Ask the expert: Meet David Hahn, SVP of Product, Adsafe Media
This month's Expert is David Hahn, Senior Vice President, Product management at Adsafe Media. David has worked with several startups and mature technology organizations and has over 12 years of executive product management, marketing and strategy experience. You can learn more about Dave here.
We sent Dave several questions about about the online advertising & display industry and how AdSafe is helping advertisers get smarter. Here are his reactions:
1. There was a great article in AdAge on titled How Blank Display Ads Managed to Tot Up Some Impressive Numbers. What's your immediate reaction to the never-ending debate on clickers versus converters?
McConnell’s experiment in that AdAge piece highlights that a system where we base success on clicks instead of true conversion and ROI is fundamentally flawed. The issue isn’t just mistaken clicks, but click fraud. The nature of how we measure success and the emphasis the industry places on clicks encourages people to try and game the system. It’s still fairly rampant. That’s why we developed our Fraud and Suspicious Activity Detection product.
We need to get back to focusing on measuring a brand’s true objectives, instead of making clicks the be-all and end-all to display advertising.
2. What is the most common misconception about display advertising?
The most common misconception is that ads are actually seen by users. Thirty-eight percent of ads are never in view to a user; 56% of ads are not in view for a total of five seconds. As a result, attribution models that assume that ads are viewed are obviously flawed; for attribution models to be accurate, their formula needs to include an in-view data point.
As more and more brands start testing viewability through the 3MS initiative and realize its importance in the marketplace, I think we’ll see a shift towards this as a currency and when this happens attribution models start to take viewability into account.
3. You are seeing a lot of data, are there any fun facts you can share with us?
We’re releasing our Semiannual Review shortly, and it’s packed with interesting facts. Some highlights include:
- Size has a big impact on ad viewability. Vertically oriented 160 x 600 pixel ads show the best viewability across all networks at 69.1%.
- We also studied the viewability of ads across browser types and found it’s actually very similar – here’s a lot more on that.
- Ads intended for the U.S. market that end up being seen by users abroad are a major concern for advertisers - and we can see where those ads are ending up. Not surprisingly, the U.K. is seeing 26.33% of those ads, but countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and China are all seeing over 2% of that non-compliant geo-targeted ad traffic.
- 6-7% of ads are involved in ‘Ad Collision’ – where two or more ads from one brand’s campaign appear on the same page at the same time (even when against IO specifications). We measure 2, 3 4, or more collisions and actually just launched a product to help protect our clients from this.
4. How does AdSafe help advertisers get smarter?
We help advertisers escape from total reliance on cookie targeting. We help them understand that it’s not only about looking for the right person, but also finding them in the right place: safe and relevant contextual environments where they’re most likely to view an ad for a long time and engage with it.
We provide both ad buyers and sellers with the proactive technology to not only measure ad in-view time, but also get the results that they’re looking for while keeping their brand safe. This includes working with publishers to analyze our data against theirs to better understand factors that improve conversion. For example, in this case study we found that viewing multiple long impressions made users 250% more likely to convert.
As an overall company philosophy; we always focus on making our products and data actionable – rather than being used for simple reporting purposes. So, since launch, our safety solution has focused on blocking ads before they ran in the wrong place -- rather than just telling you after the fact, in a ‘verification’ report, where they ran.
In a more recent product example, we have the only predictive ad viewability data in the marketplace. One insurance brand recently started using it and sent us results we’re really excited about. When buying through a DSP, in previous campaigns they were making $1.40 in profits on every advertising dollar spent leveraging cookie targeting. Not bad. But once they started using our predictive viewability ratings rather than audience data, their return immediately jumped to $2.80. We should be able to share that case study soon!