Get the most important digital marketing news each day. I recently received an email from an ad tech company with exciting news about TrueView — those minimum five-second pre-rolls you see before watching a video on YouTube: “We officially launched our self serve AI for DBM TrueView a couple weeks ago .

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All of our clients are currently seeing a 50-70% increase in performance and are able to manage ~25x more campaigns.” I’ve struggled to make YouTube work for our clients from an ROI perspective, so “a 50-70% increase in performance” got my attention. I scheduled a call.

The salesman explained that clients were seeing dramatic reductions in their “Cost Per View,” or CPV, on YouTube after using this technology, and he gave me an example where a client went from a $.08 CPV down to a $.04 CPV — as promised, a 50 percent improvement. I then asked the logical question that any performance marketer would pose: How does a CPV reduction result in more ROI for the client?

The salesman paused and then said, “Our clients are brands and brand agencies — they only care about getting video views from the right people at the lowest cost possible.” So how much ROI would this drive? Optimizing cost without measuring the impact on revenue is like an NBA team drafting players based on how tall they are, without regard to whether they have ever played basketball.

And yet, this is apparently a normal enough strategy that a technology company is using artificial intelligence to optimize against it. Imagine optimizing your Google AdWords campaigns exclusively for click-through rate (CTR) without concern for ROI? Read more from…

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