B2B marketers need to measure if people see their ads.

Naturally, right? Industry insiders refer to this as "viewability." Google cares a lot about this.

So should B2B marketers, said Elizabeth Harz, president of media at ADARA, a digital advertising platform based in Mountain View, Calif.

"Driving for the broadest reach with the lowest expense possible may dictate for lower viewability goals versus attempting to run 100 percent viewable campaigns, which may result in lower ROI," Harz told CMSWire. "All marketers need to first define the goal or expectation of their campaigns and then align metrics like viewability to those goals."

What Google Says

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google conducted a study late last year of its display advertising platforms, including Google and DoubleClick. The study's based on display ads in browsers (desktop and mobile).

What did they find?

  • According to the Media Rating Council and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standards, a viewable impression occurs when 50 percent of an ad’s pixels are on screen for one second. 
  • 56.1 percent of all impressions Google measured are not seen, but the average publisher viewability is 50.2 percent
  • The most viewable position is right above the fold, not at the top of the page
  • The most viewable ad sizes are vertical units
  • Not all above-the-fold impressions are viewable. Many below-the-fold impressions are

Google also found viewability varies across industries. But while it ranges across content verticals and industries, strong content still rules. Content that "holds a user’s attention" has the highest viewability, according to Google.

"In general," Google officials said in the report, "advertisers should consider the relationship between page position and ad size while planning creative and targeting. ... Ultimately, advertisers should target based on viewability measurements to achieve the best results."

Thumbnail image for 5-factors-of-viewability_infographics.jpg

Taking Action

2015-23-March-Elizabeth Harz.jpg

We know what Google says now. How can B2B marketers take action? 

Harz told CMSWire that depends on their goals for their digital media campaigns. She shared five tips to get going:  
  1. Viewability is not a flash in the pan trend in digital marketing. It's part of an ongoing process, she said, to help brands get more comfortable with buying digital media. "And, perhaps more importantly, to get all media aligned with a common currency," Harz added. "With this critical standardization, brands can more confidently invest in digital media and in turn, publishers can produce higher quality content, attracting more consumers."
  2. 100 percent viewability is not a realistic goal in digital media. Learn about viewability, identify initiatives where high viewability is important and select an accredited vendor or ask your agency to work with one on your behalf.
  3. Ask yourself if 70 percent or if aiming for near 100 percent viewability matters more to you. "This may sound like heresy, but right now, as the industry shifts, you may want to have the broadest reach with lowest out-of-pocket expenses possible," Harz said. "Your key performance indicators, especially on direct response marketing, will deliver better business results versus attempting to run 100 percent viewable campaigns that may result in a lower ROI."
  4. Look for help. With campaigns where high viewability is a priority, several Media Rating Council-accredited vendors can help take the guesswork out of the process.
  5. Keep tabs on what's going in the industry. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), American Association of Advertising Agencies, IAB and Media Rating Council founded across-industry initiative made up of advertisers, publishers and agencies called Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS). This initiative defines and drives "clear standards-based metrics for interactive advertising across the marketing ecosystem," Harz said.

Bottom line? 

B2B marketers need more actionable insights.

"There is no shortage of data," Harz said, "but business leaders need predictive, actionable insights specific to their business objectives."

Successful B2B marketers "focus on more specific audiences than their consumer marketer peers."

"B2B marketers understand the need to collect, translate and act on real time data to stay on top of the constantly shifting business climate," Harz said, "and have interesting sources for those efforts."

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic LicenseTitle image by Edith Soto.