Digital Verification, What It Is, and How You’re Already Using It – Miles Dennison, Senior Vice President of Sales, DoubleVerify

At the 2012 CMO Leadership Forum in New York, Senior Vice President of Sales at DoubleVerify, Miles Dennison, speaks about online verification, or digital verification, and how many people in the audience are probably already using it despite not yet knowing what it is.

His areas of focus are the “good, bad and the ugly of digital advertising,” the key to verification and its success in marketing, what he called “big wins” in verification, and how it has saved clients millions of dollars spent in advertising globally within a very short time. But aside from the comments which simultaneously describe and sell the service which DoubleVerify provides, Miles also touches on a few points relevant to e-marketer stats, such as, “All the research indicates that digital advertising obviously is growing, but also, display is growing quite a bit.”

Getting into the meat of his talk, Miles describes digital advertising as a commodity such as a trading tool, which can be bought and sold. He describes advertising as something that was once “one-to-one” in which one person bought an ad from another person. Now, the process is, as he describes, “It’s the same thing of any commodity.  You’re buying an orange from somebody on the street here.  He didn’t make that orange; he got that orange from someplace else.” What’s the upshot of this? You lose visibility.

In this context, what his company does is to provide a “see-through rate.” That is, they solve the problem of ads showing up on websites where they shouldn’t be, or showing content that is inappropriate, or other errors which marketers often cannot control or even always be aware of. Essentially, without going into too many technical details, he describes the work that DoubleVerify does as the legwork to make sure that ads are placed in the right place and show what an advertiser intended to show. He references the complexity of what the companies deal with and the waste made in the process, “What we see when you add it all up, if you looked at all the impressions out there from our estimates, it’s about $2 billion a year wasted in your digital media campaign.” This huge waste of advertising dollars is attributed to the misplacement of ads, for instance, an ad bought for ‘Playboy’ would run in ‘Wall Street Journal, not in ‘Playboy’.

He gives several examples in which the company was able to help major global corporations to reduce the advertising waste, including some in the pharmaceutical and telecommunications industries. But ultimately, he closes the talk by reiterating what was mentioned at the beginning: That those in the audience could either be indifferent to his company’s service or be blown away by it. In the end, he gets in as many plugs for the company as possible, saying, “We were named Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum.  I’m sure most of you are very familiar with that.  We verify 60 billion impressions a month, so we have a huge insight into what’s happening on the Web.”