FYI: It’s the ROI


Marketers spend their budgets to achieve the best possible return on investment. The P&G’s of the world care about it and the local dry cleaner cares about it.
Unfortunately, and typically, the recent articles about ad verification from the CEOs of Peer 39 and AdSafe lose the forest from the trees in their approach: they are so focused on the process and the technology that they miss the big point: R-O-I.
Most advertisers will tell you that generating that ROI is a three-part equation: reaching the right person, with the right message, in the right place. There’s so much about digital display advertising that should deliver that ROI to marketers: its effectiveness is measurable (relatively), creative is optimizable, it’s highly targeted, and it provides massive reach and effective frequency controls.
But largely speaking, the ROI for brand advertisers just isn’t there yet. If it were, we’d see larger budgets being spent on digital display.
So why is this happening?
A large reason is that the third part of the equation just isn’t being addressed. Identifying the “right place” at scale remains a digital advertising backwater. Advertisers generally buy direct. Or they use the screens of brand safety, context, verification, pre-verification and so forth.
Both of these solutions are ROI killers.
It turns out that identifying and buying the “right places” for brand advertisers generally has a dramatic improvement in ROI (regardless of the metric). In scale environments – Networks and RTB – click-through improves by as much as 15 percent across the board, and the cost per acquisition can decrease by nearly two-thirds. It seems obvious that basic brand metrics would improve significantly as well.
So what is the right place? For some advertisers it’s simply meeting the most basic quality-publishing standards: good layouts, freshly updated content, credible writers, not too much ad clutter, not too many bad words or pictures, and so on.  Often, however, the right place for one advertiser (say, a home cooking brand) will actually be a wrong place for another (say, a pharmaceutical advertiser).
The process of identifying the right place for any advertiser relies on technology. But, more importantly, it requires a deep understanding of brand advertising and the ability to work with advertisers to give them what they need.
When advertisers get that, ROI improves in incredible ways.
Andy Lerner is the CEO of Trust Metrics
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