A Few Good Reasons Why You Should Pay Attention To Your Ad Frequency

By Todd McPhee on Sep 5, 2017
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If you are a Marketer you are probably facing some really ‘big picture’ decisions at the moment regarding your data and technology solutions. This can make it tricky to think about some of the smaller stuff, but if you read this article, I’m confident at the end of it you’ll find a little time to address the issue of your ad frequency.

Why am I writing this and why should you care? Well, lately I’ve been spammed and stalked by some of the world’s biggest brands (no names mentioned, but I do have screen grabs…). I bet you have too. Given the size of these brands, they undoubtedly have high tech and amazingly beautiful data stacks to maximise their marketing ROI..

Unfortunately, even with their beautiful data stacks, they are still advertising 8 or 10 times on the one web page. This is called ‘ad collision’

A quick lesson about ad collision.

Auction based ad buying happens on an ad unit by ad unit basis, not a web page by web page basis. What this means is, as a web page loads, this first ad unit (usually at the top of the page) is ‘auctioned’. Then the next ad unit, and the next. Unfortunately your bidding platform usually doesn’t know those auctions are happening on the same page. So, you can win the first auction, then the next, then the next, until you have ten ads on the one page!


As we all know, technology is only as good as how you use it. Or, as many others have said, ‘garbage in, garbage out’.

There’s one very obvious reason why you should want to control your ad frequency (hint, I mentioned it above).  You don’t want to spam your customers. But there are other reasons why you want to control your ad frequency that you may not know about.

This first is cost efficiency. If you are on a CPM (cost per thousand) media buy and your ads are being shown to one person twenty or thirty times a day, that’s costing you money!

Another is access to inventory and this is a doozie (is that how you spell doozie??). You see, ad platforms are geared up to make money (what!!) and their algorithms will serve ads that make them money. They want to serve high performing ads. If you are serving ads that have low click rates as a result of ad collision, then your campaign will fall to the back of the queue as it isn’t making the ad platform enough money.

Make sense? If you serve lots of wasted or unnecessary ads that don’t drive action, then your ads are less likely to get served. Simples..

If you are still reading, congratulations. Now, go and ask your digital team what they are doing to control ad frequency.

Or if you want to talk about how you can limit ad frequency by the hour or by the day, give me  a call. Just don’t call me 8 or 10 times...

Todd’s been in the media industry for over 20 years. He founded Engaging in 2009 because he saw how digital was going to be able to deliver exciting and measurable returns for his clients. He still has the knack for identifying new and emerging tech that will impact the industry. He’s an honest man who really enjoys direct contact with his clients.

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