Understanding the magic of digital advertising doesn’t spoil the show | M&M Global

Understanding the magic of digital advertising doesn’t spoil the show

In 2017 the industry learnt that digital advertising performance doesn’t need to be hidden behind a stage curtain. In fact it discovered that a peek behind the scenes – to reveal approaches to viewability, brand safety, and fraud measurement – is essential to achieve and secure sustainable value for all according ot Nick Morley, EMEA MD, Integral Ad Science.

Consequently the industry is working to gain a clearer view of media quality. But to ensure this view offers the insight needed for efficient media planning, it must be holistic. Only with complete knowledge of trends, issues, and conditions in every global market can advertisers, agencies, and brands make informed decisions and allocate spend wisely.

That’s why studies that provide snapshots of the entire media landscape are a vital resource for effective media planning. Only with transparent information can we achieve a coveted holistic view of of the media landscape. So, let’s explore what insight such data offers on the industry at large and how it can be put it into action.

  1. Fraud

Ad fraud is not new, but the development of fraud detection technology continues to gain momentum and  is making a positive impact.

The general fraud picture isn’t so clear-cut. Video – in line with ad spend –seems to be a growing target; with global non-optimised fraud levels for desktop video potentially reaching up to 12.7%. And some regions appear to be less impacted by ad fraud than others; for example, in H1 2017 Spain showcased the lowest levels of fraud when ad fraud prevention technology was in place at 0.1%.

Overall it’s good news for those working with partners to safeguard their media buys. But there are elements that must be taken into account when building media plans. Formats such as video are highly valued and can prove to be lucrative targets for fraudsters on a global scale, and that means extra precautions must be taken when vetting video inventory.

Regional differences are also worth taking into consideration when allocating spend; potential performance dips should be factored in where ad fraud is seen to be more prevalent. Looking ahead, the rate of evolution within the digital advertising industry must also be considered – with new, sophisticated types of ad fraud being continuously developed – meaning ad fraud prevention technology, for example, must keep pace with the fraudsters.

  1. Brand safety

Following highly publicised brand safety incidents in 2017 context has significantly moved up the advertising priority list this year. Not only are social platforms with user generated content embracing third-party verification, but industry bodies such as the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) are also pushing for greater certification and transparency in media with a new ‘digital practice Gold Standard’.

However, there’s still some way to go. According to the H1 2017 Media Quality Report, brand risk levels for desktop display ads were moderately high. With 10.2% of impressions in Brazil flagged as posing a significant risk, and mobile generally presenting a prominent threat, there are key indicators that the industry’s approach to brand safety can still be strengthened. Looking at mobile specifically, global mobile web video experienced greater brand risk than that of global mobile web display (14.6% and 8.5% respectively). Notably, adult content risk was 43% greater on mobile web video than on desktop, mirroring consumer behaviour for adult content consumption.

While the industry is heading in the right direction there is a need for more stringent media analysis to drive performance and build further confidence in media transactions. When planning campaigns across varying markets it is paramount to utilise sophisticated brand safety tools that can assess the local language of content and ensure it is appropriate before inventory is purchased.

  1. Viewability

Ensuring an ad has the opportunity to be seen is a fundamental requirement for digital ad buying, but it seems meeting the minimum viewability requirements remain a challenge in display advertising. Around half of desktop display ads in all markets met the Media Rating Council (MRC) standard (50% of pixels in view for one second and two for video). Singapore performed best, with 64% of ads meeting the standard.

Globally, viewability across mobile display was found to be low too— with 43.9% of impressions being in view — although in-app viewability proved a surprising anomaly; almost doubling with 81% of ads found to be in view. The outlook was distinctly better for video, with viewability rates reaching 61.1% on desktop and 73.4% for mobile.

Much like the risk to brand safety viewability must be a continual focus for the digital advertising industry. Some are even working to move beyond the MRC standard to set their own standards. The positive viewability performance linked with video formats is one that can be harnessed to increase the efficacy of campaigns on a global scale; shifting spend towards video if appropriate to increase an ad’s opportunity to have impact via both desktop and mobile.

As planning for 2018 picks up pace a deep understanding of the global media marketplace and market nuances is crucial to maximise budgets and results. While digital advertising can seem like a haze of smoke and mirrors leveraging insights afforded by global reports can help make sense of the varying measures and trends that shape performance in each unique market. And with such a complete view at their disposal, they can create precise strategies for creating magic of their own.

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