Moving Beyond The Same Old Metrics For Mobile Video

mobilevideometrics_2Traditional video metrics aren’t really cutting it for advertisers, especially on mobile.

Moat is making the attempt with its Video Score metric released in late November. Predicated on the notion that not every viewable impression is created equal, the metric aims to help properly measure digital video exposures across platforms by looking at how much of a video was seen and heard amplified by the percentage of real estate the ad occupied on a user’s screen.

It’s only intuitive that a vertical video on Snapchat, with its average view time of less than three seconds, should be valued differently from an outstream video on desktop, a video in the Facebook news feed or a repurposed TV ad shrunk down for size.

But that intuition doesn’t address whether an advertiser met its core KPIs.

“Advertisers are spending to drive engagement and traffic so that users stick around for the long haul and take certain key actions regardless of the medium,” said Doug Roberge, product marketing manager at in-app video company Vungle.

And there’s often a disconnect between video metrics and advertiser KPIs.

“The marketers we talk to are focused on ROI,” said Scott Shulman, VP of North America sales at mobile video platform LoopMe. “They don’t really care about proxy metrics like video completion rate or clicks or even on-target impressions. That doesn’t grow anyone’s business.”

That’s as true for legacy brands that need to move products off the shelf as much as it is for game developers and performance marketers, Roberge said.

“Metrics like impressions or completion rate only speak to volume,” he said. “But our customers are looking for quality users, for LTV [lifetime value].”

That value should be translatable into whatever KPI the advertiser is seeking, whether that’s browsing, users adding an item to their cart, making an in-app purchase in the case of a game or simply sticking around and retaining over a period of time – something beyond traditional funnel metrics.

“You look at that old model of just driving people down the funnel and you think about frequency and barraging people with the same message,” said Michael Tuminello, senior director of product solutions at video ad server Innovid. “How many times do I have to hit them until it works?”

Return on ad spend should trump impressions, said Martin Price, Vungle’s VP of product.

“The key metric for us has become ROAS [return on ad spend] rather than a pure CPM buy,” Price said. “And that’s something that’s really been driven by the mobile space rather than metrics driven first by TV and then by desktop.”

But the format counts and should be judged accordingly. For example, even a recycled TV spot used on mobile can work in some cases, but its value is going to be different than something created specifically for mobile.

“It depends on what you define as working well, what the KPI is, what the driver is,” said Benjamin Bring, VP and mobile media director at Ansible, the mobile arm of IPG Mediabrands. “Fifteen and 30-second spots have done OK [on mobile], but it’s very soft. We see more quantifiable metrics from shorter formats.”

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