As technology advances, it opens new doors for discovery. When this happens, it typically requires evolving standards of measurement—no matter the field or industry in which the advancement occurs.
Take professional sports, for example. The advent of instant replay allows for more accurate play-calling, giving referees the opportunity to review video and more fairly enforce the rules of the game. (Although sometimes to the disappointment of players and fans hoping to benefit from human error.)
When we apply the same lens to the digital advertising landscape and observe the progress in measurement compared to the technology available today, the industry is unquestionably lagging.
As advertising has become increasingly programmatic, the prevalence of fraud and other forces have set forth a truncated standard in how the industry is measuring ad success. In an effort to ensure that their ads are meeting the baseline requirements—valid, viewable, and safe—brands are forgetting to measure what is truly important: are their ads capturing consumer attention?
Content produced in collaboration with Oracle Data Cloud.
Ad verification is undoubtedly not a bad thing. When the guidelines were first set by the Media Rating Council (MRC) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), advertisers were thrilled they finally had a benchmark to measure their campaigns against, with standardized targets for validity, viewability, and brand safety.
In fact, ad verification might be one of the most critical innovations in the ad tech industry to date. Not only does the threat of ad fraud persist, but transparency into all types of invalid traffic (IVT) continues to protect campaign budgets, and brand safety is a requirement for any programmatic environment. All of these use cases make ad verification an essential part of digital advertising measurement.
However, verification needs to be the first step in the measurement process, not the final stop. By looking beyond verification, marketers can improve their reporting and get real insight into how an ad may be influencing business goals.
Let’s look at it this way: verification provides the opportunity to succeed. But it is not the definition of success in and of itself.
There are many reasons why it’s time for advertisers to evolve beyond ad verification.
First, the technology is available. To continue stale tactics and ignore innovation is anti-business. Measuring real success provides the opportunity to learn, grow, and, most importantly, to make an impact with advertising.
Another reason to employ advancements is in response to the vastly changing landscape of digital media and consumer attention as a whole.
When the first banner ad launched in 1994, the website experience was a little different (to say the least). It’s estimated there were less than three thousand websites even published yet, compared to the 1.5 billion available today.
Beyond the traditional web, the introduction of smartphones and tablets brought a whole new stream of opportunity in the form of mobile in-app advertising.
Zooming out and observing the broader media landscape, the television industry also has seen an enormous shift, even in just the last five to 10 years. From Netflix to Disney+ to the growth of YouTube, digital streaming continues to gain steam and challenge the traditional linear market.
All of these variables illustrate a fragmented market for consumer attention, but one that is navigable with the proper tools in place. Evolved measurement strategies will assist advertisers who are tapping into multiple channel types and give insight into which areas are most effective for them.
It is hard to break old habits and enlist new tactics, but demanding more from advertising metrics will raise the bar for the entire industry. By making consumer attention the currency for successful digital advertising, not only will advertisers begin to get a more detailed picture of whether their creative efforts are working, but consumers will be delighted with better user experiences as a whole.
So, how exactly can advertisers measure consumer attention? By accessing more in-depth metrics, including:
By focusing on more robust insights and demanding more than the baseline, advertisers will achieve what they’re ultimately aiming for: uncovering thoughtful ways to interact with customers.
Taking a cue from the professional sports industry, advertisers need to throw out their old playbooks, take advantage of the technology available to them, and raise the bar on their measurement game.
Access to the right metrics, in the right places, at the right moments, can capture consumer attention with compelling brand stories and make lasting impressions. Why resist innovation when it can benefit both sides of the advertising experience? It’s time to evolve past ad verification and measure what truly matters.
Mark Kopera leads the Moat Analytics Product organization at Oracle Data Cloud (ODC). Part of the ODC, Moat makes brand advertising more effective by delivering software to measure and optimize media against viewability and attention, brand safety, invalid traffic, and quality. Prior to Moat, Mark held ad tech leadership positions at Rocket Fuel, [x+1], appssavvy, and Digitas. He also advised media, retail and consumer goods companies and investors as a part of OC&C Strategy Consultants.
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