Viewability is a hot button issue for display advertisers. The concern is understandable. If you’re paying to run an ad, you want it to be seen. Many advertisers mandate 100% viewability while agencies and vendors strive to comply.
If your viewability tactic is going to limit you to only 46% of the market, then it will limit the scale of your campaign. Whenever scale is limited, prices increase and the opportunity for optimization dwindles. The increase in price may hurt your ROI more than what you’ve invested on media that is not viewable.
Advertisers and brands should protect themselves for viewability in a programmatic world by looking beyond impressions and CTR (click-through rate)and towards the results of your campaign. Programmatic is rooted in performance. The simple act of switching your campaign goal to CPC (cost per click) or CPA (cost per action) can solve a lot of the viewability concerns all while maintaining strong ROI.
Here’s why: If your ads aren’t being seen on an ad slot, then the ad won’t produce a click and it won’t perform. But if you tell the machine that performance is your goal, then the machines are less likely to buy a poorly performing ad slot again. This method will allow you to still buy flash-based media with high performance value. Having more high performance media to choose from gives more room for optimization, which in turn improves ROI.
This does not mean every campaign needs to suddenly become focused on purchase conversions. Pixel optimization can be great for branding if the action is on a page engagement. For instance, you can place the pixel on a relevant product page and set a cost per landing goal.
So when thinking about viewability, think about what you really want from your ad campaign and then tell that to the machines to deliver.