VIEQUES, PR — Digital advertisers need a common metric for what constitutes user-viewable video inventory – but they shouldn’t rely on it as the prime driver of their strategy.

That is according to a trio of ad-tech execs whose companies help bring some visibility to the problem, but who say the challenge is greater than that.

Almost three years after the Media Ratings Council set guidelines for what constitutes a viewable ad impression (50% of the video player in view for at least two seconds), Beet.TV convened a panel to discuss viewability at the Beet Retreat.

The discussion, viewable in our recorded session, showed a general appreciation for viewability – and a recognition that it should be used as just part of an overarching strategy.

Moat sales director Peter Kuhn:

“Viewability should be a baseline standard but it shouldn’t drive investment.

“We fundamentally need standards. If we’re all going to grade, as Mark Pritchard of P&G said, a yard the same way, it’s impossible to start asking questions around where investment should go, what effectiveness is, if we’re not all measuring things the same way.

“(But) the consumptive patterns of consumers is outpacing the ability for a marketers to … come up with the right standards for success.”

Ooyala advertising platforms GM Scott Braley:

“The idea of needing standards is categorically right. (But) the intimacy between buyers and sellers has, for a while now, been lost and needs to be regained.

“When you rely on those (companies) that are all too willing, ready and happy to be intermediaries – to rely on the platforms without understanding who you’re buying, what the inventory is or what you’re selling to – that’s when you start to over-rely on the idea of metrics as a universal truth for good and bad. That’s a subjective thing.

“They’re so myopically focused on the idea of this metric, and not what you’re buying.”

Eyeview Digital TV SVP and GM Boaz Cohen

“We need standards – but for us, our standard is sales. Instead of focusing on media metrics – viewability, completions and other stuff – we focus on sales. Give us $100k for video budgets, we’ll deliver you $300k in sales.

“We do need viewability … but that’s our problem, the supply problem, the ad-tech problem – not the marketer problem. Their standard should be sales; focused on offline and online sales.”

Cohen countered the suggestion that video outcomes are only for driving immediate actions, saying that marketer outcomes linked to video – including car dealership visitation and loyalty card-linked retail purchases – can be measured up to 30 days after an ad is watched.

The panel was moderated by MediaMath CMO Joanna O’Connell.

This video is part of a series produced at the Beet.TV Executive Retreat in Vieques. The event and series is presented by Videology and 605. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.