How to cut out ad complexity and improve viewability

Experts agree marketers can better leverage consumer data technology to boost ad viewability

Expert panel at the recent IAB Summit moderated by Brad Howarth discuss the importance of effectiveness and viewability
Expert panel at the recent IAB Summit moderated by Brad Howarth discuss the importance of effectiveness and viewability

Experts on a panel discussion at the IAB Summit in Sydney, agree the pressure is on brands to better utilise consumer data technology to support advertising and marketing functions in order to increase viewability.

“Viewability is obviously vital, because that’s what we are doing, paying for ads to be views,” CEO of Redballoon, Nick Baker, said. “This great promise of digital and our ability to monitor it, and to find out where it goes and what it’s doing, for marketers and advertisers, it’s almost the holy grail. And everyone expects that we’re going to be able to predict exactly where an ad is going to land and exactly who is going to see it. The reality is it’s costing us more and more, and it is becoming more fragmented.”

From a publisher point of view, commercial director at Fairfax Media, Tom Armstrong, said viewability is also one of the biggest priorities right now.

“We’ve done a lot of work in terms of testing and science, optimising ad formats and in some case redesigning sites,” he said. “If the site loads quite slowly, that also affects our viewability score.

According to Armstrong, Fairfax Media takes a proactive approach and works on a campaign by campaign basis with clients to manage better viewability.

“We have an upfront conversation before-hand to set expectations of viewability outcomes, before moving forward,” he explained.

With video content becoming more prevalent, brands also need to find innovative ways to improve viewability of video advertising. TubeMogul’s managing director, Sam Smith said when it comes to video, there is a heightened amount of sensitivity. At the same time, it is critical to keep bench-marking measurements consistent and streamlined.

“It is more expensive than display, so you care a lot more around your video efforts,” he said. “Viewability is not just about how often the ad is in play, but whether it had a chance to be seen by a human. This is good thing for premium publishers in the market. Viewability for publishers in this market is strong, and it is great to see the level of interest. So if you are a marketer or advertiser, you absolutely should be caring about it.”

For TubeMogul, viewability is critical for the business to make sure it is doing everything right by the advertiser.

“Having viewability measures as a free option within a platform is available on every one of our campaigns,” he said. “But I also believe you also need to have choice in providing open, accountable and transparent transactions."

Experts agree effectiveness is also crucial in driving engagement. Managing director of AdRoll, Ben Sharp, said click through and view-through conversion are both critical.

“If the ad is not seen, you are not delivering performance,” he said. “And the client will not continue to spend with you. Viewability is now a part of your product, and very much part of our latest product BidIQ, that makes sure not only will a person see an ad, but also click on the ad and converting.”

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