This morning’s NYTimes business section had an article titled “Put Ad on Web. Count Clicks. Revise.” The article talks about the use of Wall Street analysis techniques on Madison Avenue. For the last year and a half I have been doing the kinds of analysis that the article talks about and know that counting clicks is only the beginning. The web allows for so much tracking and data collection that we can look at return on investments for clicks and impressions, but can do even more.
During the last year and a half, I have been working with Webmetro to look at the value of an ad. To come to some conclusions we look at clicks, impressions and effectiveness during certain times of day, month and year. We look at how ads tie into seasonality, how latency should effect spend, and we look at the effects of other marketing efforts on our web based ads. These are some of the metrics we look at and some of the things you should be looking at also.
Even with all the tracking out there and all the analysis that needs to be done, the first thing any marketer should do is learn their client’s business. For every client that you work for, spend time to understand their inner workings, their priorities, what they need to operate. Without knowing all that, all the advertising tests you do aren’t going to be anywhere as successful as they can be. Chances are that you will spend many thousands of dollars before you get it right and that is money your client can’t afford to lose.
Don’t get me wrong, I run tests all the time and think they are very important, but you must understand what the metrics for success are before you start spending. If you are looking for brand awareness, then impressions and clicks are a decent measure. I would probably take bounce rate into account also. If you are looking for sales, then true ROI needs to be the metric you look towards, but don’t forget to compare it to other marketing channels!
There is so much out there and the space is still growing and changing! This is truly an exciting time to be in online and interactive advertising.