Industry Insights Audience Engagement Technology

Audience validation in the digital age


Promoted article

September 10, 2018 | 5 min read

Sponsored by:

What's this?

Sponsored content is created for and in partnership with an advertiser and produced by the Drum Studios team.

Find out more


The media industry is in a period of continuous and dramatic change. Allocation of ad spend is shifting in an era of online disruption with concerns over transparency, or more specifically the lack of transparency. Media agencies are reporting slower revenue growth and are facing a growing pressure to demonstrate better return on investment for their clients. We haven’t solved online ad tracking. Viewability remains a problem with nearly half of all online ads not being fully viewed. In 2017, 42.2% of all internet traffic wasn’t human and bad bot traffic climbed 9%. With the overwhelming amount of information and content available online, brand safety is still a challenge and 615 million devices are now blocking ads across the globe.

Audience Validation in the Digital Age

Audience validation in the digital age

Changing consumer behaviour has added a new level of complexity to questions over where to spend budget. The shift from traditional channels such as TV to VOD and the proliferation of sub-media within the ‘online’ umbrella provide new challenges for the marketing strategies, i.e. where should I buy, who should I buy, how do I know that my campaigns are reaching the right people, are being seen, are being placed next to the right content and are delivering ROI? The advertising industry now more than ever, needs real-time insight and new non-legacy approaches.

The Viewability Issue

Educating brands on viewability metrics, bot or non-human traffic, and running adverts in brand-safe environments continues to be a challenge in 2018. Over the last few years, the industry has taken positive steps towards managing viewable inventory. Nevertheless, a lot of work still needs to be done. A quick glance at the headlines for viewability benchmarks published for Q2 shows that we still have a big problem.

Is my brand safe?

The past year has demonstrated that brand safety incidents are still occurring, with ads from big brands appearing against damaging content on YouTube. Similar incidents and fears over brand safety led to the likes of Unilever threatening to pull ads from Facebook and Google because they are not doing a ‘good enough’ job at policing damaging content.

Despite steps being taken to address these concerns, the damage has been done and trust has been lost, the promise of stricter content checks and more complex algorithms isn’t enough to put the minds of big spenders at ease. Marketers and Advertisers need to have confidence that their brand is protected and their ads are viewable in the right environment in front of real consumers, who match their target audience.

Are my campaigns reaching the right people?

So, you’ve taken the right steps to make sure your message is now getting seen and in the right environments, but is it reaching the right audience? Audience validation is a growing need in the marketing industry, as the focus has evolved from accumulating data – the Big Data trend -- to having the “right” data – data that reflects the reality of individual consumers in a reliable, trustworthy way. Research Now SSI’s audience validation solution combines high quality global opted-in data – one of the world’s largest collections of first-party data – with a best-in-class audience validation platform which allows marketers, advertisers and publishers to measure, validate and optimise measurement and decision-making across the online advertising value chain.

When marketers and advertisers think about their target audience, they’re likely thinking well beyond age and gender, so why should they be limited to these two options when targeting their advertising? To have the best results and achieve meaningful brand uplift within their target demographic then looking beyond age and gender into education, ethnicity, occupation, income, and location amongst other attributes will help improve the effectiveness of their targeting, insuring ads reach the intended audience.

With these attributes on each of the consumers within the Research Now SSI first-party data set, marketers and advertisers have the opportunity to get granular and target their campaigns to consumers who are a true reflection of their audience. Access to this profiling data allows marketers and advertisers to be more efficient and effective in reaching their target audiences in flight, which in turn easily plugs into brand uplift studies, ultimately improving their campaign planning and ROI on advertising spend.

Research Now SSI’s Audience Verification platform enables agencies, advertisers, and publishers to measure the efficiency of ad distribution and targeting in order to optimise in-flight campaigns. Connecting live campaign impressions to Research Now SSI’s first-party, opted-in, cross-device panel, enables unique insights into all elements of your campaign delivery.

Industry Insights Audience Engagement Technology

More from Industry Insights

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +