According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), fraud is costing the advertising industry about US$10b annually.
A great deal of online ad figures reported are inflated and there is reason to question to the accuracy of such reports. As reported in the Financial Times (27 May 2014), this has caused ad giants to assemble new systems to help advertisers make sense of this mess and move the industry forward.
Some of these new technologies that are available out there include Convertro, now a subsidiary of AOL, which measures the performance of ad campaigns, with an analysis of the full scope of digital advertising provided rather than the last ad clicked by someone before a buy.
We know that digital advertising works, but how well and to what extent, that remains a question that big players are now scrambling to answer so that they do not get played into the hands of inflated figures which bring down the measured effectiveness of ad campaigns. How will this look for the future of digital advertising?
Financial Times has now brought great attention to itself by changing its advertising model to measuring ads down to the 5-second block. This would mean that for every moment that there is a view, there can be a value tagged onto the “attention span” rather than just mere “eyeballs” or “clicks” as has been traditionally been measured.
This move will cause a shift of advertisers and marketers alike as they will now be looking for ways to bringing their campaigns up to speed creatively. It is no longer getting attention but sustaining attention, no longer about clicks but about stays. This also means that we will are going to see figures getting deflated a great deal in the long run and really high quality target audiences that we will garner. Just imagine the effects – from measuring a single person clicking through to be counted as an engagement, it now comes down to the person staying on the page, viewing the ad after the click through that counts. The greater the staying power, the greater the engagement counted, and the more the advertiser will be able to charge.
Differential Pyramidal Effect
That being said, this will also create a “differential pyramidal effect” within the entire digital advertising industry.
What this effect really means target audiences will fall into one of three categories on the pyramid –
1. the top quality engagements will be right at the top of the pyramid and accorded a closely targeted process to ensure that the marketing effort is seen through to the end, hopefully to close the sale.
2. Then the middle level of the pyramid will to be those who are less engaged, but had their attention caught onto the ad to stay on for a full 5 seconds. The engagement will perhaps be to draw their attention to at least convert a click-through before they can click away.
3. The bottom of the pyramid which will be the bulk of the engagements (or in this case, non-engagements) will not be charged as they are obsolete counts.
What do you think?