Sylvain Deffay is Country Manager, France at Infectious Media
As 2013 kicked off with the e-marketing conference in Paris, it seems that the importance of measuring online advertising viewability has impacted the French programmatic market. I was presenting along with several of my peers on the possibilities of viewability and where the technology is going, whilst Alenty presented jointly with AppNexus about their latest viewability app.
To date, viewability has been associated more with branding campaigns than performance, for obvious reasons. However, by ignoring viewability measurement in performance marketing, we are implying that the click remains the best measurement, and not the impression. It is time for us in France, with such a strong performance market, to explain and promote the efficiency of seen impressions in generating conversions, even without a click.
A measure of viewability can help us do this, and could not be more timely with the latest reports showing that, on average, anywhere from 30-50% of impressions are not viewed in standard run-of-network campaigns. The good news is we are now in a position to filter the real from the fake post impression conversions. Firstly, there is no need to account for post impression on unseen banners. Through comparing the uplift in conversions based on accumulated view-time, instead of just the usual frequency metric, each advertiser, and its trading desk, can now define which of the tracked post-impression conversions can be really considered as genuine conversions. This can be a great interim strategy to eliminate accounting for unseen impressions.
As viewability drives smarter measurement of performance, it entails a smarter buy from the trading desk. Many of us in France can now effectively measure the average viewability of adverts for campaigns, but only after the fact (a posteriori). Doing this takes a lot of manual work, however. By accumulating experience, site by site, publisher by publisher, the number of non-viewable impressions can be minimised when carefully selecting inventory sources. This will give campaigns marginally higher viewability, but has the related effect of excluding whole domains from a campaign, drastically narrowing available inventory and limiting targeting options.
The best value of measurement tools will come when you can automatically optimise campaigns to the predicted viewability of every single impression in real time. True automation will only come when this is integrated into the DSP, resulting in no effort from the trading desk to buy on viewability metrics.
The strength and scale of the performance offering in France has led many advertisers to view programmatic display buying through the lens of “last click wins”, with little room for the viewablity agenda. Viewability data offers the opportunity though, to not only to align with offline media measurement (characterised as eyeballs-on-ads), but also to provide more effective performance advertising campaigns, where all adverts can have a measured impact on conversion.
Whilst viewability data helps us all validate the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns, it also carries with it a groundswell that should change our industry in the long term.