Home Data-Driven Thinking The Problem With Metrics

The Problem With Metrics

SHARE:

Data-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Zane McIntyre, co-founder and CEO at Commission Factory.

Advertisers know that measuring success based on reach doesn’t lead to conversions. Yet impressions, clicks, social shares, quality scores and time on site are all vanity metrics being thrown around by companies talking about ad effectiveness and performance. I get it: How do we know if people are interacting with our ads?

If marketers know their performance measurement ABCs – acquisition, behavior, conversion – then they should be able to reverse-engineer the activities needed from certain advertising channels to drive the best outcomes, right? But this isn’t always the case.

View- and impression-based metrics are just as useless on the surface, but they are still being used to determine whether brands are targeting the right type of audiences.

Just because you pay for a click doesn’t mean you are guaranteed an immediate return. If a campaign is nonperforming, marketers are wasting their budgets and losing that opportunity. That puts them in the mindset of constantly trying to optimize existing spend instead of coming up with creative strategies that drive conversion-focused outcomes.

When advertisers conduct tests to determine the best thumbnail for video views, for example, advertising “reach” is determined by the number of people who see it – even if only for a moment. But then viewers quickly leave, often after the premise they were promised is under-delivered. It’s a vanity metric and can be easily manipulated with clickbait and paid content promotion, both which can get content in front of a targeted audience quickly and cheaply.

Even if marketers did acknowledge the different types of conversion metrics that could be used, is this something that could be compared against competitors across multiple platforms?

The lack of industry benchmarks demonstrates the infancy and challenges in extracting standardized data from the world’s largest advertising solution providers, encouraging the endless cycle of optimizing campaigns for impressions and views. There is an exploding number of vendors, and each takes the different view of attribution.

Recognition for accountability from these advertising solution providers has slowly begun. Facebook, for example, provided the latest update of its video metrics measurability standards in April and introduced aggregate views of reporting and historical benchmarking. There have also been comprehensive efforts to establish transparency and accountability in video metric measurement through the formation of an internal council, third-party integration solutions and independent industry audits.

But then you still have the issue of setting up individual ad tracking solutions and their different methods. What if advertising solution providers worked together to create a supertag with unified channel conversion-focused metrics? Could the IAB and other industry bodies incentivize and enforce data collection and measurement policies?

Subscribe

AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

For now, advertisers need to add context to their own conversion-focused metrics because looking at them at face value doesn’t always equate to higher performance. It is possible to create the wrong assumptions, such as assigning all site visitors the same potential to convert or not factoring in the relationship between increased reach and conversions, all of which can impact campaign performance.

Data, tracking technology and campaign goals are all important, but none matter if marketers don’t create ads that inspire users to take action from the most effective channel. The question stands: When will advertisers start focusing on conversions, instead of reach?

Follow Commission Factory (@commissionfacto) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter

Must Read

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.

Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

Albertsons is taking that first step into non-endemic advertising next week via a partnership with Rokt to serve ads to people who have already purchased groceries.

Marketecture Buys AdTechGod (No, Really)

Marketecture has acquired AdTechGod – an anonymous ad tech Twitter poster turned one-man content studio – and the AdTech Forum, an information resource hosted by AdTechGod and Jeremy Bloom.