The wide amounts of data available in digital have spurred some to dismiss the medium as a waste. A less than one percent response rate, issues with view ability and barrage of bots fucking with the numbers.
The dirty truth is all of the metrics we use to buy media are a farce, a wild guess.
Digital is most often bought on impressions, an untouchable technological event of code being transformed in a browser to display texts and images. That impression counts regardless if a human eyeball actually rest up on the 15 second loop amidst a page filled to the brim with text and at least two other ads fighting for just a glance from those same eyeballs.
TV is a bet on futures based on a very small number of households who know their viewing is being recorded. Ratings and Households and Reach and Frequency always trumped by if that one client saw the spot on their favorite channel. But the spots continue to roll even as the viewer runs out of the room to grab the laundry, picks up their phone to reply to a text or presses mute.
Print is valued by circulation numbers, how many people subscribe to a publication no matter if the issue was read, if all pages were turned and ads given a look over. No concern as to if each issue sat on the coffee table, untouched until month end when it was slung into the recycling bin. There is a no fingerprint count; every page is not locked until the previous page is turned by human hands.
OOH is based potential eyeballs that might glance up and take a few moments to read a few words or recognize a logo. A persistent image that sits in a driver peripheral vision, unnoticed unless stuck at a red light. A rectangular thing competing for head space with grocery lists and kids in the back seat and deep thoughts on these god awful song lyrics.
So yes, Digital has some issues. The data is wonky, and the ads probably aren’t being seen for every penny we spend. But the industry is improving; we’re talking about out flaws the technology is catching up with the spammers and that god damn CTR that we’ve locked our self into is transforming into something better.