Google have produced a new metric for judging the effectiveness of content network campaigns – the ‘view-through conversion’. I think that this is an excellent addition to the marketer’s toolkit but it comes with a word or two of warning. The essence of this new metric is that you now get a figure telling you when someone converted, having seen your advert but without clicking on it.
The new addition - View-through conversions
The benefit of this is that you can now judge which websites and pages represent the best value as advertising space for your service or product. If the people, who are eventually converting on your website, are reading the website where your advert is placed then it is a fair bet that the spend will be well used there. They do not need to have clicked on the advert for the branding exercise to have been worthwhile.
A waste of space?
Although this is certainly a useful metric there is still the question of whether the advert actually caused the ultimate result. If the advert is only gaining a very low CTR then perhaps the advert is not actually getting any attention? Was the advert a catalyst for conversion, as one would hope as a branding exercise, or was it merely an irrelevant and unnoticed bystander? Perhaps if we had view-through conversion stats for pages on those websites where the adverts were not seen we would have a better idea of the effectiveness of the branding and could separate correlation from causation.
However it is undoubtedly better than nothing at all and gives an extra level of insight into the content network and, as long as you are aware of the limits of the data, it can help you run more effective campaigns. If you really want to measure your branding’s effectiveness there are other analytics solutions that can help you stay on top of your spend.
Are you using the right metric/tool for the job?
Avinash Kaushik has written a great blog post on ‘Brand Measurement: Analytics & Metrics for Branding Campaigns’. In it he details seven reasons that you might want to employ a branding campaign and how you can get to the relevant analytics data to prove/disprove the effectiveness of the campaign for each different type. Branding works but it is vital to know what you are trying to achieve with it and to measure the outcomes.
When John Wanamaker said “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” he hit upon a problem that only now are we beginning to have the chance to correct. There will still be questions about attributing value to the right part of the process but the most wasteful parts of the budget should now be possible to identify and eliminate.