"It's the most measurable medium in the world," they say; and it's true. In fact, there are so many different ways to measure the effectiveness of display advertising campaigns that marketers are bombarded with metrics -- everything from video pauses to video replays to custom interactions such as scrolling down the text.
Many marketers just give up trying to understand what these kinds of metrics actually mean for their business objectives. Instead, they resort to the basics (i.e., the click). Click-through rate (CTR) is not only easy to understand, but also easy to explain to your boss. That's especially crucial when you need to show some results for all the money you've invested in advertising.
The problem with this simplistic approach is that while clicks are intuitive and generate valuable traffic, they require active participation from the user and the link between CTR and effectiveness is not actually grounded in research. In fact, research shows that online advertising is effective even at low CTR.
Indeed, comScore maintains that the primary value of online ads is the exposure itself and not necessarily the act of clicking. In a study titled "How Online Advertising Works: Whither The Click?" comScore has shown that two-thirds of internet users do not click on any display ads over the course of a month and that only 16 percent of internet users account for 80 percent of all clicks. Furthermore, clickers tend to be younger and less affluent than non-clickers. The comScore research confirmed that there is latency effect and branding value to online advertising, driving users to the advertiser's website even without clicking.
The research by comScore also indicates that display advertising has an effect on user behavior even at low CTR. In the research, which included 139 display campaigns from seven verticals, comScore recorded substantial effects on traffic, sales and branding despite low CTR. The campaigns yielded a 46 percent lift in advertiser website visits over a four week period. During the same period, exposed users were 38 percent more likely to conduct an advertiser-related branded-keyword search, and 27 percent more likely to make a purchase online. Furthermore, exposed users were 17 percent more likely to make a purchase at the advertiser's retail store.
So if clicks are not the quick and easy campaign measurement for online campaigns, what can you tell your boss? Here are five metrics that are simple yet comprehensive enough to effectively measure your campaign performance.