Report Proves Media Buyers Are Lazy

A comScore report claims that 31 percent of all display advertisements are never seen by anyone, and that 72 percent of all display advertisements are shown on a site or in content other than where it was intended. In other words, most brand media buyers haven’t the foggiest clue where their advertisements are being placed. This confirms my claim six months ago that brand media buyers are lazy.

I’m not going to rehash what I previously wrote, because frankly, most media buyers never read the first column because, well…they are lazy. However, I’d like to bring up some separate points about the study that make me wonder about what the industry in general is paying attention to. For all the articles about fraud and quality control, it seems that a large part of display advertising is still showing up on complete and utter crap.

If you are one of the few media buyers who pays attention, here are a few things to think about:

  1. Fraud is still extensive in the industry. As I pointed out in my column “You Are Stupid if You Continue to Ignore Advertising Fraud,” the industry still has fraud written all over it. Network after network continues to have “issues” with where their advertisements are placed, but the bad guys keep on showing up in reports.
  2. Advertising exchanges in general stink. Take this from someone who was a consultant helping to build two advertising exchanges (DoubleClick and Right Media). There is only so much inventory to go around, so most exchanges are just reselling crap from other exchanges and networks. We know this to be true, but agencies still try to buy on exchanges over and over again.
  3. Most advertising networks are junk. Look at comScore’s top networks and then ignore everyone else. I’m not saying that there aren’t some great niche networks, or new companies popping up. However, Right Media has dozens of networks as part of its exchange and every day a new network shows up trying to peddle inventory. If you are buying on any network that claims to have 1 trillion ad impressions but isn’t on comScore, you need to wake up and stop being so damn lazy.
  4. Learn about metrics you can count. Seriously, all those tools are useless unless you can see an actual result. I understand branding, but there is always an opportunity to collect information from some of your users. Have a backend ROI that actually knows that these users will sometimes convert. If you are sending 100,000 users to your brand car site, find out if they are actually interested in buying a car, or just thought the advertisement was “really flashy.”

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