Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How Much of Your Audience is Fake?

When digital first emerged as marketing channels, they held huge promise to marketers looking to cheaply and efficiently show relevant ads to an audience of potential customers.  However, the effectiveness of digital advertising has been less than stellar. As this article states, 

Digital’s return on investment was around 2 to 1, a $2 increase in revenue for every $1 of ad spending, compared with at least 6 to 1 for TV. The most startling finding: Only 20 percent of the campaign’s “ad impressions”—ads that appear on a computer or smartphone screen—were even seen by actual people."

Bots are a huge problem for advertisers and this means publishers have  a new challenge on their hands - to prove to advertisers that ads served on their sites will be seen by actual humans.  Facebook has recently claimed that it can do just that, and I expect other big publishers will follow suit.  As some publishers are able to distinguish themselves as more effective conduits to potential customers, they will be able to charge a premium for their inventory.  On the other hand, publishers who don't make efforts to address bots will quickly be cut out of marketing budgets.


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