Enterprise Entropy: Large Firms Face Metric And Fraud Display Ad Challenges

The art of buying digital display advertising is not as advanced as hype would have it, judging by Digital Display Advertising From the Enterprise Perspective, a new study from OMI, conducted by Ascend2. 

For one thing, the click-through rate is ranked as the leading success measurement.

This is surprising because the sample consists of enterprise organizations—those with 500 employees or more. Firms that size should be relying on metrics more directly tied to ROI, right?

But the respondents admit that measuring ROI is their top challenge.  

Media buyers are being done a serious disservice if their executives fail to back them with more sophisticated measurement strategies than that: You can only fake it on click-throughs for so long. And it cannot not be good news for publishers who seek to provide hyper-personalized capabilities. 

Then there is the alarming finding that almost a fifth of companies feel threatened by ad fraud and invalid traffic resulting from non-human bots. While not the biggest problem, it has the potential to get far worse if companies lack the tools to fight it.   



Of the executives polled, 23% are very concerned about fraud and the resulting waste of advertising spend, and 61% are somewhat troubled by it. The study notes that 23% of the $88 billion spent on programmatic advertising is wasted. 

Finally, 28% claim their agency partners and marketing vendors could be more transparent about critical campaign elements. A mere 18% feel their partners are fully transparent, and 49% that they are satisfactory. 

Of course, most express confidence in their ability to buy digital display advertising—at least to some extent. While only 33% say digital display is extremely effective in driving conversions and sales, 61% feel it is somewhat effective, and few call it ineffective. 

Yet only 24% extensively leverage programmatic advertising campaigns, and 52% do so to some extent. 

For the benefit of publishers, the individuals surveyed list their buying challenges as follows:

  • Measuring accurate ROI and performance metrics—42%
  • Finding the right target audience for the ads—41% 
  • Budget constraints for effective campaigns—30%
  • Ad placement and contextual visibility—29%
  • Ad viewability and visibility—29%
  • Ad blocks impacting ad reach—27%
  • Balancing creative elements with performance goals—26%
  • Optimizing for mobile and cross-device compatibility—24%
  • Ad fraud and invalid traffic—18%
  • Here is how they measure it: 
  • Click-through rate (CTR)—55%
  • Engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments)—54% 
  • Conversion rate—54% 
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS)—44% 
  • View-through conversions—28%
  • Other/unsure—7%

What kinds of ads are they buying? The leading digital display formats are: 

  • Banner ads—70% 
  • Video ads—69%
  • Pop-up ads—45% 
  • Native ads—32% 
  • Interstitial ads—20%
  • Other—9% 

Ascend2 surveyed 170 enterprise marketers in August 2023. Of these, 16% were in B2B, 55% in B2C and 29% in B2B and B2C equally. 


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