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You Asked, We Answered: Q&A on Making Viewability & Verification Actionable

Loretta Shen

We recently hosted a webinar on Making Viewability & Verification Actionable with our partners from Integral Ad Science (IAS). During the course of the webinar, we received a lot of great questions on verification, and we’re excited to share the answers below. If you missed the webinar, access it on demand here to get all the insights you need to get started with verification. Read on to hear from Matt Engstrom, Marketing Research Director, IAS and Loretta Shen, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Datorama.

  • How do you actually connect your ad verification data to your media spend?

Datorama: The process of connecting and unifying your verification data to your media cost is automated in Datorama. We’ve simplified it so that you can connect data through an API – we have specific IAS and Moat API connectors, and ad servers such as DCM and Sizmek – or through any file upload. You can then associate any relevant fields from one vendor to the next such as placement ID/media buy, campaign ID, creative ID, supplier or site ID.

  • You mentioned programmatic viewability has been trending up significantly over the last few years. What is driving that increase?

IAS: The first major step forward was for the industry to identify there was a viewability challenge. Marketers were paying for impressions that simply were not seen. As a result, the industry worked together to take action in order to tackle the problem. This collaboration resulted in improved formats and an effort to establish a minimum standard for the potential to view an ad. Programmatic has been a particular challenge due to the automation factor creating a lack of transparency in terms of campaign delivery.

Measurement allows for visibility into the performance of programmatic campaigns. Furthermore, solutions such as IAS Optimization allow for brands to achieve higher viewable rates. As this adoption becomes even more widespread, we’ll see market-level viewability benchmarks continue to increase.

  • Why do issues exist around consumer exposure? Shouldn’t frequency capping alleviate some of the problem?

IAS: Typically, you control frequency with ad server frequency cap. However, there are a few problems with frequency caps:

  1. An ad served doesn’t mean it was ever in view and 50 percent of ads served are never in view.
  2. Just because an ad was in view, doesn’t mean it was successful – a one second ad is less successful than a 5 second ad.
  3. A problem we saw on every brand campaign was a lot of people were underexposed at the end of campaign and some people were way overexposed on campaigns. You should expect it to be somewhere in the middle.
  • Have any brands successfully optimized towards exposure metrics?

IAS: Actually, we recently launched a beta program with several large brands across a variety of verticals. The goal of the program was to successfully reduce levels suboptimal levels of exposure and push them into the right bucket to drive potential impact. We saw success in that regard as all brands that participated saw reductions in their underexposed audiences of up to 36% and we actually increased the average time of exposure for consumers, across all participating brands, of 45%.

  • How do you classify risk? Are there different risk thresholds?

IAS: We classify risk using core content categories: adult, alcohol, gambling, hate speech, illegal downloads, illegal drugs, offensive language and controversial content, and violence. The categories that are important change with media trends. For example our offensive language and controversial content category includes fake news which has recently become a major media concern and source of brand risk.

What qualifies as risk can vary by brand. For example, an alcohol brand might have more tolerance for racy content than a financial services brand. We work with each advertiser to create a risk mitigation strategy that’s right for them. We do establish different thresholds to make it easier for brands to create a dynamic risk mitigation strategy that reflects the specific needs of their brand.

Our rating methodology never relies an on a single source of data to evaluate content—it weighs competing for evidence sources to create the most accurate and comprehensive rating of page content. Our page rating process is continuous and is, therefore, a dynamic solution that always reflects the current state of each environment.

  • How can we build verification KPIs?

Datorama: We work with our customers everyday to define all marketing related KPIs, including verification KPIs, as well as metrics and best practices. In addition, we have Datorama SmartLenses, which are instant dashboards that outline KPIs automatically for you. We’re currently working on a verification specific SmartLens, so look out for that coming soon. To learn more about SmartLenses, download our one-sheet here.

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