September 25, 2023

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Ad Viewability Metrics are Shifting: What This Represents for Digital Marketing


Digital marketing continues to evolve as consumer behaviors shift. Also factoring into the equation is the idea of consumer attention and the quality of an impression made by an ad. As the digital space becomes increasingly crowded with ads vying for consumer attention, the corresponding metrics for success have also shifted.

Now, advertisers and publishers are beginning to seek out more meaningful measurements of success. These metrics reach beyond the realm of reach or impressions and rather want to see how much of a consumer’s actual attention the ad is garnering. Of course, as you may imagine this is difficult to accomplish.

Some publishers are beginning to purchase ads based on the percentage of time the ad is 100% in view, meaning the consumer likely has more attention focused on that ad. This is similar to the time tested practice of purchasing ad space “above the fold”, or on the primary top of the page before the user scrolls down.

Statistically speaking, this above the fold type of buying strategy typically performs better than ads placed below the fold. Now with ad viewability statistics beginning to increase in popularity, more intricate information is being measured as a determining factor for success.

What does this mean for the digital marketers responsible for these ads? For starters, marketers are already challenged with the “death of the cookie” and the increase in focus on consumer data privacy. This means a higher level of creativity and innovation is required to generate attention from prospective new customers, as the visibility of ads will soon no longer be able to rely solely on automated tracking of consumer behavior. Now, marketers must understand the consumer like never before. They must employ the skills of intuition and learn to really think like a consumer in order to find the best and most efficient ways to reach users.

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Now with the need for more telling metrics, marketers must also determine what’s important for their business objectives. Is consumer attention something valuable to measure? How is it best measured? How should this new metric be weighted when stacked up next to reach, impressions, and other more traditional performance indicators? All of these questions must be answered when integrating consumer attention into a marketing plan.

Getting to the specifics of the actual ads, now the creative aspect comes into play. Now, marketers will be grappling for more quality attention, which requires engaging content. The goal is always to entice the customer to click through, but that engagement is even more valuable now. With a cookie-less future on the horizon, targeting methodology will need to evolve accordingly, and this includes the creative aspect as well.

Marketers are on high alert as they look ahead to an uncertain future in which consumer privacy comes first. While first-party data should always be protected, the changes on the horizon mean more innovation will be necessary from the marketing and advertising industry in order to survive.

Targeting new metrics such as consumer attention or ad viewability may be a key for long-lasting success within the marketing industry as it continues to shift.