Advertisers Often Don’t Measure the Metrics they Claim to Value Most


While advertisers, agencies and publishers all acknowledge the need to update the metrics they use to measure the impact of digital advertising, in order to keep up with trends and developments in the industry, many aren’t actually using these metrics according to IAB Europe.  The trade body’s Digital Brand Advertising and Measurement Report, released today, surveyed around 650 buy-side and sell-side industry stakeholders to gauge which metrics they believe are most valuable, and which they actually use. The results show in many cases a wide disparity between what those in the industry believe they should do, and what they’re actually doing.

Advertising recall, for example, was listed as an important key performance indicator (KPI) by 81 percent of advertisers, 90 percent of agencies, and 71 percent of publishers. Meanwhile only 48 percent of advertisers, 47 percent of agencies and 35 percent of publishers actually measure ad recall. Other KPIs including level of brand safe and non-fraudulent impressions, completion rates, targeting accuracy and interaction with the ad also see a large gap between what proportion of stakeholders say they’re important, and what proportion actually use them.

Even viewability, seen as important by 85 percent of advertisers, is only used as a KPI by 30 percent of advertisers, according to the study.

While there are many metrics which industry stakeholders seemingly wish to use more commonly, their stated priorities suggest that viewability, cross-screen impact and environment quality are the areas they’ll most actively look to improve on. Of those surveyed, 84 percent listed measuring the length of time a video ad is in view as a priority, and 84 percent said measuring how ‘brand safe’ an ad’s environment is a priority. Meanwhile 91 percent of agencies and 83 percent of advertisers said better cross-media evaluation will be key for driving further ad money into digital channels.

As the report shows though, these priorities won’t necessarily translate into action. However, the gap between what advertisers want and what they do in many cases may be due to the fact that the ability to measure these metrics and track these KPIs simply isn’t accurate enough yet. Projects like the European Viewability Initiative have been set up as cross-industry efforts to try to solve this problem.

Christer Ljones, head of product strategy at Schibsted Norway Advertising and vice-chair of the IAB Europe Brand Advertising Committee, says that this kind of cooperation will be crucial for improving measurement practices. “The IAB Europe report confirms the fact that cross-media measurement and the application of traditional media metrics to digital brand advertising are of utmost importance to our clients and our business,” he said. “Cross-industry cooperation is critical to develop these areas to ensure advertisers continue to consider digital as a key channel for brand campaigns.”


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