for at least one continuous second, as per the Media Rating Council’s standards.
Kiril Tsemekhman, chief data officer and SVP of Integral, spoke with Real-Time Daily about the tool, noting that advertisers can use it to understand which consumers are being impacted by ads and which consumers would have bought something regardless of ad exposure. Even if the ad is not viewable on a consumer’s screen, Integral can still track that consumer via cookie-tracking. If that consumer eventually purchases the product that was advertised (without ever actually seeing an ad), then the Causal Impact tool lets advertisers know that person was going to purchase the product regardless of ad exposure.
Tsemekhman acknowledged that the tool can not know beyond a doubt the impact of viewable ads -- a consumer still may have been planning to purchase a product regardless of whether or not they were exposed to an ad about it -- but he asserted that there are correlations between view rates and conversion rates.
He added that advertisers can also use the new tool to determine which publishers are underperforming. If there is marginal difference between the control and test group on a particular site, for instance, Tsemekhman said advertisers can use that data to adjust where their ads are being served.
“Often, simple concepts are most profound and effective,” stated Oleg Korenfield, SVP of advertising technology and platform at MediaVest.
The tool works whether the ads were bought via programmatic means, such as real-time bidding (RTB), or through a direct deal, per Tsemekhman.
Integral says it launched the tool to put “otherwise useless, unviewable ads to work for advertises.” According to Integral’s most recent quarterly report, there are currently more unviewable ads than viewable ads on ad exchanges.