Why curiosity doesn't always kill the cat: we need to challenge the status quo
Why curiosity doesn't always kill the cat: we need to challenge the status quo
A view from Amit Kotecha

Why curiosity doesn't always kill the cat

We need to question the status quo in order to discover a new way of doing things, says Amit Kotecha, head of marketing EMEA at Quantcast.

Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving

"Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving," David Ogilvy famously said. This couldn’t ring truer for digital advertising. When you consider how quickly the industry has evolved, it stems from having a curious mind; discovering and evolving new and existing technologies.

In fact, we’ve now reached a critical juncture in advertising. Marketers are no longer asking "why", but "how". We’re polymaths that are curious and hungry to discover new and efficient ways to deliver innovative and relevant ad experiences.

Curious polymaths

Digital advertising is no longer driven by performance; brand advertisers realise the opportunity digital presents to drive engagement and intent for their product or service.

As we continue on this journey, marketers are yet to hit a light bulb moment in order to really create and drive value for their brand. Our curious minds are now looking to discover new ways to measure success and marketers are challenging the previous cookie cutter approach to advertising.

Our curious minds are now looking to discover new ways to measure success and marketers are challenging the previous cookie cutter approach to advertising

We’re taking up more real estate and delivering ads in a targeted way, but are [the right] people really seeing these ads? Speaking at this year’s IAB UK Digital Britain event in Manchester, I presented two innovative research projects.

Viewability debate

The first was on the much-debated topic of viewability. We commissioned an independent study to test every major viewability vendor in the world. The adage that "if you spend more, you get better ad accuracy" is not necessarily true. There’s limited supply of very high viewable inventory - less than 5% of all ad impressions available are between 75 – 100% viewable.

If you think about this as a simple supply and demand problem, if there is limited supply and increased demands, this has a huge impact on the cost of advertising. It also means that there is an impact on scale. After all, what good is a brand campaign if you cannot scale? In order to move forward, the industry must understand why and agree on a middle ground while testing to find that sweet spot for each campaign.

The second research project was based on demographic accuracy. We are now fortunate to have the likes of comScore and Nielsen that can provide targeting accuracy scores for digital demographic campaigns. This is a huge step to driving more relevant and effective advertising, it also aligns to what advertisers are familiar with and want, which are in-target guarantees.

Demographic accuracy

If you are buying demographic data, do you know how accurate it is and can you reach your target audience at scale

At Quantcast, we ask a Marketer: "if you are buying demographic data, do you know how accurate it is and can you reach your target audience at scale?"

Our research showed a huge variance of accuracy when measured on the same campaign against Nielsen and comScore and only two of the eleven companies we tested could actually scale and deliver reach. We’ve made the first step to call for a healthy debate in the industry. Not all data is equal and we must question the accuracy of what we are buying.

We have an opportunity to be curious, ask the right questions and leverage scientific methods to test, learn and iterate quickly to make advertising efficient and relevant. However, the only way we can achieve this is by questioning the status quo and nurturing our curiosity to discover new things. Curiosity is a catalyst to discover and introduce a new approach. We need more curious minds.