This comprehensive trend report explores how measurement is getting
more sophisticated, more specific to the advertiser and more
embracing of brand interactions and the debate around viewability.
Order it here.
If you aren't ready for the shift, now is the time to start
preparing. It's virtually inevitable that a request for viewable
metrics is going to end up in an RFP on your desk in the not too
distant future. If you're not equipped to respond, the advertiser
is going to spend its money with the publisher that is . Here's
what to do:
First, work with your advertising-operations people. Start
quizzing them about your current ad server and whether it's getting
ready for the age of viewability. Ad-serving companies such as
24/7, Atlas and Google are working toward viewability certification
with the Media Rating Council. Viewability vendors also include
companies like RealVu, comScore and Double Verify.
Then do some tests to learn how the viewable impression will
impact your site(s). We did this and are beginning to understand
where portions of our sites suffer from low viewability.
Third, use the data you've collected to instigate a series of
course corrections. These shifts should incorporate both art and
science, technology and creativity.
The science aspect requires responding to questions like: Is our
page file size too fat? Are the files too big and rendering too
slowly? Are there too many data tags slowing the page load? How do
we handle iFrames?
The artistic element means focusing on such key questions as:
Are the ads positioned in a place where they can be easily viewed?
Is the site best designed for maximum viewability? I've seen a host
of ideas proposed to respond to such questions. One is to "appify"
a site, so that it works more like an app on a tablet or a phone,
where there is no scrolling and the ad is always visible. Another
viable solution is the suite of IAB Rising Star
units, larger canvases designed precisely to facilitate
changed its design as a result of its viewability efforts in 2010.
Rather than requiring people to click through multiple pages to
read one story, it opted for a large scrolling page. People would
scroll down and ads would only count against the campaign goals
once they were scrolled into view. This might not work for
everyone. There's room for creativity and not one universal
solution for viewability.
The fundamental need is for publishers to begin an ongoing
series of adjustments and measurements to pinpoint what works best
for them and their advertisers. When advertisers know their ads are
visible, when they see a rise in performance, when we have
conversations based on the reality that there is a finite amount of
valuable advertising space online, and when we are able to make
apples-to-apples comparisons with other media that rely on
viewability measures, advertiser confidence in buying display ads
increases. They buy more. Publishers are then empowered to forecast
higher pricing for a reasonable portion of their inventory, and to
prospect for brands that have shied away from the interactive
marketplace. Effectiveness and measurability increases; confidence
and pricing grows. We all win.
This prosperous future, however, is available only to publishers
who take the admittedly uncomfortable steps of re-evaluating the
volume of their inventory, and then the value of that inventory.
Though arduous, this path is significantly less threatening than
the alternative. Businesses that choose not to measure up risk a
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Naylor is
Executive Vice President, Digital Media Sales, NBCUniversal, and
Chairman of the Board of Directors, IAB.