Since the beginning of mass-scale advertising, the idealistic goal of measuring a campaign’s effect on an individual-by-individual level has been continuously attempted with newer and more granular-targeted technologies. Inevitably, measuring millions of consumers in the consistently dynamic mediums has proven too complex to measure at that precise of a level, despite these efforts. The advent of digital advertising presented new hope for this ideal, however as it has grown to its current mass, issues such as below-the-fold banners, un-viewable impressions, and auto-play or muted pre-roll videos have led to an environment where “fifty percent of all ad impressions are never seen,” according to Jeff Bander, president of Sticky.
This, along with most ads carrying an industry accepted 50% bounce rate – who click on ads yet leave the landing page immediately – seems pretty scary, and is at least in some part why many advertisers shy away from allocating more budget online. The current gold standard in this realm is “viewability”, meaning an ad is served within viewable screen of a user, however this technology does not account if the person’s is actually engaging with a specific brand’s ad.
Bander and Sticky (formerly EyeTrackShop) have taken this to the next step by developing an eye tracking tool that verifies which ads users look at, leading to a potential “Real CPM” where every impression is guaranteed to be seen. While eye-tracking technology is nothing new, Sticky’s new product is unique in its ability to track in real-time and in the real world, giving it mass-scale implementation potential.
The next step for Sticky’s team is to place themselves within the media negotiations happening on Madison Ave, and from there ultimately prove that ubiquitous eye-tracking and the idea of a “Real” CPM should become the new standard in how online ads are bought. There’s no question that as advertising technology gets inevitably more granular, new tracking issues will be unearthed or introduced by technologies/mediums we are currently unaware of, but for the moment Sticky looks to be positioned optimally as the next big thing in the digital space.