3 reasons why the new time-spent metric benefits advertisers & their agencies

Today we’re sharing a guest post from Ted Dhanik, the President & CEO at engage:BDR, a leading integrated marketing company. Ted is here to share insights around the new time-spent metric that was released by Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS). 3MS is a cross-industry initiative founded by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Thanks to Ted for sharing engage:BDR’s perspective around this news and how it affects advertisers and their agencies.

Since the MRC (Media Rating Council) lifted its advisory on viewable impressions, the industry has been swiftly shifting to accommodate a new metric: time-spent. Rather than purchasing impressions counted by page loads, advertisers can now purchase only impressions that are viewable, meaning that they are actually visible to the visitor on screen for a set amount of time (the amount of which may vary). While the industry standard, released by 3MS, marks a viewable impression as anything exceeding one second, with 50% of pixels in view, many companies allow advertisers to set a longer time slot for their ad to be considered "viewed." This shift is beneficial to advertisers for a multitude of reasons.

  1. To start, this new metric puts emphasis on quality and engagement, and takes out much of the guesswork of media buying. Advertisers are paying for ads that have guaranteed visitor exposure for a set amount of time, so, whether a campaign is meant for sheer branding or has performance goals attached, results will likely improve. This time-spent metric cuts down on "spray and pray" advertising, especially when coupled with strategic targeting. Advertisers should seek out companies that allow them to set, and subsequently pay only for, the minimum time slot that they feel will allow the user to fully engage with their campaign. 
  2. This metric eliminates the risk that ad spend will be wasted on impressions that are never seen by a user or glazed over. If advertisers purchase standard impressions below the fold, it’s often unknown if those impressions will actually be viewed. If they do come into view, many are quickly scrolled past. When advertisers buy a time slot, regardless of the page position of the placement, they are not taking the risk that their number of actual, viable impressions will be diluted from the number of impressions they have bought.
  3. Additionally, the time-spent metric, which is backed by viewability technologies, can be the answer to a rampant problem in the advertising industry: click fraud. Since bots and scripts cannot mimic the actions needed to show time spent on a page, advertisers basing their buys on a time-spent metric will not be purchasing fraudulent impressions. This means that their spend will not be wasted on false views that could not possibly result in any branding or conversion goals being met. 

The new time-spent metric surely will play a key role in the digital advertising industry. Advertisers and their agencies especially will see direct and immediate benefits from working with providers who are developing technology that allows them to offer the new quality-focused option. 

Read more about engage:BDR here or sign in to SRDS.com and find out more about its new viewable impression product.




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