Big Name Publishers are Very Interested in Selling Time-Based Ads

In September we wrote about a London-based online paper that was going to test selling ads based on time instead of impressions; and now, a recent survey found that 80% of big name publishers are also interested in pricing and selling their ads on time-based metrics.

The survey was conducted by Digital Content Next, formerly the Online Publishers Association, on 25 of its members including Conde Nast, ESPN, Forbes, Gannett, CNBC Digital, Inc., Univision, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Of that group, only 20% said that they were not interested in changing the standard way of pricing ads by impressions. In fact, 60% said they are considering time-based transactions, 4% are already testing it, 8% will begin to test it this year and another 8% said they plan to test it next year.

Right now, slightly over half of publishers believe time-based metrics could eventually replace impressions as the currency standard for digital advertisements. Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint said that the future of digital publishing “will include some form of attention-based metrics.” So what is the strongest argument against it? “Lack of standard metrics and measurement methodology” was the most common reason cited (68%), followed by “lack of research showing that time in view is correlated to ad effectiveness” (48%) and “lack of marketer and ad agency education and interest” (40%).

Being that this is a brand new concept, sure, the research to back it isn’t quite in place. However, I think it’s safe to say that with all the interest around it studies will begin soon to measure the overall effectiveness of this new way to price digital ads. This is a long awaited change to the traditional price per impression model, that many advertisers have been waiting for. As AdAge explains:

Most advertising is bought and sold according to the number of people who are exposed to the ad, referred to as impressions. But digital publishers are seeing declining rates for their ads as an ocean of competition undermines prices. Readers’ shift to mobile has only accelerated the decline. Publishers hope that time-based metrics — which measures the amount of time people spend on a page where an ad is viewable — will allow them to charge more for their ads. The idea is partly that the supply of readers’ time is more limited than the supply of web pages that might attract a visit, however fleeting.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) issued a viewability standard for digital ads already this year, which states that an ad is considered “viewable” when at least 50% of it shows up in the viewable portion of a browser for at least one second. My personal opinion is that an ad shouldn’t be considered viewable until it is 100% visible, but I don’t make the rules. If there is a CTA at the bottom of the ad, which isn’t yet visible because it’s loading from top to bottom and you are not yet able to take action, I don’t think the ad should be considered viewable yet. I’m interested to see what kind of rates publishers will begin to charge for these ads. I’m sure we’ll begin to hear much more about this new pricing model in the near future.



5 Scary Mistakes Not to Make in Display Advertising

In the spirit of Halloween, we’d like to share a blog about “scary” mistakes people tend to make when running their display advertising campaigns. Written by Marketing Coordinator Lindsay Arnold at WhatRunsWhere, we found it to be an entertaining and informative piece that our readers could both enjoy and learn from.

From split-testing to CTAs, all the basics are covered, so get to reading and put your new strategy to work for you!

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If You’re Marketing to Teens, Avoid Facebook

Rumors of Facebook’s popularity declining amongst teens have been circulating for a while now, and the semi-annual survey conducted by Piper Jaffrey Taking Stock With Teens  which gathered the input of around 7,200 teens found that to be true. In just six months since their spring survey was led, Facebook usage by teens dropped from 72% to 45% in the fall. This places Facebook as the third most popular social media site behind Instagram (76%) and Twitter (59%). The survey says this implies that “teens are increasingly visual and sound bite communicators,” something to keep in mind if you’re marketing to the younger millennials.

While a 27% drop in just six short months is quite significant, don’t go pulling your Facebook campaigns just yet. This by no means is the impending doom of Facebook, despite some exaggerated headlines. There are still over a billion people on Facebook. As Michael Levanduski of Performance Marketing Insider noted, “Most teens are likely leaving simply because they don’t want parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents seeing all their (often very vulgar and self-centered) posts.”

This makes sense, as does his observation of teens returning when they reach their twenties to reconnect with family and friends. “Teenagers since the dawn of time have always tried to distance themselves from their parents. It is natural, and even a good thing. It helps them to grow and develop their independence (so they aren’t living in their mom’s basement when they are 35),” wrote Levanduski.

The majority of Facebook user growth occurs in users 25 and older, so as the Facebook demographic ages, the younger users are seemingly turning to newer, younger social platforms. What’s “cool” for adults has never been cool for kids, any parent can tell you that. This is just something to keep in mind for whatever your offer may be especially if it appeals to teens, such as video games, clothing and popular electronics.


What America’s Fastest Growing Companies Are Spending on PPC: Infographic

Let’s face it – the digital age has introduced us to more advertising platforms than ever and choosing the right one to promote your product or service can be tricky. One of the fastest growing online advertising mediums is pay per click, or PPC, and this infographic created by PPC Hero and SEM Rush breaks down what some of America’s fastest growing companies by industry type are spending on their PPC campaigns and what they’re getting in return. As you can see, when utilized correctly there are BIG returns to be had.

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The Customer Journey Officer – The Reimagined CMO

We’ve blogged before about how important mapping the customer journey is. And now, the industry is being introduced to an entirely new realm of mobility wherein the endpoint isn’t the sole focus any longer. With so many touchpoints through the customer journey, whose job is it to strategize through these areas to determine how the lead, download, conversion, etc. was obtained now that there are so many funnels? Meet the Customer Journey Officer.

“The future of marketing is, quite simply, the process of mapping and optimizing journeys for customers. With so much at stake here, it’s clear that there is a growing need for a steward – a guardian for the customer’s journey, looking after them to ensure an awesome and hopefully never-ending experience,” said Chief Strategy Officer Michael Lazerow of Salesforce Marketing Cloud in an article on Ad Age.

Mapping the customer journey isn’t an easy feat to accomplish, but as Lazerow reports only the most successful and innovative marketers around the globe are taking the initiative to do so. To begin this, he says there are four questions companies must ask themselves about the customer journey:

Do you know your customers?

Who is your target audience? Who is buying your products and using your services? Without the knowledge of customers on a personal level, “It is extremely difficult – I’d argue impossible – to reinvent how you do business,” said Lazerow.

Do you know where they are in their journey?

So say you do know your customers personally, but do you know if they’re a past, current or prospective customer? This relates to timing and personalizing messages based on where they are in their journey.

Do you have a strategy to move customers along in their journeys?

This is where your game plan is mapped out. After you’ve answered the first two questions, you can create highly personalized campaigns by understanding your customers and where they are in their journey. “You need to have organizational structure, content and strategy to execute optimized and personalized content across every channel and every device,” said Lazerow.

Are you able to measure the business impact?

Once you’ve understood your customers and where they are and targeted them with an effective strategy, you should be able to measure the impact it’s had on your business because at this point you should be able to “see at every given moment where any one customer is in his or her journey and, in aggregate, how many customers are in various places in the journey,” said Lazerow. “Marketers who embrace this new concept of the Customer Journey Officer will thrive and be rewarded. All others will be left behind.”

Read the full article on Ad Age here.

How Bloggers Make Money: Infographic

Blogs have the power to be a very lucrative source of income. The key is to know how to utilize them, who your readers are, and to make sure that your advertising aligns with your blog and its visitors. Websites with blogs can lead to increased brand awareness and trust with consumers; Sixty-one percent of consumers have made a purchase after reading a blog. With nearly 7 million bloggers on the web, it’s important to find a niche you’re passionate about. There’s a blog for everything now a days so you’ll need a way to stand out amongst others writing about the same things.

The infographic below created by Ignite Spot breaks down the revenues generated through blogs by the types of bloggers and advertisements used, as well as the most important reasons businesses need blogs.

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Cost Per Hour Challenges Cost Per Click

Digital advertising has been using the volume measurement of click-based tracking for decades, but a new measurement based on time will be tested next month by the Financial Times, a London-based online paper. Advertisers will be charged on the length of time the ad appears before readers rather than impressions.

“We’re definitely challenging the status quo,” said Jon Slade, Financial Times director of digital advertising and insight. “No one has come up with a new currency in digital advertising in a while.”

Slade thought up the idea in 2013 as a solution to a seemingly inaccurate metric.  The click-through rate of 0.1% for banner ads is “laughably low” as Ad Age reports, yet remains on engagement reports “despite efforts from publishers and media buyers to kill the measure.”

This is a drastic change met with both acceptance and resistance amongst advertisers. However, one key factor is that this allows marketers to charge based on scarcity by shifting the focus on time rather than views. This is how TV networks in particular can charge such high rates for commercial slots – there are only so many spots available during a 30-minute program.

“Time is the only unit of scarcity on the web,” said Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat. “You’ve only got 24 hours a day per person. So what you’ve got is a constrained resource: time. That directly correlates with the goals of advertising. Just like any economy of scarcity, anyone who captures most of it can charge more.”

Ad Age explains how the Financial Times will measure CPH:

Using technology from Chartbeat, the Financial Times starts its timer when at least 50% of an ad has appeared on screen for five seconds. “Any time an ad is on screen for five seconds or more it goes into a pot of one hour,” Mr. Slade said. If a reader scrolls or clicks away from the ad before five seconds have passed, the time doesn’t count toward the hour of time an advertiser has bought. To determine whether a reader is active on the page, Chartbeat looks for signals, such as mouse movement and keyboard activity.

The Financial Times did a study that found when an ad was viewed for at least five seconds, readers experienced 79% greater brand recall. There was no mention of how much the company planned to charge for CPH, but that they planned to determine cost per hour by looking at CPMs.

Read the full story on Ad Age here.