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Viewability is a big part of the journey, but it’s not the destination

Viewability is a big part of the journey, but it’s not the destination

There are a two things we didn’t quite understand 10 years ago. First, there is a major difference between a served impression and a viewable impression. Just because an ad server delivered an ad to a web page, it doesn’t mean someone had the opportunity to see it.

For all the flaws of panel-based measurement in traditional media, at least it was delivering numbers on ads that consumers had the option to view or hear before fast-forwarding on a DVR, turning a page or muting the radio. In digital, impressions were being counted for ads that often loaded below the field of view or never fully loaded at all as consumers quickly hopped from site to site.

Second, senior brand markets didn’t care about impressions. They needed metrics that were comparable to what they were getting for existing media. The gross rating point (GRP) wasn’t perfect, but everyone knew what it meant.

CMOs didn’t want to make ad buys based on impressions. They wanted ad buys based on audiences. And most important, they needed brand metrics that matter if they were going to be convinced to move ad dollars into an unproven medium.

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