Andrea Mitchell
Andrea Mitchell

Digital marketing: Putting effective measurement into perspective

Much has been written recently about digital marketing effectiveness and the measurement thereof. Finally, a few astute marketers are waking up to the significance of bona fide, accurate measurement. There is however, still a lot of misconception and understanding of what exactly should be measured, and why digital marketing is so effective at accomplishing just that.

How would any marketing, advertising or PR campaign be measured? Simple; by analysing whether the objective was met, how much exposure was achieved, how much business resulted, the value thereof and so forth. Granted, it’s not such a simple task in the offline world, but the ultimate objective would always be to increase sales — the sole intent of allocating advertising and marketing investments in the first instance.

So why then, are marketers and various digital marketing specialists still harping on about click-through rates as an accurate of measurement and analysis of success for an online or mobile marketing campaign? Asking how many people saw a TV ad, or how many heard a radio ad, although ridiculed for its lack of ability to measure anything more than brand awareness, does far more for effectiveness and results measurement than what a click-through rate can.

Digital marketing offers the ability to get really into the nitty-gritty of return on investment, so why is it still being likened to other channels? Or are marketers just so used to not being able to accurately measure the return on their marketing and advertising investments that this has become the expectation of all channels?

Delving more into digital marketing’s effectiveness measurement and why a click-through rate is not the holy grail of digital marketing measurement …

A click does not necessarily mean one person. One person could click on an ad 20 times, for example.

Click-through rate, in simple terms, simply focuses on the number of clicks achieved on an ad. For example, if the click-through rate is 0,5%, it simply indicates that 0,5% of total ad impressions served were clicked. These clicks would hopefully be a result of genuine interest, but in many instances are accidental (especially with the type of ads that float around the screen, where people simply try to get rid of them), or could be generated by a single person who stands to gain from a higher click-through rate.

So, you think a click results in a land on your website. Does it really? In most instances, no. The drop-off from a click on an ad to a successful land on the landing page can be as high as 50% (particularly with a very heavy, graphic-intense landing page).

If you are a vehicle manufacturer whose sole intent is to get bums into cars, wouldn’t your objective be to get them to get to your website and book a test drive? Isn’t this, then, what should be tracked and measured?

With the technology available for digital marketing, it is not rocket science to track, measure and continually optimise throughout the course of a campaign. The number of bums put into seats can be measured right from the initial exposure of the ad.

Specialist digital marketing agencies thrive on this technology that not only allows audited counts on the number of ads served, but also counts how many users are reached and the number of clicks vs clicks achieved by unique individuals, right through to how many bums are put in seats.

By constantly monitoring a digital marketing campaign throughout its duration, it is possible to monitor not only which ads are achieving the objective, but also which digital channel and publication/platform, right through to the process a user follows once landing on the website or mobile site, easily enabling each to be optimised as a campaign progresses.

With the ability to track accurately the success of the objective of a campaign, there is absolutely no reason that “click-through rate” should still exist in any digital marketer’s vocabulary.