- December 4, 2014

Viewability and In-Target: Key Learnings for Media Buyers and Sellers

The introduction and subsequent adoption of viewability and in-target measurement wields the promise of radically improved digital campaign performance, but it has also created a variety of challenges as the industry shifts toward new standards for valuing digital media. Fortunately the digital advertising industry has shown itself to be adaptable and resilient, in large part due to its ability to share successes, develop best practices and implement these practices going forward.

To help the industry navigate the recent changes, Comscore created  Best Practices Kits on succeeding in a world of viewable impression measurement and audience guarantees. As a next step, we’re sharing key learnings from validated Campaign Essentials™ (vCE®) and validated Media Essentials™ (vME™) clients who have incorporated audience and viewability measurement from into their business practices.

From our ongoing work with industry leaders on each side of the table, we have developed the top three key learnings for media buyers and sellers when it comes to leveraging measurement to improve advertising campaign and inventory performance. Check out these learnings below, including insights from leading packaged food company ConAgra Foods, and be sure to download the ConAgra Foods case study for a deeper look at their viewability and audience-targeting successes.

3 Key Learnings for Media Buyers

1. Optimizing for viewability and audience delivery significantly improves branding impact for advertisers
This was always the assumption around viewability and audience delivery, but ConAgra Foods has tangible proof of the importance of this measurement. ConAgra Foods buys media for their campaigns using viewability and audience guarantees. Compared to previous campaigns bought based on gross impressions, these ConAgra Foods campaigns achieved increases in attribute awareness lift of up to 70 percent and increases of purchase intent lift of up to 30 percent.

2. Alignment with media sellers is critical to achieving campaign goals
Before the media buy, advertisers and agencies must clearly communicate the audience and viewability goals of the campaign and establish a process for evaluating publisher performance. ConAgra Foods relies on its agency, Spark Communications, to monitor campaign performance by publisher and make sure publishers stay on track to meeting campaign goals. Spark Communications works with the publishers directly to maintain delivery metrics within the rates guaranteed by the terms of the media buy.

3. Integrated viewability and in-target reporting improves accuracy of performance data
This year, a key topic discussed across the industry was the need for validated in-target measurement, as hitting your target audience only matters if it had the opportunity to see the ad. An analysis of campaign data from vCE® showed that viewability and validation rates varied across demographic breaks, meaning that the common practice of applying a flat viewability rate from one measurement vendor across the audience data from another measurement vendor will often lead to under- or over-valuing ad delivery across audience segments. To understand the true performance of the ad campaign, advertisers and agencies should use an unduplicated validated in-target metric.

3 Key Learnings for Media Sellers

1. Measurement can empower media sellers to improve their viewability pre-buy
While in-flight optimization is a useful strategy for many campaigns, publishers now have the tools they need to get ahead of their viewability and audience delivery. One client, a well-known women's content publisher, used vME™ to identify key advertising inventory on their sites that had room for improvement, then tested new design strategies to bring up their viewability rates. Ultimately, the client more than doubled the viewability of this inventory, greatly improving the value of one of its most common ad slots.

2. Alignment with media buyers is necessary throughout the campaign
When initially setting goals with the agency or advertiser, media sellers must know the quality of their inventory in order to set expectations for campaign delivery. However, alignment with media buyers does not stop there. Once goals are set and an evaluation process is in place, publishers should make sure they have access to the same campaign data that the agency or advertiser is using to track delivery. To facilitate optimizations, publishers on ConAgra’s media buy are given access to their data through the vCE® partner permissioning feature. This empowers publishers to make changes to ensure the quality of their delivery and to meet the audience and viewability guarantees throughout the campaign.

3. Consistent viewability depends on continuous inventory maintenance
To achieve optimal campaign results with all advertiser clients, it is important for media sellers to have a system for continuous monitoring and optimizing of their inventory. Our most successful vME™ clients have incorporated viewability monitoring into their standard processes, evaluating data weekly to keep inventory performance up to their high viewability standards. This standard procedure ensures that advertisers are satisfied that their ads are running on high-quality inventory that will give their campaigns the opportunity to make an impact on their audience.

For more information, download the ConAgra Case Study.