Early this year comScore had the digital marketing industry buzzing when it reported that 31 percent of online ads go unseen. Not only are the ads not viewed, but they can't be, because they're placed in areas of the site page that users don't typically see.
While some research firms and vendors with products to sell are notorious for distributing alarmist reports, this is one case where the industry hasn't hesitated to take heed. In the months that have followed the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB's) release, "viewable impressions" have been top of mind for planners, buyers, vendors, and publishers everywhere. So strongly does the IAB feel about their importance that it hopes to influence an industry shift from a served impression standard to one that focuses on viewed impressions and "real exposures." If all goes well, its "3MS" initiative (Making Measurement Make Sense) will be in effect by early 2013, and both advertisers and publishers will be using its online Gross Ratings Point metric to "provide reach and frequency reporting of viewable impressions."
Eager as digital professionals are to listen, they aren't without their concerns. Brand marketers have questions, as one might expect in a situation where the standard approach they've abided for years is about to be flipped on its head. That said, brands would be remiss to scorn an initiative that could result in more effective ad campaigns. We all understand that due to page placement, load times, and other unknown factors that compromise display ad visibility, an ad served is not necessarily an ad viewed. Viewable impressions would address these concerns.
Here's what you need to know.
The notion of changing an industry standard can seem staggering, but you can remain in control of your advertising fate by being alert and aware. Now is the time to read up on viewable impressions. You can bet you'll be crossing paths with them soon.
Screenshot image on home page via http://www.measurementnow.net/.
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Tessa Wegert is an interactive media strategist with Enlighten, one of the first full-service digital marketing strategy and services agencies, serving such brands as Bioré, Bratz, Food Network, illy, Hunter Douglas, Jergens, and Olympic Paints and Stains. An industry veteran, Tessa has worked in online media buying and planning, marketing, and online copywriting since 1999. She is an active freelance writer specializing in interactive marketing who has contributed to U.S. and Canadian publications, including "USA Weekend Magazine," "Marketing Magazine," "The Globe and Mail," and "The Montreal Gazette." She is frequently quoted as an industry expert and speaks regularly at industry conferences and events.
March 19, 2014