Imagine you are an account manager looking through an end-of-campaign report: 95% viewable, 70% completion rate, 60% audibility, 5% click-through rate, on target – it has all the hallmarks of a successful mobile video advertising campaign. But, did it have a genuine effect on marketing goals and move the consumer along the path to purchase? In short, what real value did that advertising campaign deliver? Stephen Upstone (pictured below) founder and CEO, LoopMe explains to ExchangeWire that improved metric adoption for campaign measurement is needed industry-wide to ensure we can deliver against brand requirements.
Measuring the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns is not as simple as it might appear. Although digital advertising is by nature highly trackable, choosing the right metrics can be problematic – the Advertising Research Foundation have identified 197 digital metrics, while the IAB have a conservative 30, deciding which will prove value is no easy task. As an industry, we have traditionally fallen back on two key metrics when it comes to measuring efficiency across digital campaigns: clicks and views. But do these metrics actually move the dial when it comes to getting users into stores and making a purchase?
A report carried out by Nielsen states: “The CTR is not the right metric to gauge brand awareness; it has virtually no relationship to ROI, brand awareness, or offline sales.” It is a fairly damning statement; but what is perhaps more surprising is that this study was released three years ago – yet there has been no move to adopt better metrics industry-wide.
Views and view-through rates fare far better – if an ad is in view, and the user watches this ad, they are more likely to absorb the brand messaging and be affected by the advertising. A recent survey showed 55% of users had gone on to purchase a product following viewing a mobile video ad.
One of the reasons the industry hasn’t moved on from clicks and views as campaign KPIs is because they are readily available, consistent across all ad tech providers, and offer simple comparisons and benchmarks for agencies booking campaigns.
When it comes to proving campaign value, there are better metrics available that actually prove and generate real value. These are the brand metrics such as purchase intent, brand awareness, and ad recall, which are more traditionally used across offline media. These metrics provide an accurate reflection on a digital campaign’s performance and can directly impact a campaign’s offline sales. Research by On Device shows that for every 2% rise in purchase intent, footfall in store rises by 1%. If the brand goal is to drive sales, then purchase intent is a key metric with which to optimise and judge campaign performance.
Every brand, from giants like Coca Cola and Nike, to your local chain of coffee shops, is trying to drive consumers through the path to purchase. They may be at different points in the funnel, and it may take some brands longer to move the customer along each stage – for example a luxury car company like BMW will spend decades moving users from awareness to consideration, until that user is finally at the moment of purchase, while a campaign for Nivea moisturiser will have a far shorter cycle.
If a brand’s overall marketing goal is to improve consumer awareness of their products, drive consumers from consideration to intention, or to get that consumer to become brand loyal, then that is exactly what digital campaigns should be geared towards to deliver marketing value.
With advances in programmatic delivery and artificial intelligence, it is possible to optimise campaigns in real time towards these brand metrics, ensuring ads are being served to users who are most likely to undergo a change in opinion and move along the path to purchase. This is achieved by surveying users who have seen the ad throughout the campaign and comparing results to a control. Artificial intelligence algorithms are then employed to process this data in real-time and self-learn from the results, refining targeting to the users who are showing the strongest likelihood to deliver the desired action – for example, showing elevated intent to purchase. It’s not only possible to see the real value of the ad campaign, but improve the campaign’s value as it progresses, delivering better ROI.
Our goal, in the digital industry, should be to align the way we deliver and benchmark campaigns with these brand goals, rather than forcing our standard metrics to fit the brand story. By adjusting our offerings, we can deliver brands better value and portray these results in a meaningful way for any client-side marketer.