When a publisher gets an RFP, there are usually three KPIs that are referenced. Click through, conversion, time spent on site, engagement, etc have all been identified as the most important aspects of for the campaign. But what happens when the agency also dictates that they will only pay for viewable impressions?
Recent studies have shown that if viewability is paramount, then other KPIs will suffer.
Programmatic buying has exploded this year and is poised to overtake traditional spending in the next few years. Over $10B was been spent programmatically in 2014, which represented 52% of all display media.
But a recent article in The Drum showed that viewability rates are only 50% for programmatic impressions and that number is continuing to fall. So what does the agency do knowing this?
Agencies continue to pour money into programmatic, but viewability isn’t measured for that portion of their buy. As a publisher, I’d prefer to be bought programmatically since I wouldn’t have the added layer of scrutiny placed on those impressions, particularly when there is no standard for measurement of viewable impressions.
Agencies need to find a balance between delivering their clients key KPIs, and viewability. As a client, I’m not sure I would want such hard and fast rules on viewability if my sales will suffer because my core KPIs aren’t met. It also sounds like agencies are talking out of both sides of their mouths.
They spend billions programmatically, but don’t put viewability measurements on those impressions. Yet when they buy for a brand campaign, impressions will only be paid for if they’re viewable. That doesn’t seem right, does it? Are programmatic impressions less valuable than brand impressions? I wouldn’t think so.
As always, publishers will work in tandem with agencies and brands to find the right mix of media to help achieve their clients goals. Let’s just make sure we know the KPI that truly matters and optimize toward it.