Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Year In Viewable Impressions: A Trade Press Retrospective

If 2012 wasn't the year of the viewable impression, it was certainly the year of the article about the viewable impression. And coverage is, unsurprisingly, heating up while adoption spikes as we approach Q1 2013.


I have been curating a list of these pieces from across the digital advertising trade press over the course of the past year, and I thought the aggregate content might be useful for those looking to research the viewable impression and the many opportunities and concerns raised by various industry players, including publishers, agencies, brands, vendors, and analysts. Enjoy, and please feel free to add your own/anything I have missed.


Date: December 3, 2012


Author: Jeremy Stanley, CTO, Collective

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “[Advertisers] should be measuring viewability today, with the best technology vendor they can identify, and intelligently using that data to improve their return on advertising spend.”

 

Date: November 30, 2012


Author: Jeremy Stanley, CTO, Collective

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “No other measurement approach can claim such a simple and irrefutable link to advertising value creation.”

 

Date: November 30, 2012


Author: Josh Sternberg

Publication: Digiday

One-liner: “Most likely, you’ll find 100 percent agreement that ad viewability is an important and necessary advance in measurement and reporting.”

 

Date: November 29, 2012


Author: Ari Paparo

Publication: AdAge

One-liner: “Moving ahead with a currency too quickly will be a huge setback to display and will reinforce the perception that it is hard to measure and subject to technology for its own sake.”

 

Date: November 28, 2012


Author: Mitchell Weinstein

Publication: UM Blog

One-liner: “Once advertisers realize they are getting better quality, they will be more likely to shift larger and larger budgets to Digital.”

 

Date: November 28, 2012


Author: Sherrill Mane, SVP, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “A distinction has to be drawn between verifying and ascertaining that a measurement vendor has a methodology and product that can produce a given metric.”

Date: November 28, 2012

 


Author: Anne Hunter, SVP Advertising Effectiveness, comScore

Publication: comScore Blog

One-liner: “Choosing an accredited vendor who can measure cross-domain iframes and provide fully transparent accounting of measurability is the key to moving forward with viewable impressions.”

 

Date: November 26, 2012


Author: Bob Liodice, President/CEO, ANA

Publication: AdAge

One-liner: “One of the most important developments was the creation of the new standard, the "viewable impression." This will replace the archaic "served impression," a source of grossly misleading and overstated metrics.”

 

Date: November 21, 2012


Author: Cella Irvine

Publication: AdAge

One-liner: “What we need to turn our attention to is how to get great content and ads surfaced and seen. It's time to address the true issue: viewability.”

 

Date: November 21, 2012


Author: David Kaplan

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “This is essential in moving beyond online as a great direct response medium to one that encompasses more branding campaigns.”

 

Date: November 20, 2012


Author: Jessica Sanfilippo, Group Media Director, 360i

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “What’s the value in an ad that no one ever sees?”

 

Date: November 19, 2012


Author: Philipp Pieper, CEO, Proximic

Publication: AdAge

One-liner: “A viewable impression in a cluttered environment is unlikely ever to be noticed.”

 

Date: November 19, 2012


Author: NA

Publication: 4A’s News

One-liner: “significant progress has been made particularly in the area of shifting digital measurement from a "served" to "viewable" impression standard.”

 

Date: November 5, 2012


Author: Judy Shapiro, Chief Brand Strategist, CloudLinux

Publication: AdAge

One-liner: “It's time to put the human equation back into the media equation. After all, "impressions don't buy -- real people do."

 

Date: October 24, 2012


Author: David Kaplan

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “Ad Verification solutions have become embedded in today’s media process.”

 

Date: October 18, 2012


Author: Andrew Pancer, COO, Media6Degrees

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “I’m pro-viewability (it’s hard to not be!) but there are issues with establishing it as a new metric.”

 

Date: October 18, 2012


Author: Phillip Pieper, CEO, Proximic

Publication: AdAge

One-liner: “Viewability is a step in the right direction, but it is not the silver-bullet metric that some hope it to be.”

 

Date: October 16, 2012


Author: Zach Rodgers

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “Even if an advertiser is paying only for in-view impressions, those [unviewable] junk ad placements can continue to fire view-through cookies, earning credit for the ad in post-conversion attribution.”

 

Date: October 12, 2012


Author: Josh Sternberg

Publication: Digiday

One-liner: “’Before the redesign, we had more ads, but they were both smaller ads and not all guaranteed to be viewable (and, thus, they were devalued),’ said Gannett chief digital officer David Payne.”

 

Date: October 10, 2012


Author: Peter Davies, SVP Sales & Marketing, Adconion Direct

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “RTB has enabled some people to deploy new tactics that artificially make a campaign look like it is performing, when in fact they are deliberately bidding on impressions that have zero impact.”

 
Date: October 5, 2012


Author: Stuart Byrne, UK Head of Digital, Ebiquity

Publication: ExchangeWire

One-liner: “To see or not to see, that is the questions.”


Date: October 4, 2012


Author: Christopher Hansen, President, NetMining

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “Luckily, a growing focus on viewability may bring about the change this industry needs, with publishers themselves making a concerted effort to improve their ads.”

 

Date: October 3, 2012


Author: Giselle Abramovich

Publication: Digiday

One-liner: “The digital media world is about to change profoundly.”

 

Date: October 1, 2012


Author: Joe Mandese

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “At a time when the ad industry is lobbying publishers to disclose the “viewability” of their ads, publishers seem to be going in the opposite direction and making the process more opaque and less transparent…”

 

Date: September 27, 2012


Author: Peter Naylor, Executive Vice President, Digital Media Sales, NBCUniversal, and Chairman of the Board of Directors, IAB.

Publication: AdAge

One-liner: “Web publishers are at a critical juncture regarding the $10-billion display market. We need to prepare for and embrace viewable impressions as a new currency for measurement.”

 

Date: September 27, 2012


Author: Brian White, SVP Publisher Solutions, Vibrant Media

Publication: Digiday

One-liner: “You will get renewals and win over the long haul by running viewable ads with which people want to engage.”

 

Date: September 20, 2012


Author: Tom Shields, CSO, Yieldex

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “I’m not against viewable impressions. That’s like being against vegetables – they’re probably good for you.”

 

Date: September 13, 2012


Author: Diaz Nesamoney, CEO, Jivox

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “I believe measuring viewable impressions will result in better targeting and less clutter for users. The effectiveness of an ad and giving consumers what they want is what matters most, after all.”

 

Date: August 23, 2012


Author: Tessa Wegert

Publication: ClickZ

One-liner: “We all understand that due to page placement, load times, and other unknown factors that compromise display ad visibility, an ad served is not necessarily an ad viewed. Viewable impressions would address these concerns.”

 

Date: August 16, 2012


Author: Gavin O’Malley

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “As measurement technologies have improved, so has demand for -- and questions surrounding -- viewable impressions.”

 

Date: August 15, 2012


Author: Tim Peterson

Publication: Adweek

One-liner: “People are ultimately going to say, 'if I am going to be judged on the basis of a viewed impression, I want to make sure that I am being judged on something fair and objective.'”

 

Date: July 25, 2012


Author: Giselle Abramovich

Publication: Digiday

One-liner: “Industry-wide implementation of viewable impressions is expected in first quarter of 2013.”

 

Date: July 25, 2012


Author: Ari Brandt

Publication: Digiday

One-liner: “With a glut of premium and remnant ad inventory running through exchanges where some of the placements aren’t even in view, isn’t it time we take action?”

 

Date: July 25, 2012


Author: Kate Kaye

Publication: ClickZ

One-liner: “The largest online ad industry trade group is pushing for new ad metrics to become standardized by the first quarter of 2013.”

 

Date: July 24, 2012


Author: Mark Hughes, CEO, C3 Metrics

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “As an industry, we won’t see a win until we seal the blind side, solving viewability in both JavaScript and iFrame.”

 

Date: July 17, 2012


Author: Joe Mandese

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “Steps include the shift from an ad impression served model to one of “viewable impressions” -- a standard in which at least 50% of an ad is viewable to a consumer for at least one second, the transition to an “e-GRP” for cross-platform measurement.”

 

Date: July 11, 2012


Author: Clive Page

Publication: Acceleration.biz

One-liner: “There will now commence the battle for the ownership of the viewable ad metric high ground.”

 

Date: June 21, 2012


Authors: Jason Krebs, CMO, Tremor Video and Amy Auerbach, Senior Partner/Media Planning Director, MediaCom

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “I’m not sure if viewable impressions are the answer, but premium publishers still need to continue questioning how they can do business in the digital future. And that future won’t be the same if all we are doing is firing blanks.”

 

Date: June 1, 2012


Author: Joshua Koran, VP Digital Product Management, Research and Data, AT&T AdWorks

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “While transparency always helps reduce market inefficiencies (and exposing the ad location helps buyers better evaluate and sellers better differentiate their inventory), this still doesn’t provide direct marketers metrics of success...”

 

Date: May 25, 2012


Author: Steve Smith

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “After a decade and a half of Web advertising, -- and in retrospect -- it seems downright daft that the problem of viewable impressions was not front and center long ago.”

 

Date: May 18, 2012


Authors: Mike Donahue, EVP, Strategic Partnerships, 4A’s; Duke Fanelli, CMO, ANA; Sherrill Mane, SVP, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “Once in the hands of MRC, the data will be analyzed, aggregated and anonymized so that we all can learn more about the implications of moving to a viewable impression standard -- and, very importantly, we can prepare the businesses for change.”

 

Date: May 8, 2012


Author: Joanna O’Connell, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “Ad impressions will drop by 50% or more. CPM’s will increase commensurately. ComScore 500 publishers will finally get the respect they deserve and recapture market share from their junky ad network rivals.”

 

Date: May 2, 2012


Author: Jack Loechner, Center for Media Research

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “According to a new study from comScore and Pretarget, ad viewability and hover time are more strongly correlated with conversions (defined as purchases and requests for information) than clicks or total impressions.”

 

Date: April 24, 2012


Author: Gavin O’Malley

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “Continuing to lose face among marketers, new research shows that clicks and total impressions are far from the best way to measure online conversions.”

 

Date: April 19, 2012


Author: Mark Hughes, CEO, C3 Metrics

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “As we speak, the IAB, ANA, and 4A’s are deliberating on a standard ad metric that could change the very nature of how digital advertising is bought, sold and measured.”

 

Date: April 19, 2012


Author: Ari Rosenberg

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “As I began to splatter my thoughts on the page, it occurred to me how absurd it is for anyone to oppose this move of ensuring ads bought and sold online are actually seen -- and the reality that many will fight it.”

 

Date: April 17, 2012


Author: Mark Walsh

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “Say Media is among the latest online publishers to adopt a “viewable” impressions standard for display ad campaigns.”

 

Date: April 9, 2012


Author: Kathryn Koegel

Publication: AdAge

One-liner: “"The adoption of viewable impressions will ... give the media community comfort and security for brand advertisers to move forward."

 

Date: March 29, 2012


Author: Tom Shields, CSO, Yieldex

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “I think that trying to move the industry to “viewable impressions” is a bad idea, for three reasons: it won’t make any difference to marketing ROI, it doesn’t help bring dollars online, and it will be expensive and confusing to adopt.”

 

Date: March 28, 2012


Author: Cory Treffiletti, SVP Marketing, BlueKai

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “Of course, we could just piddle around on this issue for a couple of years, and have “committees” and “initiatives” put in place to deal with it.”

 

Date: March 26, 2012


Author: Mark Walsh

Publication: MediaPost

One-liner: “The report found little to no correlation between CPM and value being delivered to the advertiser.”

 

Date: February 28, 2012


Author: Tim Peterson

Publication: Adweek

One-liner: “For viewable impressions to become a new standard, Casale said, publishers need to agree to cut their available inventory. That will be a tough sell.”

 

Date: January 27, 2012


Author: Mark Hughes, CEO, C3 Metrics

Publication: AdExchanger

One-liner: “Whether we like it or not, Internet users are not seeing all served ads, and we need to find the most accurate way of painting this picture, which admittedly is not pretty.”

 

Date: January 19, 2012


Author: Mike Shields

Publication: Digiday

One-liner: “The message: We can handle all of your online campaign needs this side of ad serving.”

 

Date: January 18, 2012


Author: Jason Del Rey

Publication: AdAge

One-liner: “One of the not-so-secret realities of the display-ad world is that a decent chunk of online ads are never viewed by web visitors.”

 

 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Press Release Isn't a Partnership


Let’s get one thing clear: Supporting partners and clients via participation in case studies, white papers, events, press, and social media is just good business.

But what really matters happens outside of the trade press and punditry spotlight. It’s the legwork conducted over countless emails, IM’s, calls and working lunches between the actual “doers” on both sides of the deal. Because, unlike a sales contract or service order, when a business development deal is closed, revenue doesn’t automatically start flowing in. In fact, it’s only post-deal that the real work begins in earnest.

The path to revenue from a concept like technical integration, is often long, winding, and fraught with peril. Internal channel conflict, product and development roadmap and resourcing, legal and financial obligations, and operational complexities are only a few of the many obstacles that can trip up a biz dev pro on her way to the revenue goal line.

Here are a few tips I have picked up along the way that might help you clear some of the most common hurdles faced in the ad tech biz dev game.

Treat a signed agreement like a qualified lead.

Biz dev is a lot like venture capital investing. In my experience, if you sign ten deals, five will fail outright, three will contribute de minimus returns but add strategic value, and two will pop and become true revenue contributors. That means you need to treat each deal signing as a qualifying stage and keep the pressure on post deal. A signed agreement is 50%. Live integration is 70%. Revenue event is 90%. Revenue over whatever line you designate meaningful ($10K, $100K, $1M, $10M) – that’s when the deal is a success.

Make sure you have the right sponsor – on both sides.

You may have closed the deal with your biz dev counterpart, but is there buy-in at the highest level of the company? Deal-signing authority counts less than the ability to put budget and resources behind post-deal initiatives. Be wary of the “churn-and-burn” dealmaker who is incentivized by metrics that don’t equal success for his partners. Conversely, if you know a deal requires development resources on your own side, be sure you’ve briefed the proper execs internally and secured buy-in and commitments up front.

Meet in person and develop relationships.

We hear time and again how much relationships matter in sales. But for all that, sales contracts generally yield measurable returns for the buyer on day one. Sure, sales relationships help garner repeat business, and mitigate trouble in tougher times, but in business development partnerships, the relationship is beyond critical. The person across the table from you can make or break your success well after the deal is done. You need an advocate who will spend political capital on your cause internally. And unless you’re giving away the farm, this won’t happen without a personal stake. You don’t need to wine and dine, but a simple coffee, lunch, or shared experience goes miles – especially if your competition is too busy raising capital or worrying about their TechCrunch status to travel to nurture partners.

Don’t over-commit.

Biz dev unto others as you would have them biz dev unto you: If a certain initiative anticipated within the terms of a partnership is likely to meet with significant internal resistance, be clear about this up front, work to resolve it prior to the deal, and if you cannot, consider passing on the deal entirely. Your credibility is paramount in this small world, and if you gain a reputation as a person who can talk the talk but can’t make the revenue rubber meet the client road, you’ll see more of the same in return.

Reward your most committed, proactive partners.

There’s a tendency to want to use perks and spiffs to gain new business and climb the food chain. But if you’re moderating a panel, or putting together a dinner, don’t just shoot for the biggest names you can. Think of the people who have followed the guidelines above and helped you succeed. Give them first shot at the reward. They won’t forget it and you won’t regret it.

Even if it means one less name for the press release.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Chief Revenue Officer's View of the Ad Tech Landscape

The LumaScape slides are very effective for strategic analysis of invested capital by ad tech microsegment. But as revenue ops planning tools, they stink. So I took a whack at distilling this into a CRO style view: there are really four major groups of prospects for an ad tech BD maven, with sub groups as noted.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Unanswered Q&A from Viewable Impressions Webinar

I recently participated in a lively Webinar panel with Mike Leo and Manu Warikoo of Operative, and Julian Zilberbrand of SMG. Here are some great questions that came in, and my answers.


1.      Mike Renfro Sr Dir Ad Sales Seeking Alpha: have many publishers have actually moved to 100% "In-View"?

There are multiple comScore 100 publishers offering guaranteed InView. Ad servers and platforms are also getting into the mix, with Pubmatic offering publishers InView capability and Zedo providing buyers with its InView Slider controls.

2.      Jonathan Fibbon Owner Armslist: Is there a way to become an early adopter of this viewable standard and take advantage of my site's "premium inventory" ?

Absolutely. The best way to start is to conduct a comScore Digital Analytix (DAx) Monetization diagnostic on your inventory, and understand which placements are the best candidates for removal, and which are the most likely to sustain a move from “remnant” to “premium” status vis a vis viewability. Then, use DAx Monetization to optimize inventory on an ongoing basis.

3.      Jim Schrand Dir of Data Strategy: If it's pay for performance, then it would seem that viewability is somewhat irrelevant.  Viewability is not a performance metric.

On the contrary, one of the biggest challenges we see is the inappropriate attribution of conversions and other performance indicators to sites or placements that are unviewable. Get rid of unviewable impressions, and performance attribution becomes exponentially more accurate, ensuring proper allocation of performance dollars to publishers who invest in content and placement.

4.      Sara La, Sr Ad Coordinator HC Pro: Can you talk about auditing procedures? When advertisers start asking whether a publisher is compliant with Viewable Impressions, how will a publisher know they are compliant other than being honest?

Advertisers and publishers can use validation services such as comScore vCE and DAx Monetization (respectively) to create trusted third party data which can be used to optimize campaigns to InView as appropriate.

5.      Celia Wu Sr Dir Sales NBC: We launched "ServeView" on our site about two years ago, where an impression is only counted when it appears in the users' browsers window.  A great example of a publisher leveraging its tech team; and some industry PR wins.  However, it hasn't equated to actual lift in eCPM.  The only place where we have actually seen eCPM lift is in fact with performance advertisers.  Question:  how does a publisher use technology like ServeView to gain a higher premium on inventory, versus just satisfying "in view" standards?  Is the click still the best measurement?

The performance ad eCPM lift is not surprising – we would expect this given the impact of InView on efficiency and accuracy of attribution. Regarding using ServeView to increase premiums, have you tried selling guaranteed viewable impressions packages? The click correlates poorly to performance lift as opposed to InView and Engagement metrics…

6.      Kari Bretschger Presz and CEO IMW Communications: Why would there be a market for a non-viewable ad? It would be a tough sell...Why would publishers offer it?

Great question! It’s very hard to come up with a single good reason for anyone to buy or sell an unviewable ad. There are a lot of bad reasons, however, which is the challenge the industry needs to step up and solve.

A Thought on Marissa Mayer

This was a Wall Street hire not a Madison Avenue hire. All about optics and long shot gambling. Board decided that getting it right on media and monetization side (Levinsohn) was not gonna be enough to pump valuation long term – needed a product game changer even if means not nailing the media stuff.
 
But as I have said, the “look and feel” (Meyer’s specialty) of Yahoo’s products isn’t the problem. Nor is popularity. So I am short this move.

This feels very much like VC investing. Ross didn't tell BoD what they wanted to hear - he was being pragmatic. Marissa, with nothing to lose, glides in and promises the moon, makes BoD happy.

More on this from Mike Shields in AdWeek: http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/open-letter-marissa-mayer-141972