2015 a Year of Complex Media-Buying Decisions

The online advertising market looks very strong in Q1 from where we sit. We had a very positive end to 2014, and we’ve got a great pipeline going into 2015. Clearly online ad spending will keep going up.

But do media buyers feel happy with what they are buying in 2015? And how will media buying change in 2015?

Several months ago, the Media Rating Council decreed that it was now feasible to trade on viewability. A viewable ad was defined as one in which at least 50% of the pixels in an ad were viewable for at least one second.

While this standard might be fine for a baseline definition of what to pay for, it’s not enough for a marketer’s objectives.  Some complex messages might take more than a single second to register with a visitor, and certainly more than a second is necessary to help a buyer make a decision. Taken a bit further, viewability should at least be combined with scalability and audience characteristics to determine whether a campaign will succeed.

And then there’s the issue of platform: mobile? desktop? wearable? And in the future, even internet of things.

Smart marketers, then, will not buy on viewability alone.  As Ad Age commented  at the end of last year,” what good are the standards that trade groups have worked so hard to develop if some of the world’s leading media buyers decide to implement something different?”

Media buyers are smart, so they will probably buy on a number of standards related to their goals. If, for example, a video ad has high viewability but a low CTR or sound usually off, it would be helpful to combine these metrics when evaluating the quality of a placement. The relationship between gross ratings points and viewability is equally interesting, as it may help accurately value sites in a media plan. Getting to this level of analysis and customization requires some level of interoperability between ad serving and verification technology.

Because ZINC by ZEDO has been around for the growth of this industry, we have that many times. So we’ve partnered and integrated with MOAT and Nielsen on the ad serving (ZEDO) side of our company to make sure we know exactly what and where we are serving our campaign, and who is viewing them. Whatever the benchmark this year for viewability (and IAB suggests is should be 70%, ZINC ads already beat it handily: some of our formats achieve 99% viewability scores from comScore.