Why viewability is making us all shortsighted

If your advert has no opportunity to be seen, it’s useless.

At first this seems obvious.

But perhaps it’s the wrong way to look at the problem.

While viewability is a critical issue for the digital ad industry to solve, it creates myopic definitions of what’s ‘been seen’.

That discussion is actually about what you’re agreeing to pay for.

And  – while you should only place a value on ads audited as viewable at an agreed minimum standard – it shouldn’t be the starting point for your buying strategy.

You can set pre-bid or deterministic whitelists and viewability standards at up to 100%, but our own data across hundreds of campaigns shows that goal to be both unrealistic and inefficient.

Not only will it exclude publishers that are a perfect fit for your brand, it can limit your exposure to potential customers and drastically affect the price you pay to reach them.

Plus, if you only focus on viewability as a metric, you’ll end up spending money with publishers & exchanges that are best at gaming the system to get paid the most.

All at the expense of your budget and campaign performance.

We’ve repeatedly seen that buying against a lower predicted viewability percentage for some inventory can create significantly higher results overall.

So instead, we think you should be modelling what will make your campaign effective, and creating your own definition of acceptable viewability each time.

We recommend creating a series of inventory and audience tiers you want to bid for using a combination of pre-bid factors.

This creates your own Minimum Viewability Target as a base-line to buy against for the first phase of your campaign and ensures you don’t miss out on pools of both valuable inventory & potential customers.

Written by Ben Wilkins, Managing Director at Regital UK & Ireland

This opinion piece is part of our Practical Playbook on Viewability.

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