“The Sell Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.
Today's column is written by Ephraim Bander, president and chief revenue officer at Sticky.
For brand advertisers, clicks don’t count. But not all brand marketers are ready to accept that reality.
Clickthrough rate (CTR) is among the worst measures of the efficacy of a digital, brand-focused ad. It simply does not reflect the big picture of the consumer experience. Publishers know this, but it’s time they educated their brand advertisers about it.
For every brand-based ad that a consumer clicks, there are probably hundreds that she does not. This doesn’t mean she didn’t see them or isn’t aware of the brand that she just saw; she just chose not to click or to act at that time. The key word here is “chose.” If someone who sees an ad makes a conscious decision not to click, that still means she saw the ad and responded accordingly, even if, in this case, it was by choosing not to act.
Take, for example, a nationally known consumer brand like Coca-Cola or a fast food chain like McDonald’s. Since nobody can buy a two-liter Diet Coke or a Quarter Pounder with cheese online, the odds that a consumer will feel a pressing need to click these ads are pretty slim. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t see them. It doesn’t mean the brands aren’t now at the top of her mind and that she won’t stop at McDonald’s on her way home from the grocery store, where she bought a few bottles of Diet Coke. Just because she didn’t click doesn’t mean she wasn’t motivated to make these purchases because of her exposure to the ad.