Since the very first online ad had the very first click, digital media has been touted as the measureable solution to advertising. It was exciting to believe that you could track your ad spend from impression to click to conversion; a lot of early online adopters drove down this tunnel without much thought on influence outside of this linear path.
Since then digital advertisers have faced a lot of hurdles in the measurement game. Click fraud, researched demographics of a typical ad clicker, and the complexity around the value of different ad channels and ad types have all shaken how the industry looks at metrics and attributes success. Online measurement is not as black and white as initially expected and the grey areas are still difficult to understand.
This has been very apparent in the media business because we’re the ones that are pulling online campaign reporting and trying to gleam actionable insights out of the data we collect. We want to provide value in our reports; but are often restricted to a conversation about pace of delivery and CTR.
Advertisers want more, creative partners want more, we want more; but what does more look like? “More” starts with the brand and will look different for every advertiser. We are equipped to support our clients in building the right report for their needs; but ultimately, building valuable digital ROI reports requires a large and collaborative effort. A digital campaign isn’t determined successful by the number of clicks it drives to a website…it’s successful when activity on social channels increase; when all website visits (not just visits from clicks) increase; when foot traffic, leads, or sales increase. A strong digital report will look for visible correlation between marketing spend levels and brand activity levels, which subsequently helps show where to dial up and down spend in different channels. Did a display campaign recently end and subsequently SEM impressions drop? This could mean that display has been driving additional inquires within search engines. Did a creative refresh correspond with an increase in social channel engagement? This could signify creative wear-out on the previous creative or identify a content type that resonates with the audience.
Digital reporting is just as much art as it is science and the most valuable learnings are found between the lines in the shades of grey. Talk to us about what kind of data you’re collecting – online and offline.
Talk to us about what kind of information you find valuable; we can work together to create a moving, evolving document that helps guide all parties to the best marketing decisions for your brand.