'Ad Tech Vendors Still Reluctant to Help Brands Grow Display’, by Gavin Deadman, Digital Marketing Manager, PKR Technologies Ltd

Innovation over the past few years has been moving at an astonishing pace, but one of my biggest bugbears, along with I’m sure 80% of digital marketers, is the fact that self-service DSPs and many managed service display partners still attribute post-view conversions to campaigns, even if the banner has not even been in-view.

In-view rates tend to go from 25% to 50%, dependent on exchange, which results in huge amounts of ad spend wastage and over valuing the display channel. The other 20% of digital marketers are those who love the numbers coming in, irrelevant of impact.

The industry was very relieved a few years ago to see in-view tech flourish like spider.io and Alenty, but it’s still incredibly frustrating that DSPs and buying platforms are reluctant to build a simple integration. This would enable them to discount post-view conversions with banners not in-view within seconds of the ad being delivered, focusing instead on integrating other channels into the DSP.

Ad agencies are getting demands from clients to use in-view tech more than ever for obvious reasons, yet there has been an unwillingness to prioritise an integration from buying platforms. It's imperative that all the post view conversions — where the banner was not in-view — should be ignored post bid within seconds by the actual platform that the algorithm uses for optimising and platform reporting.

Yes, log-level data will give you in-view data, which would feed into the DMP/attribution model, but it’s still essential to have accurate data within the buying platform UI, especially as the algorithm uses conversion data for optimising. However, optimising on 50% invalid data is just wrong (artificially increasing CPA doesn’t help the algorithm optimise towards valid conversions any better). This essentially is a simple case of two servers talking to each other.

CEOs and CMOs have known about the huge wastage that comes with display advertising for years, and are starting to lose patience. Ultimately, they’ll make one of the two following choices soon: either move to last click only; or shift budget to the first DSP which comes to market with a solution.

Perhaps once all buying platforms have ignored post-view conversions — where banners were not in-view — then the display channel spend across the board might go down as clients find out the real value of display advertising.

This might be a bad thing for display partners, but this is a good thing for the industry, display innovation, respect for the channel and most importantly performance — as marketers can invest what would have been wastage into another channel like FBX, Twitter, video or offline.

On the other hand, many brands who currently only work on a last-click basis because of this issue would actually open up the post-view window to 3-7 days if only in-view post view conversions were attributed. This would result in a spend increase across display.

Buying platforms can’t ignore this request for much longer and the DSP who rolls out this solution so that brands can broker a deal with in-view tech and then connect it to their campaigns will reap the benefits and marketers will shift more budget into display.