The world of online advertising is moving at such a rapid pace it is hard to keep up. Understanding policies and restrictions, or in this case lack thereof, will help you make better decisions by knowing why things are happening.
Let’s start off with a little background on the issue:
Advisory: (November 14, 2012) “MRC [Media Rating Council] believes it is premature to transact on viewability in advance of a fuller understanding of [viewability]… MRC recommends that the entire ecosystem continue to test and refine the definitions, thresholds and implementation steps required to transition to a viewable impressions currency for Internet media transactions.”
The MRC wanted to learn more about this new concept of “viewable impressions” before they sanctioned it as a commodity. The MRC said, “Moving to a new, as yet not fully measurable currency on a wholesale basis at this juncture could do more harm than good.” It makes sense because they needed to develop a uniform set of definitions, standards, and to be able to regulate the market.
Standards: “Once the need for an industry-wide advancement in interactive media measurement became clear, the trade associations came together to address it.” Developed by the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS ), a cross-industry coalition committed to developing digital metrics & measurement solutions. The 3MS includes collaboration with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s ) the national trade association representing the advertising agency business in the United States, Association of National Advertisers (ANA ), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), & the Media Rating Council (MRC ).
Lifting the Ban: The initial timeline for lifting the MRC viewable impression advisory was by the end of 2013, but had been pushed back to Q1 of 2014—with a new date of April, 1 2014. After extensive review of the technology and processes used to measure ad viewability, the MRC gathered enough information to make a standard. They now feel informed enough to promote viewability as a commodity.
Publishers: Your clients are going to want more information on who is actually seeing their ads. This is due to the fact that they will be transacting on viewability more frequently outside of working with you. Big name publishers have already been getting requests from big companies to measure and transact on ad viewability.
Viewability helps publishers. Your most viewed digital ad placements can now be sold at a “premium” rate and best of all, you have the numbers to back it up. On top of getting more money for highly visible placements, you can now optimize your site so every ad you sell can be viewed for the perfect amount of time and then dynamically swapped out, as well as ensure your ad units are strategically placed to get the most viewability as possible. Regarding switching out ads after optimal view times (see chart below):
Brands: Viewability unlocks quality data and insights that were never before accessible. This data includes: who your ad is being seen by, how many times they see it, for how long, and what action it is driving. Gaining access to reliable numbers to convey ad effectiveness is a huge step forward. In the past, numbers have been based on impressions and due to the nature of that measurement, they may not be the most accurate: if you base your action off of bad data it is a cycle driving failure.
Agencies: You are going to be affected by viewability, but not to worry—it will help you. “How?” you may ask. By having hard numbers that have been sanctified by a reputable organization (MRC) to present to clients, by bringing new success metrics to your clients that go beyond the old CTR – unlocking brand opportunities, and by better refining the efficiency of your client’s ad buys. It will help quantify the ROI on the ads you produce and make it easier to understand what part of your ad spend is being wasted. It’s also important that your viewability solution allows you to track ads via unlimited parameters, so you can monitor the success or failure of each advertisement at a very granular level – campaign, network, page, publisher, impression ID, cookie ID, geo, etc. You will need this level of granularity to take advantage of the full suite of opportunities ad viewability provides. Finally, make sure your vendor can accommodate RTB as well, with real time measurement and data access.
Next Steps & Key Takeaways:
1) Go with a viewability company that is MRC accredited—this means they are conforming to the rules and regulations that have been developed by a reputable organization that has been setting measurement guidelines for over 50 years. AdYapper is the most recent addition.
2) Use a company that has easy implementation. No one wants to waste his or her time trying to understand how to make the dang thing work. AdYapper has an easy implementation time of ten minutes.
3) *Warning: The numbers coming out of viewability can be vast, so make sure the numbers are not only presented in an actionable way, but that they actually mean something and are tailored to your goals; don’t settle for drinking from the fire hose here – DEMAND RESULTS & ROI. AdYapper gives you actionable numbers, beautiful customized dashboards, and a dedicated team who work on your behalf to bring you real results.
4) Use a measurement that gives you numbers in real time. Having reports that generate numbers at the end of the week/month or whatever the timeline may be are not truly actionable numbers. They are a record of the past. With the ability to see numbers in real time you can adjust your strategy, leverage for RTB, and turn on a dime. AdYapper allows you to understand what is working in real time, which is critical. Imagine the money wasted on high volume campaigns, simply because of data lag.