One look at the media’s coverage of the online advertising industry and it all seems to be doom and gloom. Headlines proclaiming more than 198 million people globally use ad blockers, that online fraud costs UK advertisers £277m, and that 86% of consumers suffer from banner blindness isn’t making the industry any more attractive to advertisers.
Then you have AdBlock Plus recently announcing its technology is now viable on Apple and Android mobile devices, along with Apple bringing in their own ad blocking technology via the iOS 9 update. So the current problems facing online advertisers are now replicated on mobile media too.
These issues are causing a huge problem for marketers who require the attention of human beings. What’s at the root cause of all this? To put it simply it’s the buying of CPM inventory, because of its inefficiencies.
All these issues can be negated if advertisers start to assess and pay for inventory on a cost per human (CPH) basis. This is the only way to buy the guaranteed attention of a human being with regards to a brand message, and better yet, to only buy the guaranteed understanding of a human being of a brand message.
Buying on a CPH basis is possible today because the technology is available that ensures that advertisers can buy formats on a cost per engagement (CPE) basis. Effective engagement with consumers has been validated by cognitive and neurological research to help deliver greater understanding and memorability of campaigns.
Then if you layer the ability to engage individuals, only as often as required to ensure understanding, CPE becomes CPH. After all, once you have successfully engaged with a consumer with one message you don’t need to keep up a constant stream of the same messaging.
For an industry that’s growing around 20% a year, the online ad industry needs to mature and demonstrate that it can deliver, especially from a branding perspective. This requires moving away from the wasteful buying of impressions on a CPM basis to buying meaningful engagements on a CPE basis.
This is the route to getting to a true CPH figure which is what really matters. What those in the industry need to do is change their mindsets, recognise the issues with CPM in the current digital environment and embrace what CPH can deliver.