Meet Drew Aronica, digital media buyer here at ND&P.
“What’s the click-through rate?” is often the first question we hear regarding digital campaign performance. It seems to apply to any banner, video, mobile or any other ad with a click function you can think of. The ability of a user to interact with an ad by clicking on it completely changed the advertising industry. For the first time, results could be measured not just by an estimated number of how many people saw an ad with Nielsen TV ratings or magazine circulation numbers; but instead, how many people took an active interest.
Marketers are always coming up with new ways to determine the value of an ad, and that’s difficult when there’s no exact science. But once the cost-per-click measuring stick came along – it’s been all too easy to slap what we perceive as value on a digital campaign. More and more, clients tend to look at one small percentage number and quickly declare campaigns a rousing success or a monumental flop. But there have been ad campaigns running long before online marketing existed. The click-through rate of every paper printed ad is still 0%. Are we really saying that unless someone shows up at the company’s doorstep with the magazine ad in hand the campaign went unnoticed? I’d hate to be one breaking that news to the head of marketing.
Clicks can say a few words about a campaign, but a few words are far from telling a whole story. Clicks still don’t tell you how many people saw the ad (check your impression numbers), who the audience was (discuss with your media team) or what they really thought about it (an array of additional creative studies might be needed here). Don’t get me wrong, I would love one percentage number to tell me all that; it would make my job a lot easier – but it just doesn’t work that way.
We need to keep in mind that the value of traditional and digital media still encompass many of the same measurements in views, reach, frequency, creative… and the list goes on. Click-through rates are a unique, additional measurement that new media allows for. They’re the icing on the cake – but not the cake itself.