Today’s column is written by Lauren Moores, vice president of analytics at Dstillery.
As Advertising Week drew to a close, a colleague of mine who is relatively new to ad tech voiced disbelief that many people still believe in the click-through rate (CTR) as a performance measurement.
“Is it because the math in more accurate methods is too complicated?” he asked.
Unfortunately, CTR is not going away anytime soon, according to AOL’s Tim Armstrong. The click was the metric of choice when he started in the industry 19 years ago, he said in a recent IAB MIXX speech. Although there was skepticism about the click from the onset, here we are with the same metric nearly two decades later.
That’s a tough one to swallow. I tend to agree with Tim that the media industry moves at a glacial pace in this arena – look at our continued reliance on coarse demographic TV ratings, for example – but the notion that we are stuck with simplistic and misleading attribution for the foreseeable future defies the potential and power of digital media.
Do CTR and click attribution models remain because we don’t want to acknowledge how these metrics support a fraud economy that occurs across digital channels?