Data transparency. It sounds good, and I think you’d agree you probably want it. But what does it actually mean when discussing digital advertising? And it is always a good thing?
AdCellerant is a driving force in programmatic advertising execution and reporting strategy that has been long-awaited. This change has the potential to dramatically alter how brands spend their money and how agencies are going to be expected to report the results from that spend.
For many years, as digital advertising offerings matured, the only metrics that were universally reported were Impressions, Clicks, CTR, CPC, and CPM. These provided a high-level insight that could be used to surface aggregate trends within defined audiences, but lacked the detail to help an advertiser determine the best audience to start with.
Those metrics are still largely the extent of the reporting metrics provided by most advertising agencies upon completion of a digital campaign. So, the way an advertiser might measure the success of the campaign has been inexorably tied to the number of impressions, clicks, and cost. However, they neglect more meaningful metrics that could determine the quality of the traffic, the number of qualified leads, or the actual sales invoices generated by the spend.
That is quickly changing, and AdCellerant is proud to be a part of the reason.
To this point there has been almost zero visibility into programmatic ad placement due to industry-wide perceived and technical communicative challenges. For instance, a campaign manager may see that certain inventory providers or ad formats performed better and had modified the bidding strategy accordingly, but those detailed data points are rarely displayed directly to the advertiser. Most, if not all, campaign optimizations happen in a vacuum with little to no transparency provided as to the inventory sources, device performance, or placement position.
To remedy this, we have decided to help lead the way in providing what amounts to absolute data transparency to AdCellerant partners. This means that in addition to the standard reporting metrics, AdCellerant provides the sites, fold position, ad format, inventory providers, device engagement, and many more valuable reporting attributes in order to provide the advertiser a much more detailed insight into what worked and what didn’t so that they can better allocate future ad spend.
AdCellerant’s partners will have visibility into click and conversion performance by ad format, fold position, site placement, inventory provider, time/day, browser, device, geography, recency, behavioral data, and much more. This will allow our advertisers to more efficiently utilize their ad spend based on their actual successes and failures.
However, with complete transparency comes complete responsibility.
For instance, just because a 120×600 ad unit has a higher CTR than a 300×250, it doesn’t mean that you should/could move all of your delivery to the 120×600. There may not be enough available inventory when limiting to that one ad format when considering all other potential audience selections. Or you may see tremendous response within the 8-9a hour on Mondays, but it doesn’t mean you should only schedule your ad during those times. It probably does mean that you should prioritize and be willing to spend more aggressively to gain more impressions during that window.
Another common issue experienced when experiencing absolute transparency for the first time is simply “data overload”. Sometimes there will be many different attributes that surface as potential improvement opportunities for a campaign and it can be difficult to determine which direction to go. If too many changes are made at once, it can be impossible to determine which of those changes resulted in any observed differences in engagement, both positively and negatively.
One solution to this: always determine the most obvious opportunities and start there, incrementally making the more nuanced changes as performance is improved.
We have all wanted to provide this level of transparency for a long time as the value is somewhat obvious, but only now is the industry beginning to be prepared both with technology and for the conversations that will result. AdCellerant is well-prepared for those conversations and confident in our technology stack and delivery practices.