Introducing Ad Exposure targeting and verification from Sizmek

In any business, there are two basic ways to increase revenue:

  1. Increase volume (through advertising, promotions, offering new products), or
  2. Increase income per customer (by raising prices, upselling, offering new products)

While each approach has the potential to raise profits, they also present unique challenges and risks:  For example, perhaps advertising and promotional efforts to increase a customer base will prove cost prohibitive.  If sellers raise prices, perhaps they’ll lose customers to a competitor.  Or maybe a new product line will fall flat.  In all of these instances, customer acceptance ultimately determines the fate of the company.

Digital media publishers have the same options in their toolbox, but since their customers (i.e., advertisers) and consumers are usually different, they have more control over how revenue is generated—and accordingly, the less transparent among them may have a different definition of what’s fair. 

This is less of an issue for the first option, increasing volume, because most publishers will try to boost traffic simply by creating (and promoting) unique and compelling content.  And for publishers who would otherwise try to boost traffic in illegitimate ways, increased attention on ad fraud and viewability is making this ever more difficult.

In the second category, though, gaming the system is much easier.  As publishers are facing decreasing CPMs, being held responsible for delivering viewable ads and non-fraudulent traffic, and exhausting their options to increase revenue per customer, some have realized that they can increase revenue per consumer.

How Some Publishers Game the System

How can publishers do this?  By double-dipping—cramming dozens of ads onto a single page, serving multiple ads from the same advertiser on the same page, or even refreshing multiple ads from one or more advertisers in the same spot on the same page. 

If you’re an advertiser competing for a user’s attention alongside eight other advertisers, or your ad was cycled through a rotation with other brands while a user was reading an article, your ad was underexposed to that user – yet you paid the same price for a fraction of his/her attention.  If the publisher served two of your ads to the same page, or your ad was refreshed multiple times during a single user session, your ad was overexposed to that user – yet you paid multiple times for the same bit of attention.  In both cases, the publisher is dipping into your pockets to dilute the true value of what you thought you purchased. 

Advertisers without robust verification might not know that double-dipping can account for up to 5% of all impressions.  These publishers did deliver those impressions, and did they meet all MRC guidelines.  But sometimes guidelines aren’t enough; sometimes you need the freedom to choose what’s acceptable, and what’s not.  That’s why we’ve added Ad Exposure categories to our Peer39 Media Relevance Data, so that you can maximize the value of each and every impression and protect yourself from publisher double-dipping. 

Call your sales representative today to learn about leveraging Ad Exposure for pre-bid targeting and post-buy verification, or email with “I want protection from publisher double-dipping” in the subject line.

Zach Schapira