In a first article, we explained that building an annual business plan begins with defining objectives, followed by identifying targets and budget allocation. This thinking leads to budget allocation across different levers, which also takes seasonality and digital/non-digital synergies into consideration.
A media plan must also include a measurement component. This is the last yet most important ingredient in creating a business plan, as it helps to create a virtuous circle through performance optimisation, which is then echoed in the next business plan.
In general, media business plans and estimates of the plan’s total ROI for the digital aspect are based on a deduplicated last click attributionattributionDigital attribution refers to a set of methods that aim at reconstructing the digital journey of a client that led to conversion. The aim of this process is to measure the efficiency of each channel that was used during a marketing campaign. Learn more model across several levers.
Hang on… what? Measurement tools generally provide a view into digital marketing performance that is:
- Deduplicated across all levers: conversions are only attributed once
- And focused on the last click: the conversion is attributed to the last lever
This is done using a webanalyticswebanalyticsWebanalytics is a set of methodologies whose goal is to gather, measure and analyse data about the audience and visits of a website or a mobile app. Learn more tool such as Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics or CoremetricsmetricsMetrics are quantitative measurements that assess campaign performance: CPA, CPM, bounce rates, or the number of visits are examples of metrics.
Learn more. This last-click attribution model favours the levers that are activated towards the end of the purchasing path, such as Branded SEA (Search Engine AdvertisingSearch Engine AdvertisingSearch Engine Advertising (SEA) is an advertising channel that aims at referencing a sponsored link among the search results of a search engine, to drive traffic to an advertiser’s website. Learn more) or RetargetingRetargetingRetargeting is a process that aims at targeting, via advertising, internet users who have already visited a brand’s website (or had a recorded touchpoint with the brand), and at encouraging them to reengage with this brand. Learn more. For example, if the user clicks on a Display bannerbannerA banner is a commonly used ad format, that takes the form rectangular-shaped image (still or animated), and is displayed on publisher’s advertising spaces.Learn more before typing the brand’s name into a search engine, and then clicks on an SEA ad to buy the product, the conversion is attributed to the SEA.
The last-click perspective must thus be completed by post-view data (also called ‘post-imp’ for post-impressionimpressionIn the context of online advertising, an impression is the display of an advertisement on the Internet. It is also used as an indicator in the buying and selling of ad space: some publishers charge advertisers for each set of a thousand impressions (especially for CPM-based pricing models).Learn more), so that the impact of Display and other levers can be taken into account. A trackingtrackingTracking refers to the tools and methodologies that measure the activity and behaviour of visitors on a website (or a mobile app), including their journey, the source of their visit, or exposure to ads... Learn more and ad serving tool such as DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM) allows for comparisons to be made among different campaigns, thanks to the addition of post-view data (in other words, taking into consideration conversions generated after a simple exposure without a click). The post-view “window” must be adjusted depending on the campaign objective, and thus the lever type: a brand reputation campaign will generate very few post-view conversions in the 48 hours following its exposure, unlike a traffic generation campaign.
Other tools are available to provide a more detailed measurement of campaign effectiveness and to evaluate multiple factors including visibility, cross-devicecross-deviceCross-device behaviours refer to browsing habits where users navigate the Internet freely from one device to another (smartphone, computer, tablet...). Learn more tracking, online/offline complementarity (particularly ROPO, or Research Online Purchase OfflineResearch Online Purchase OfflineResearch Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO) refers to a cross-channel behaviour: it is an approach where a user searches for relevant product or service information online before completing the purchase through an offline channel (call centres, agencies, stores, car dealership...). Learn more), or impact on brand reputation.
Brief overview of advertising performance measurement solutions that complement post-click and post-imp perspectives
Adding a visibility measurement tool is recommended for Display campaigns. This ensures that banners don’t all appear at the bottom of the page where only a few brave users will see them, or that they don’t fall victim to advertising fraud. Some useful ad visibility measurement tools include Adloox, MOAT, or Integral Ad Science.
Lift Surveys from YouTube and Facebook measure the impact of a video campaign on a brand’s reputation. They are free tools with a minimum of investment. DAR (Digital Ad Ratings) studies from Médiamétrie (formerly Nielsen OCR) take a comprehensive measure of the media target reach for digital campaigns. This is also possible with a third-party tool such as Atlas.
It can also be useful to measure cross-device performance, as a consumer’s path is often multi-device (people use several devices, generally a smartphone and one or two different computers). Thus, users often perform one or more searches via a mobile device, followed by making a purchase via desktop. Tools such as Atlas (Facebook), Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics help to recreate these consumer paths. It is thus possible to measure the impact of mobile on a campaign. It should be noted that the cross-device tracking services provided by Atlas also offer detailed socio-demographic information about the audience reached. This information can be used to improve future campaign targeting.
Lastly, the effectiveness of a media plan overall can be verified using studies that measure complementarity between online and offline initiatives:
- For example, players like Realytics measure the impact of a TV campaign on digital media, and Rentrak (comScore) provides segmentation information on audiences reached through TV campaigns;
- Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings studies and Médiamétrie’s XCR studies measure the impact of digital video ads on TV campaigns, particularly in-target delivery;
- Specialised players like fifty-five are also developing customised solutions that combine the latest technological breakthroughs with more traditional methods to evaluate, for example, the impact of TV campaigns on an e-commerce site’s KPIKPIKey Performance Indicators (KPIs) refer to the main indicators assessing the success of a campaign: they are determined based on their accordance with the chosen strategy. The generated turnover, or the number of pageviews, are examples of KPIs. Learn mores. Indeed, it is possible to build an econometric model to evaluate the impact of various factors, including a TV campaign or seasonality, on a site’s performance. We can isolate specific effects of a TV campaign and estimate its incremental impact using linear regression.
The tools cited in this article are certainly not intended to be an exhaustive list. They are merely examples of the solutions available to advertisers to evaluate and measure the impact of their online and offline advertising campaigns. Remember that measurement tools should be chosen with the desired objective in mind… And the available budget!
Measurement remains an essential part of any media plan, as it is necessary to keep optimising both targeting and performance. Choosing the right measurement tools – and understanding their differences and how they work, including the potential biases that might result –– allows advertisers to better understand the user path, and to send the right messages to the right people.