NEW YORK: With advertisers now expecting basic standards of viewability for their digital advertising, attention is turning to its actual impact, with a new report suggesting that both ‘time in view’ and ‘percent on screen’ are strongly related to online conversions.

A year-long study by MAGNA and IPG Media Lab, Pulling Back the Curtain: Viewability & Direct Response, tracked real campaigns from four sectors running on The Trade Desk’s DSP.

Raw impression and conversion data, along with Moat viewability and attention data were analysed, while Cadreon, the advertising technology specialist unit of IPG Mediabrands, measured attribution with and without the inclusion of viewability data.

The study found that viewability is important for an accurate understanding of how well a campaign has performed and that no matter what viewability measure is used – the MRC standard or an agency alternative – performance metrics were similar in terms of both the percentage of impressions deemed viewable and the number of conversions that took place.

Both ‘time in view’ and ‘percent on screen’ were strongly related to online conversions. As one would intuitively expect, consumers who were exposed to ads with higher viewability for longer were more likely to convert.

And the time spent interacting with an ad was also an important factor. “We observed a direct relationship between consumers who interacted longer with ads during exposure and conversion rates,” the study noted.

“For example, the longer consumers interact with ads during exposure, the more likely they are to ultimately convert at some point.”

Although viewability is critical for understanding how effective direct response campaigns are, the research did not confirm a specific threshold of “in-view” impressions advertisers should aim for in campaign planning.

That’s because viewability is only one of several possible drivers of campaign success; advertisers need to also consider things like overall cost, the specific conversion task, the audience, the ad format, ad frequency and the website on which the ad is appearing.

“Viewability is the start of the conversation,” said Jonah Goodhart, SVP of Oracle Data Cloud and Co-Founder of Moat, “but measures of attention, like interactions and time, appear to relate even more closely to campaign performance.

“The better we understand the relationships between exposure and outcomes, the more equipped we can be as an industry to make smarter decisions about our media and creative investments.”

Sourced from MAGNA Global; additional content by WARC staff