As Display has moved from a contextual set-it-and-forget-it advertising vehicle to an audience based, optimized machine, precise and accurate measurement has become the priority. This is not an attempt to bring yawns to the faces of many a marketer (often typical on this very subject) but rather, an opportunity to emphasize the importance of measurement to inform improved targeting which results in superior campaign performance.
Accurate Measurement - Key To The Purchase Cycle
As with most initiatives, we expect things to improve over time. But macro trends in our industry’s technologies and in consumer behaviors have made the road to accurate measurement complex. Measurement enables marketers to tell stories across the entire purchase cycle, serve the best performing personalized ads to consumers across devices as well as determine which new audiences to target based on return on ad spend (ROAS). Some of the barriers to accurate measurement reside on the publisher side and some on the advertiser side. This raises the complexity in getting to a solution and most likely necessitates a brick by brick approach to building one.
Filtering out the Non-Human/Bot Traffic
The first step to accurate measurement is for advertisers to implement a fraud solution to fully understand whether real users are viewing the ads. Fraud has the ability to muddy metrics significantly, making it difficult to determine the best performing ads, and wasting ad spend on media buys that should not have been purchased in the first place. In a recent ANA & White Ops study, 11% of display ads, 17% of programmatic ads and 19% of retargeted ads were served to bots in September of 2014. This major prevalence in bot traffic creates significant, painful inefficiencies before media can even be successfully optimized.