In this blog series, IAB Europe’s Brand Advertising Committee and its members explore key perspectives and the latest developments in the drive for a viewable, quality digital advertising environment.
Alex North, Head of Marketing Science R&D, EMEA, Facebook
Viewability is a measure of the opportunity for advertising value. As advertisers strive to understand mobile's unique consumption patterns and optimal marketing approaches, they're faced with new challenges that can't be solved through assumptions taken from other media.
There is universal agreement that if an ad never appears on someone's screen, then it cannot create value. But there's debate as to what counts as “viewable” once the ad has entered the screen, what standards should be employed, and how these should be applied across platforms, especially mobile. Here at Facebook, we're often asked for our perspective on the link between viewability and value as the platforms in our portfolio are used so heavily on mobile devices. Advertisers are keen to understand how consumption patterns and optimal marketing approaches are different for mobile.
It’s crucial that we explore the data available to understand how mobile platforms are consumed and how they can be used by marketers effectively: otherwise, we risk introducing bias. For example:
While there is universal agreement that marketers shouldn't pay for ads that don't enter the screen, it still remains an open topic on the point at which an ad is able to start creating value once it has entered the screen. Mobile environments, and particularly in-feed environments such as Facebook and Instagram, present a distinct interactive experience where users consume each piece of content before deciding to scroll to the next post. Marketers must take into account the nuances of consumption across platforms when considering where best to place campaigns. The keys to success will be a common understanding of how to quantify exposure (such as the sort of principles outlined by the European Viewability Steering Group), paired with a focus on measuring the value of exposure.
 The EVSG principles are outlined here - https://eaca.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/European-Viewability-Measurement-Principles-04.12.2017.pdf