Technology Adnami Takeaways

Adnami's Thomas Schultz on ad wastage, measurement and other trends from DMEXCO 22

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October 25, 2022 | 4 min read

After three years, DMEXCO returned

How did you find the event?

It was great to be back in Cologne and see the industry come together again: it’s been a while. While it was smaller, with fewer booths, the crowds certainly were there. What was interesting was the number of start-ups exhibiting. That just highlights ad tech continues to grow and is in good health. And with new players entering the market and bringing fresh ideas, different approaches, and innovation, this can only be a good thing.

What was the hot topic there, for you?

Not surprisingly, sustainability in ad tech was much discussed, and the need for the industry to change and adapt. Focusing on efficiencies and simplifying supply paths will be increasingly important to help achieve this. I believe advertising should focus on bigger, better and less. By taking advantage of new high-impact ad formats, advertisers can shorten the path between engagement and conversion. This means they can achieve their objectives quicker while requiring fewer ads, thus reversing the trend of serving ever more ads to consumers.

Success and sustainability are about the quality of your ads, not the quantity. If you ensure your advertising only appears in trusted, premium environments that deliver the best experiences and results, no opportunity is wasted, and you avoid littering long-tail sites with ads that are wasteful in terms of marketing spend and CO2 emissions. Again, it’s about value, not volume. Ad wastage is a key industry issue on which action must be taken.

When you talk about ad wastage, what wastage are you specifically seeing?

Today, consumers are exposed to more advertising than they can actually process. On average, we’re exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 ads daily. It’s a vast amount, but most of these go unnoticed. In fact, people only remember 0.25% of what they see. This means the vast majority of advertising is wasted. By recognising and addressing this attention deficit, brands can develop better advertising.

So what’s the solution to overcoming this?

It’s all about going back to basics. It’s giving brands advertising that gains attention and is remembered, then proving to them that their advertising is having an impact.

For too long, programmatic technology has helped serve up a diet of bland, insipid ads that have turned off and alienated consumers. Now we’re seeing the emergence of new, large formats that positively influence consumer attention in a way that is comparable to TV and video.

As a result, we’re seeing a renaissance of creativity in advertising. These formats are allowing brands to present themselves in the best possible way. And as creativity is responsible for 70% of a campaign’s success, it’s ushering in an era of more effective advertising. Creativity, once again, is becoming king in digital advertising

If formats and creativity are both important, how do you prove they are making a difference?

It’s by measuring what matters. With new formats and a new lease of life for creativity, brands must also adopt a new approach to measurement. And this means gauging impact by focusing on how it influences consumer attention. And when it comes to attention, time is the critical factor.

For every second an ad engages someone’s attention, the message is retained in their memory for up to three days. In measuring attention, a two-second dwell time is the golden window for recall. In essence, time is money. The longer an ad is viewed, the greater its impact and the longer its message will be retained by the consumer.

But equally critical is the environment the ad appears in. While audience-buying is prevalent in programmatic, it fails to consider mindset. And mindset is influenced by context.

Whether it’s work or leisure time, planning a Friday night out or gearing yourself up for exercise, in these different environments, people will have different interests. This has important implications for which messages they will be receptive to. Context is crucial in determining how impactful an ad will be, and marketers must bear this in mind in their planning.

Ultimately, you can’t whittle down success to a single factor. Today, format, creativity, measurement and context must all be aligned to deliver advertising that catches the eye, turns heads, engages and allows brands to stand out. These are the success factors for better, more effective advertising going forward.

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