Breaking ad - Trading clicks for ad views
Posted: May 9, 2012 | 9:04 ET by Tessa Wegert
Clicks are essential to campaign success.
This was the digital media strategist's mantra in the early days of online media. We've since come to recognize the value in less conventional actions – Facebook Likes, for example, or retweets. Severing our attachment to measuring clicks and using them to gauge the success of a display ad campaign, however, is a matter that requires ongoing effort. As they say, old habits die hard.
A new study from research firms Pretarget and comScore may have the clout to cause us to rethink our position. It proposes that – clicks, likes, and retweets aside – yet another action is greatly responsible for generating campaign conversions: the ad view. According to the report, "ad viewability and hover time are more strongly correlated with conversions" like purchases and requests for information than the clicks or total campaign impressions which we continue to measure so fervently. To put it another way, it's more important for your ad to bee seen than to incite an immediate action.
That's because impressions are only of value to media buyers if they can be validated. An ad impression may be served, but there's no guarantee that it will be seen. Measuring impressions viewed by way of technology like comScore's validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) tool seems to deliver a more accurate portrait of the relationship between an ad and the consumer to whom it is served. The fact that clicks showed the lowest correlation with conversions in the study certainly suggests that they're no longer as critical as we once believed them to be.
As always, we strategists must assess our campaign objectives in order to determine which methods of measurement fit our unique needs. If you (or your clients) are still clinging to clicks, however, it may be time to consider breaking the habit.
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Tessa Wegert is a veteran media strategist with a background in media planning and buying, content development, ad copywriting, and campaign management. As a prominent industry writer she has been covering digital marketing and technology for leading newspapers and trade publications for over a decade. Connect with her on Twitter (@tessawegert) and LinkedIn.