Under the new normal of COVID-19, marketers are under heightened scrutiny. Every penny allocated to each ad investment must be attributed to ROI. Distribution strategies are also being re-evaluated in a pressure cooker social environment (social platform boycotts e.g. Facebook and Twitter) and out of brand-safety concerns. As marketing teams look at ad investments more closely than ever before, it’s time to take a fresh look at usual measurement standards and adopt new yardsticks, especially with the impending elimination of third-party cookies.
We need to evolve our benchmarks, KPIs, and other success metrics to meet today’s standards and measure the new, first-party data-driven and contextual ecosystem.
While click-through rate (CTR) had its moment as the go-to metric marketers defined success by, it’s no longer able to accurately depict how well our ads are performing.
While there has been chatter in the advertising industry to eliminate CTR, it’s still a metric that can shed viable insight into performance.
However, in the new post-third-party ecosystem, we need to look at campaigns more holistically to have a stronger understanding of how audiences are engaging with content.
With privacy concerns dominating the advertising agenda, major players like Google and Apple have made moves ensuring that consumers’ privacy is their main priority. It’s a chance for advertisers to recalibrate how we’re targeting and how we’re measuring a successful campaign.
Marketers have always been results-driven, but with growth in performance based advertising and the ability for premium advertisers to reach their audiences with a cost-per-click (CPC) model, CTR as a benchmark becomes less meaningful when analyzing campaign success.
As marketers are keen on seeing the ROI of campaigns, advertisers should leverage A/B testing on ad content, readability, and creative.
Since marketers are only paying for real visits with a CPC, it’s imperative that we’re analyzing data and ensuring we’re putting forth ads that will perform best and resonate with audiences, ultimately leading to site visit conversions.
With the phase-out of third-party cookies looming, brands don’t have anything to lose when they are only paying for results across premium publishers.
Brands can measure outcomes more efficiently and in-depth by working on a CPC model. Bounce rate and CTR are only parts of the whole measurement and benchmark process.
While we don’t know what digital advertising looks like post-third-party data, brands and adtech companies will need to get creative and look at new strategies in order to reach consumers. However, how we’ll define and measure success in this new era has yet to be identified.
While CTR may have previously cut it for advertisers and marketers, old measurement tactics won’t stack up in the new landscape. Other metrics like bounce rate, visit duration, readability, and response time, haven’t typically been top of mind for executives.
These other benchmarks can fill the gaps of what your one or two KPIs aren’t showing.
For instance, bounce rates can indicate that content your showing consumers isn’t resonating, or how if visit durations are consistently short, the information consumers are looking for might not be accessible or easily seen, forcing them to venture off and find it elsewhere.
Furthermore, our benchmarks won’t be the same for all of our campaigns, especially when running with different publishers. Context has a great impact on performance and our benchmarks need to be adjusted accordingly.
While ad spend has seen an uptick in May and June, marketers are scrutinizing these investments and looking to see results and accurately measure ROI.
As we prepare for the new normal, as well as the phase out of third-party cookies, we need to define success differently – touting a strong CTR won’t be enough to ensure your ad dollars are secure.
Marketers need to continue emphasizing performance and ensuring that creative and messaging are resonating with audiences, so ad dollars aren’t wasted in the process. Widening our benchmarks and KPIs is how we can accurately look at campaigns and deem them successful.
Rupert Hodson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Dianomi, the financial and business-focused native ad marketplace for premium brands and publishers. Rupert is responsible for sales and business development at Dianomi as well as leading the company’s geographical expansion in both North America and APAC. Prior to founding Dianomi, Rupert spent five years at Interactive Investor heading the commercial team. He began his financial career in 1994 at Petropavlosk PLC.
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