Online advertising: Time and engagement beats CPM


clock.jpgADOTAS — VideoEgg’s event, 7 Minutes to Reinvent the Internet (For Advertising),  seemed to lean more toward marketing than advertising, and if Bob Garfield is to be believed, present online marketing is having its last rites.

Of course, he was also flacking a yet-to-be-published book about…ahem..the future of marketing.

One interesting theme was the idea that online advertisers should rely more on time spent on a page as opposed to just page views as a deciding metric. VideoEgg CMO Troy Young started the discussion and promoted moving away from page views and toward time a user spends on a page or at a website. It was an idea later brought up by Matt Freeman, Betawave CEO, who said that its not only how much time a user is online, but what he is doing that should be a factor in sending advertising to him. His parting shot, via a slide was, “Is an impression still an impression if it doesn’t make one?”

Of course, VideoEgg, which also launched a new product,and Betawave are in the attention and engagement end of the business. But despite the soaring number of online users and page views, the traditional online advertising model is in a steep decline and advertisers want more. Could it be time over impressions?

Including Garfield, Young and Freeman, the speakers were Rob Norman, CEO of GroupM Interaction Worldwide, Ty Montague, Creative Director of JWT, Rishad Tobaccowala, chief innovation officer, Publicis Groupe Media, Michael Lebowitz, CEO of Big Spaceship, and panelists Colleen DeCourcy, chief digital officer of TBWA Worldwide, Quentin George, chief digital officer of Mediabrands and Patrick Keane, CEO of Associated Content and hosting was Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB.

Montague, obviously the creative one, had an interesting take on how brands can and need to become more engaged with its customers. His transformation of what a cable company can do with a bill was novel. Of course, the last thing I want to do with my cable bill is interact more with it, despite any enticements. I would rather just yell at it like I usually do.

I don’t know if VideoEgg plans to post video of the discussion, it was live streamed. But if it does, I’ll let you know.

— Express your opinion, comment below.


  1. Time Schmime…when an advertising message is thoughtfully matched to the content it will be placed into, the viewer will be more than happy to click on the ad the instant they recognize the ad’s relevance to their desire for more information…so advertising’s future is not CPM or a Time metric, but “relevant and exact advertising matched to content”, as opposed to the Ron Popeil advertising principal which states “the crappier the content the more orders I get”. Most online advertising today is bought by buyers and planners who never see the context into which the ads they are buying are placed…shame shame.

  2. I agree with the previous poster that relevance is more important than time spent. If you place a Barbie doll ad on a site that talks about race cars it doesn’t matter how much time the user spends on the site, they aren’t likely to click on the ad. Relevance is key. Advertisers want conversions and are willing to pay for it. But it needs to go further than just a click, it needs an action. CPA is a better model for advertisers Affiliates who match ads and content get paid well by the advertisers because the convert more end users into action.

  3. I agree, online advertisers should always rely on the time spent on a page than just go through page reviews. You should always focus on finishing the page before you come to thinking of looking through the page reviews.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here