Q Thoughts

Frequency Capping: Why ownerIQ Made it Dynamic


Programmatic advertising – everyone’s doing it. And for good reason. Today’s digital world is more cluttered and complex than ever, and programmatic’s power of automation is one of the many ways to help to simplify the process. But the need for programmatic stretches far beyond automation; buying media at lighting speed is useless unless that media is truly useful – targeting the right in-market consumer, at the right time. The real benefits, therefore, are found within the technology’s dual ability to personalize and streamline – instantaneously.

At the same time, there are several contributing factors at play that work to counteract the many potential gains of programmatic, such as frequency capping. Here’s a quick explainer:

  • Frequency capping: Setting a limit for the number of impressions served to a user to have per day, per week, or per month. You can also choose whether the limit applies to each ad, ad group, or campaign. And yup, frequency capping can be problematic too – we’ll get to how and why shortly.

At its most effective, programmatic advertising is customized automation; targeting users in a way that fits with both a marketer’s objective as well as with a consumer’s true interest and intent to purchase. Moreover, programmatic is far from a one size fits all solution. In the world of shopping, assuming that we’re all created equal is a fallacy; we all respond to advertising differently. In other words, cross your t’s but not your marketing campaigns.

But even as we automate the benefits, we still find a way to counterintuitively limit the possibilities of programmatic. The advertiser isn’t always aware of the drawbacks involved in prescribing frequency caps, for example.  A marketer dictating three impressions per week, for instance, is failing to take into account that users are individuals who respond differently – some to fewer than three, some to considerably more, say north of 30 impressions. To maximize conversions, it’s therefore imperative to assess and measure the performance of each user first, and make frequency cap determinations second.

At the same time, it’s equally important to consider ad fraud, another hindrance in programmatic, when setting impressions. Spamming well over 30 impressions on the wrong user is, well, futile (not to mention potentially damaging). As an IAB Member of The Spider and Bot List, ownerIQ’s 3.2% fraud rate to-date (exceptionally low when compared to the 16% rate set by Integral Ad Science) underscores the need of serving impressions that make sense – plain and simple.

So what is it exactly that makes sense? The Q’s tested and true campaign strategies point to going with a dynamic frequency capping approach as the most sensible course of action. And what is dynamic frequency? Here’s a simple definition:

  • Dynamic frequency capping: A method that deliberately avoids setting hard frequency restrictions, whether they are maximums or minimums, allowing an optimization engine to determine optimal frequency as it relates to campaign key performance indicators (KPI’s).

Here’s some more food for thought…

According to ownerIQ’s internal data, 90% of converters were served fewer than 5 impressions. Given this, some advertisers may mistakenly set their frequency caps to 5. But the remaining 10% of converters are still out there, and they’re served more (possibly way, way more) than 5 impressions. Handcuffing ad tech and programmatic to some frequency cap doesn’t make sense – plain and simple.

Restrictive frequency capping is essentially a futile attempt at predicting performance. Programmatic platforms are designed specifically for this, intelligently predicting performance based on audience signals, historical performance, and so forth. Likewise, converters can come from anywhere – and converters are all unique individuals, with each set out on its very own path to purchase – so it doesn’t make any sense to target based on a single attribute. More so than anything else, effective marketing campaigns consider the online behavior of those individuals to understand the users’ unique shopping patterns.

Back to programmatic – everyone’s doing it because it works. We rarely adhere to the ineffective. ownerIQ’s programmatic platforms casts a wider net by allowing the technology to do its thing; picking and choosing impressions on an individual basis – quickly and intelligently.

Don’t limit the capabilities we all so desperately needed with blanket ad network frequency caps. Let the machine decide and decipher based with dynamic frequency caps based on individual buying behavior instead.

Learn more here.

Categories:Posts from 2016


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