What tools and resources do advertisers and agencies have to report and analyse the 99 per cent of unclicked impressions? These ad impressions have value, but there are only flawed and debatable tools for measurement.
Impressions shouldn’t be wasted
Unclicked ads should not be universally discounted as wasted impressions.
A recent mobile advertising neuroscience study from Sharethrough and Nielsen showed how impressions can influence brand perception.
Analytics platforms, from Moat to IAS, have focused heavily on viewability by making certain that ads are viewable. Contrary to the IAB standard for viewability, which is “a minimum of 50 per cent of pixels in view for a minimum of 1 second,” WPP agency GroupM and Unilever announced earlier this year that they would only count video impressions when 100 per cent of the ad player is in view.
Additional measurement techniques are needed to help the industry gauge the value of a viewable impression, especially on a mobile device where a full-screen, viewable impression means a captivated audience.
Survey measurement is flawed
Since the dawn of the commercial Internet, the value of display ad impressions has largely been measured through surveys. These are usually online audiences, segmented by consumers who have and have not seen a marketing campaign or creative and asked to respond to a brand perception questionnaire.
This approach only taps into a person’s conscious brain — a major shortcoming.
Subconscious brain activity
According to research from the Laboratory for Cognitive Psychophysiology at the University of Illinois, only five percent of the brain’s activity is expended on conscious activity. The remaining brain activity is devoted largely to unconscious processing.
Developing a more comprehensive measurement system for mobile impressions will require tapping deeper into subconscious activity. Wearable devices that track neurological activity are readily available to consumers, from MindWave to MUSE and Melon.
Extending these technologies to work with the front-facing camera on smartphones only makes sense. I predict that Samsung’s Smart Scroll feature, which uses eye-tracking software to page up or down, will be deployed for advertising measurement in the not-too-distant future.
To assuage understandable consumer privacy concerns, companies developing this technology would require an opt-in for this type of measurement.
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