Choosing Digital Currencies That Matter: 3 Takeaways from MOAT Attention.io 2016

Lin Digital joined digital advertising industry leaders in September at an annual conference hosted by MOAT, our primary viewability and verification partner. The conference, titled Attention.io, focused on challenges around time, attention, and engagement in digital advertising strategy and practices.

One of the most prevalent themes of MOAT Attention.io was currency. As the advertising industry continues to grow in its sophistication and the objectives of digital advertising campaigns seek increasingly more complex KPIs, advertisers and publishers alike are considering forms of digital currency that ensure both campaign success and profitability.

When considering the barriers to developing a common currency, lack of standardization in defining and measuring KPIs emerged as one of the biggest challenges for the industry. If every ad tech company is measuring KPIs differently and pursuing different definitions, it becomes difficult to agree on whose data is correct. In order to develop a common currency that drives the industry forward, all players must agree on the outline of that currency.

Our media buying team compiled three key takeaways around attention metrics in digital advertising campaigns from the conference:

1. Innovation through Currency
Not only does digital media need to continually evolve to remain relevant, it must also impact and drive the culture in which they are bred. In the media world, we often focus on innovations themselves rather than their impacts on the industry or consumer. For example, media companies fall into the trap of assuming data is significant simply because it is data. By objectively evaluating the outcome of innovation, industry leaders can become more mindful of how the currencies we have chosen are affecting user opinions of the industry and driving ROI.

2. Shifts in Media Consumption
The largest challenge we observed at the conference is addressing viewability and fraud as an industry to win back advertiser trust and earn more of brands’ advertising dollars. Shifts in media consumption trends have necessitated a transition from traditional practices in how we handle creative production and media strategy. Our content must have value in order to keep the consumer engaged. Ultimately, media success is found by focusing on the audience itself, rather than the platform. A client’s brand is its differentiator and its audience’s time and attention is its currency.

3. Refined Branding and Storytelling
Digital storytelling today has evolved from a “nice-to-have” element into a necessity. Like people, brands must embrace and own their identities rather than trying to satisfy all trends and losing what makes them unique in that process.

At Lin Digital, our team strives to make these takeaways actionable by applying our expertise from both the supply and demand sides of the industry to attribute value to new currencies. We have conducted “cost per time” research to use time as a way of optimizing against engagement metrics. We also use our data science team to find the optimal exposure time per creative to maximize the campaign’s conversion rate.

Another strategy for reaching the common currency is understanding the newest and youngest members of your consumers — Generation Z.  While this generation is fully integrated with digital media, they are often highly skeptical of digital marketing. Many are turning to ad blockers in order to tune out the less relevant ads that hinder their user experiences. We need to respond to these patterns by ensuring our media strategy offers value for both consumers and advertisers.

As we seek to increase the unique value we offer through our expertise, technology relationships, and targeting capabilities, we will ensure we are innovating to drive ROI for our clients rather than for the sake of innovation.