Metrics that Matter: The Evolution of Marketing Success Metrics


Digital marketing has long been lauded for its ability to measure outcomes and success. This definition of success during the earlier days, was through the number of eyeballs or clicks a given ad could reach. If you could get an ad in front of an increasing number of people — or even better, get them to click on it — the campaign would be deemed successful.

As the industry progressed however, it soon became apparent that there isn’t any direct correlation between increasing the number of clicks and impacting the bottom line. Mobile has drastically altered the customer journey, and our ability to measure its impact, and now every step of the journey may need to be reassessed to capture this.

Evolution in content formats has also positively impacted the measurement of user interaction. By using these formats, brands are now able to reward users to watch their ad, encourage users to play a brand-based game, interact with elements from a TVC, share a message on user’s social media or even take them to a whole new virtual world. Consequently, owing to this enhanced user experience, the brand’s measurement metrics have also been refined.

To thrive in this mobile-first world, it is important to update measurement strategies and KPIs in accordance with consumer behaviors, turning what was previously intangible into concrete evidence of Return-On-Investment (ROI).

Navigating the Winds of Change

The capabilities that are available to an everyday consumer have rapidly evolved over the decades. Each development has had long-lasting impacts on the way consumers behave both online and offline, and brands have reacted accordingly, tailoring their marketing strategies to match.

Now with the rise of Gamified ads, Chatbots and Augmented Reality we are seeing brands find new ways to go beyond just audience attention, but instead work on audience engagement. This has taken shape as brands look to encourage two-way interactions with consumers, immersing them in the brand in an innovative manner.

Bliblimart, an Indonesian e-commerce site, piloted AdColony’s m-Select as a mobile-first dynamic shopping experience. This mobile ad was designed to simulate a shopping experience similar to the e-commerce portal and to drive conversions among mobile shoppers through an interactive ad that gave users a seamless purchase journey. Full-screen ads like these are immersive and capture the attention of fully-focused consumers, allowing brands to push their creativity and drive engagement by even allowing consumers to tap, shake or tilt their devices to interact with the brand.

Bridging this divide between what is considered advertising and what consumers actually want to engage with is where the opportunity for brands now lie.

By getting them continuously interacting with your brand, it forges deeper connections and strengthens brand loyalty. Executing this successfully requires an in-depth understanding of your consumer, and finding the right way to measure how these ads add value to your brand.

Defining the New

Going deeper into this, the beauty of digital marketing is that it has given rise to ROI-driven metrics. These can be broken down into both tangible and intangible. Tangible conversions are clear actions that a consumer takes that show a progression into the purchase funnel. These include product purchases, installs, social media shares, or even add to carts. Intangibles, on the other hand, consist of metrics such as brand lift and consumer engagement that show how consumers perceive your brand.

The quality of engagement goes beyond a simple click on a static ad, it’s about the consumer’s experience as they navigate through content and truly engage with them. For instance, take mobile gaming as an ad platform. Research has shown that 70 per cent of users do not use a second screen while playing games making it a distraction-free environment. This allows for more genuine engagements as they interact solely with the creative and interactive ad formats available within the platform.

These are just a few examples but there is a whole wealth of others to consider such as cost-per-completed-view and cost-per-impacted users. At the end of the day, genuine brand interactions are worth a lot more than the numbers that make your brand look good so don’t get mixed up between those and the metrics that truly affect the success of the campaign.

Making the Most of In-App Advertising Metrics

Tying all this together, it is then important to consider the channels in which a brand appears. Metrics may show the return-on-investment or performance of each ad, but when it comes to overall marketing success, finding the right channel and its capability to deliver against desired campaign outcomes should be factored in as well.

In-app mobile advertising, for instance, enables brands to not only go deep into measuring the performance of their ads, but also enables direct attribution of sales to specific campaigns. It provides valuable data into how consumers engage with your ad, and also opens up the opportunity to improve advertising efforts. Beyond just reaching and engaging consumers, mobile in-app ads can also close the loop by driving online purchases within the mobile device itself when being served an ad that relates to products available on their frequented e-commerce sites.

Going beyond the tangible, it also opens up the opportunity for brands to change the way advertising is perceived by consumers. Leveraging concepts, such as incentivized ads where consumers are provided in-app rewards which are opt-in formats of running ads in which the end-user is rewarded in-game currency in exchange for their engagement by completing a video view, making it an all-round more positive experience for the consumer. While customers simply engage with your ad, remember that they are more likely to have a good impression of your brand as compared to traditional pre-rolls that are prevalent today.

Nestlé DANCOW’s campaign is a great example of this. The ad took an experiential approach, to share more on DANCOW’s benefits to mothers by utilizing an interactive video where mothers could swipe across the screen to remove germs, dirt and paint, with every tap resulting in a change in the video being displayed. The campaign generated a 74 per cent engagement rate, a viewability rate of 94 per cent, culminating in a total of 19 per cent increase in sales.

Marketing That Measures up Is Measurable

Converting leads is not an exact science — but make no mistake, it is a science. Today, we have far too much ability to measure marketing to think that the art is all that matters. We want our efforts to be successful, to be effective and to have a high return. One way to do that is to ensure we are valuing the right metrics of success and to measure, measure, and measure.

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