• Chris DeMartine

DSP B2B Ad Unit Performance Index

Updated: Aug 9

To get the best return on programmatic ad spend, it helps to know which ad units deliver the best click-through rates. Bid strategies are not only limited to creative but also include audience, day of week, domain categories, mobile app categories, supply sources, geography, language and much more. The key to success is understanding what you have control over and what is best to leave to algorithms and AI, because man plus machine will win every time!


For now, here's a little insight from a relatively large sample of recent Programmatic B2B campaigns. The following chart ranks ad unit performance based on click-through rate (CTR), cost per 1,000 impressions (CPMI), and cost per click (CPC):

Category

CTR Index

CPMI Index

CPC Index

Tablet Interstitials

735

116

16

Mobile Interstitials

263

97

37

Leaderboard

132

99

75

Billboard

125

102

82

Native

102

113

111

Mobile In-App

76

81

107

Half Page

72

102

141

Wide Skyscraper

60

87

144

Medium Rectangle

54

83

154

​HD Video

38

271

713

Indexing higher is better for click-through rates, but the inverse is true for costs (CPMI & CPC). Although not permitted to share any specific client names or results from this sample, the results are significant. A total of 23 countries are represented here across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.

Campaigns Unique Ad Units Sample Impression Volume Sample Click Volume

n = 50 n = 1,121 7,930,262 14,786


This data is certainly actionable as well. For example, the interstital ads are clearly delivering the highest click-through rates resulting in the lowest cost per click. A closer look at Google Analytics (GA) reporting of sessions can confirm the quality of this traffic as well. It's not hard to resize an exisitng ad like a medium rectangle (300 x 250) and build out a few tablet and mobile interstitials (768 x 1024, 1024 x 768, 320 x 480, 480 x 320).


Ad unit development costs start at just $20.00 and you can apply HTML5 animation for just a bit more, so you'll actually get a better return by doing a little extra work prior to launch.




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