The media landscape can be an uncertain place, and so it’s perhaps unsurprising that buyers would be drawn to offerings that pledge to guarantee a particular outcome.
Last month, LG Ads Solutions became the latest platform to offer a program of guaranteed outcomes. The company says that theirs is a “first-of-its-kind suite of guaranteed outcome-based media offerings”.
While outcomes-based advertising is nothing new, LG Ads Solutions’ chief product officer Ashish Baldua believes that their offering represents an evolution from what’s come before.
“What’s unique about it is the comprehensiveness,” he said “You’ve always had some of the other OEMs who have a guarantee, maybe for reach, or maybe for demographic. What we have here is a very comprehensive offering, which covers all aspects of what advertisers might want to measure.”
Moving beyond traditional measurement
Providers of guaranteed outcomes say that traditional measurement metrics are past their sell-by dates.
LoopMe is an outcomes based-advertising solution. Their head of UK sales Neil Holmes says that buyers are beginning to want more concrete assurances about their returns on investment.
“Traditionally, advertisers have looked towards proxy measurements,” he said, “In the past few years we have seen a growing consensus that these are nothing more than stand-ins, and can cloud the true impact of campaigns, making it difficult to determine a real ROI.”
LG Ads Solutions’ Ashish Baldua says that traditional metrics don’t capture the crux of advertisers’ goals.
“A CPM is very basic, it’s just asking whether an impression was shown or not. And that’s not what most advertisers are looking for,” said Baldua, “The goal is either to reach a specific audience goal, to get incremental reach or frequency, or to get some kind of conversion.”
Guaranteed outcomes-based advertising effectively enables advertisers to work with metrics which relate more directly to the outcomes they’re interested in.
The guarantees attached to outcomes-based advertising will be catered to each individual advertiser, depending on their goals.
“Outcomes-based advertising takes into account measurements that can be more solidly quantified – such as awareness, purchase intent, consideration, foot traffic, and sales,” said LoopMe’s Holmes. “Advertisers can customise which metrics matter to them, meaning campaigns can be highly optimised towards specific KPIs, and advertisers have a framework to invest beyond proxy measurements.”
The ability to customise is one of the great strengths of this kind of advertising, says Baldua
“It’s not a one size fits all measurement, unlike CPMs. The guarantee will depend on what kind of brand you are,” he said.
Baldua says that the outcome-based offering allows different teams at a brand to cater to their specific goals.
“For example, within a brand you might have a team whose sole purpose is to drive brand awareness, and then there’ll be a performance team, whose goal is to drive app installs,” he said, “We’ll be talking with one team who want to leverage our app install guarantee. And then we will be talking to a different team within the same brand who say they want to leverage our demo-based data.”
Working out the finer details
In the case of LG Ads Solutions’s suite of guaranteed outcomes-based offerings, clients will only pay for the outcomes they achieve. In this context, accurate and trustworthy measurement is perhaps even more vital.
“Wherever possible, we always are using either a third party vendor or third party data set, so that clients feel comfortable,” said Baldua, “As an example, for our VCR guarantee, we’re working with Google DCM, Innovid, Flashtalking to guarantee the completion rate.”
And given that outcomes don’t tend to have the same strictly defined standards around how they’re measured, it’s important to clarify the finer details before a campaign begins.
“There is definitely a conversation at the very start of when we make the proposal around what the methodology is and how it will be used,” said Baldua.
“Different brands still have different methodologies and tools, especially on the area of attribution. Are you going to look at a seven day conversion, or a 14-day conversion? All of that is clarified upfront when we talk with the brand and we make a proposal,” he added.
But while there’s more work to do up front, LoopMe believes that, by their very nature, outcomes-based campaigns are in many ways easier to measure.
“Historically, when advertisers trade on proxy metrics it is far more difficult to attribute outcomes such as awareness, purchase intent, and consideration in a timely and actionable manner,” said LoopMe’s Neil Homes. “With most brand study reports processed weeks after the campaign has ended, the window to act on intelligence from attributed outcomes has passed.”