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Measurement & Viewability


Understanding metrics helps you steer your campaigns in the direction of success, and pivot your strategy when needed. Here are the most common units used for campaign measurement:

Impressions: The number of times an ad was displayed.

Clicks: The number of times a consumer clicked an ad.

CTR (click-through rate): The percentage of ad impressions that were clicked – calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions served.

Conversion: The action a person takes after clicking an ad, intended by the marketing – the action can include making a purchase, filling out a form, subscribing to a service, etc.

CVR (conversion rate): The percentage of clicks that resulted in a desired action – calculated by taking the number of conversions an ad received and dividing by the number of clicks.

Viewability: Viewability refers to a pricing and performance metric that pays and tracks only for impressions that have the ability to be actually seen by users. The goal of viewability is to reduce wasted spend on ads that are never viewed. Though it seems simple enough in concept, advertisers, agencies, ad tech vendors, and publishers all have different ideas as to what can be considered as a “viewable” ad – and what they are willing to pay for.

The IAB and Media Ratings Council states that at least 50% of the ad has to be viewable for at least 1 second (2 seconds for video) for it to be considered viewed. Not all parties agree on this though, and some demand tougher standards for viewability.

Despite the lack of agreement, there are steps you can take for best practice, including establishing a standard of measurement, using tools to help you measure, and having conversations with your publishers about your protocols for reconciling differing delivery data.


Campaign level: Measure how your campaign is doing holistically, across all suppliers, placements, and creatives.

Supplier level: Measure performance based on all campaign placements from an individual supplier.

Creative level: Measure the success of an individual piece of creative, across all placements and suppliers.

Pacing: Measure how an advertiser's budget should be spent relative to time.


The impact that reporting and analytics carries on the world of advertising is as strong as it has ever been. Reporting and analytics allow agencies and advertisers to maximize their ROI by carrying out campaigns to the best of their ability. Agencies have dedicated analytics teams who help accounts optimize campaign performance by tracking metrics and pacing.


Beta testing: If your campaigns routinely use the same set of publishers, placements, and creatives, it's difficult to tell if there is room for improvement and if the metrics you're pulling in time and time again are the best you can do. Beta testing with new publishers that match your target demographic is a good place to start. Trying out multiple creatives for the same placement can also help you zero in on what degree of the placement's success is based on the message, versus the inventory.

Related Links


Digital advertising terms don't have to be overwhelming. Check out our digital glossary to quickly look-up important definitions.

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