"Brand Aware" is a column on the data-driven digital ad ecosystem from the marketer's point of view. It is written by Bob Arnold, Director of Digital and Social Media at Kellogg Company.
One of my main responsibilities for Kellogg is to steward all of its digital media spend in North America, so a lot of media pitches and proposals end up on my desk. In just about every one of these, a publisher claims to have “premium” inventory, backing up the claim with a multitude of reasons why they deserve this label. And why shouldn’t they? After all, there is no universally accepted definition of “premium” inventory, and I’d argue that, like beauty, “premium” is in the eye of the beholder.
That said, as someone who invests heavily in programmatic buying, I want to share my perspective of what makes inventory “premium.” Keep in mind that this is my perspective as a brand advertiser who does only a negligible amount of direct-response marketing. So success equals driving top-of-mind brand awareness, purchasing intent-to-grow sales and building brand equity and affinity.
For me, the definition of premium inventory is “inventory that enables the highest probability to increase sales and long-term brand equity.” That is a high-level definition, so here are the attributes that I feel do and don’t make ad inventory “premium.”
Any one of the following, alone, is not enough to make inventory premium:
1) Viewability: Obviously, the ads need to be viewable. That said, having viewable inventory in and of itself is not enough, in my mind, to constitute “premium.” Viewability is a bottom-line expectation.