Will ‘Pay-Per-Face’ Transform Advertising?

word cloud - advertisingThe following is an exclusive guest contributed post from Rodolfo Saccoman, Chief Executive Officer of AdMobilize.

When 88% of a marketplace feels something is “very important,” you’d think those who serve that market would be listening—but so far they’re not, at least not fully.

Back in 2013, a study by the Association of National Advertisers and Nielsen found that multi-screen advertising campaigns were “very important” to overall marketing success, according to the advertisers, agencies and media sellers surveyed. At the time 48% of respondents agreed with the statement; but an overwhelming 88% of those surveyed believed that multi-screen campaigns would be “very important” by 2016.

Clearly, the number and diversity of delivery channels for digital experiences have grown since the ANA/Nielsen study was conducted. Today entertainment that once was the exclusive domain of network TV is more likely to be viewed on connected devices and from non-traditional sources. With the growth in smartphones and tablets, people now spend nearly ten hours a day viewing media—in many cases, from sources that barely existed in 2013.

Then as now, advertisers understood that data would drive the effectiveness of these multi-screen experiences. “Measurement is the biggest issue that will influence the rate of growth for multi-screen advertising,” noted Bill Duggan, ANA Group Executive Vice President, said at the time. “The industry needs to adopt measures that are consistent, comparable, and combinable across screens to provide a complete picture of a campaign’s effectiveness.”

The newest frontier in the quest for integrated measurement is the combination of usage data from the physical and online worlds. With the advent of object recognition technology and deep learning intelligence, it’s now possible to capture viewership information in real time from traditional out-of-home (OOH) advertising such as billboards and transit posters as well as digital out-of-home (DOOH) sources including kiosks, jumbotrons and digital point-of-purchase displays. More importantly, however, when this information is combined with online data, advertisers can raise their efficiency and relevance immensely. The value of campaigns across the virtual and physical worlds is truly enhanced.

Tracking how many people are looking at street-level and/or in-store ad placements, along with anonymous demographic and favorable/unfavorable response data, creates a better understanding of behavior, interest and preference. Marketers are able to measure dwell time for particular ads, peak viewership times, total impressions and more. They can also use predictive analytics to anticipate future behavior such as when and how to introduce a last-minute promotional offer.

Data collected from the physical environment can be symbiotic with data from connected devices, thus improving the intelligence of both. Back in 1999, advertisers had no Google Analytics, and online ads were served blindly. Today bricks-and-mortar retailers suffer from a similar impairment; with only point-of-sale intelligence to go on, no insights can be gained or strategies formed about the influence of ads run on in-store video screens. If those same retailers could merge viewer data from their DOOH screens with POS data, they could make better advertising decisions in real time.

Another powerful addition for marketers and agencies is the introduction of “pay-per-face” advertising. With sophisticated physical viewership data it’s possible to capture Gaze thru Rate (the ratio of total impressions versus views), plus information on pre-determined campaign metrics such as dwell time, ethnicity, gender, age and even emotional response. The data, delivered via a cloud-based dashboard, can help determine campaign efficiency and justify ad rates. It can also reveal if specific ads aren’t capturing enough attention (think A/B testing) or if physical locations are less than optimal.

Physical viewership information can transform the value of advertising not only in retail and outdoor placements but also at trade shows, live events, transportation hubs, cultural exhibits and theme parks. It can count vehicles as well as people; make better use of content management systems; and justify impression rates. Best of all, it can measure the ROI of out-of-home campaigns while improving the effectiveness of both online and physical ad efforts.

As marketers predicted just a few years back, the importance of multi-screen campaigns is exploding—which is why advertisers need new and better ways to measure and integrate their advertising efforts. The convergence of desktop, mobile and physical ad information is truly a data trifecta. As an important key to campaign intelligence, OOH “plug and measure” technology is a huge step forward—and one that should not be overlooked.