SOURCE: C3 Metrics

C3 Metrics

January 30, 2012 09:43 ET

Viewable Impression Standards Arrive: Click-Through Rates 179% Higher Than Reported

Report Underscores Importance of Moving Toward Viewable Impression Data for Display Measurement Accuracy and Attribution Modeling Source Data in 2012

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jan 30, 2012) - The new installment of C3 Metrics' Labs series has produced new data to support the forthcoming IAB, ANA, and 4As standards on "viewable impressions." The data indicates that click-through rates on banner ads may be 179 percent higher than reported for marketers who are not taking viewable impression data into account. The report reinforces the industry need for viewable impression data to deliver new insights, more accurate reporting and less wasted ad impressions.

Historically, all server requests recorded by ad servers have been deemed impressions. However, the IAB, ANA and 4As have recently called for a "viewable impression" standard, which details that ads both fully load and enter into the viewable space on a consumer's screen for at least one second.

C3 Metrics analyzed a subset of data across its client base in Q4 2011 to identify viewable impressions based on the new industry standard. This included several billion ad impressions as well as third-party ad server data.

The C3 Metrics Labs report found that 68 percent of all display ads served are never ultimately seen by consumers according to the viewable impression standard. Of the ads that are not seen, 12 percent never fully load. Because click-through rates are calculated based on ads that are actually seen, display ad metrics that do not take viewable impression data into account may be off by as much as 179 percent.

Based on these findings, C3 Metrics COO Jeff Greenfield predicts three key shifts in online ad metrics in 2012:

a) Click-through rates must be calculated on impressions viewed, not server requests.
b) Attribution modeling, which is critical to display success, must also incorporate the viewable impression standard, because view-through credit is entirely based on an actual view.
c) CPMs for viewable impressions will justifiably rise, and unviewed impressions will no longer count in display ad performance reporting.

"The viewable impression standards have arrived," said Greenfield. "There's good news and bad news whenever a new standard is adopted, but the IAB, ANA, and 4As have pushed this standard, and ultimately more dollars will pour into digital advertising with new, precedent-setting accountability that CMOs and CFOs are looking for. Any agency failing to adopt the new standard might be optimizing with click-through rates off by 179 percent, and from attribution modeling standpoint, will have results off by 68 percent."

C3 Metrics' proprietary decision engine provides Full-Funnel Attribution® modeling, capturing all online media sources from the top of the funnel, where sales are originated, to conversion at the bottom of the funnel.

C3 Metrics CEO Mark Hughes added, "As search matures in volume, display becomes a huge opportunity for brands and publishers. The key is measuring display accurately to drive value and optimize on sound data versus optimizing on ads you're not sure have been seen. The impression standard is the key to all advertising whether it's attribution modeling or creative optimization using click-through rate. 2012 is on the verge of a major shift in media metrics."

To view the full C3 Metrics' Labs data report, visit:

About C3 Metrics:
C3 Metrics is Attribution Made Simple. The C3 Metrics proprietary decision engine delivers actionable attribution modeling, allowing marketers to measure the true value of all marketing channels -- taking big data and making complex media analytics simple. Headquartered in New York, C3 Metrics provides a SaaS solution for agencies, brands and publishers to solve the "last click" and data overload problems of online marketing optimization. A two+ year client case study for one of C3 Metrics' NYSE traded advertising partners has demonstrated a 75 percent revenue increase versus baseline with only a 12 percent increase in advertising spend.

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