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Insights, resources, and inspiration for publishers.

Cheat Sheet: Positioning Digital Metrics

It’s been 22 years since the first banner ad appeared on wired.com, which encouraged users to click their mouse to learn more. Since then the number of digital metrics have proliferated to include everything from time spent and quartiles, to engagement and conversion rates. The way metrics are defined vary from partner to partner, often with discrepancies in the metrics themselves, making consolidated reporting and campaign performance evaluation even more difficult. It’s normal to see a 5-8% variance between impressions tracked by Google vs a publisher. This dynamic reduces confidence in a campaign performance, and most publishers default to impressions and CTRs over confusing their advertisers (or themselves) with advanced analytics.

Measuring the Purchase Funnel
So where does that leave publishers who are trying to navigate the sea of digital metrics? There is a lot more to positioning digital campaign performance than impressions and clickthrough rates. Brand advertisers and have gotten better at measuring activity within specific stages of a customer’s journey and publishers have the opportunity to provide the same.

For example, if I were a shoe retailer running a holiday campaign, my digital marketing mix would include a variety of ads to move my audience through the purchasing funnel. I might run a video ad on a website frequently visited by my audience, to increase awareness, followed by rich media ads on the same website, where users can preview new shoe styles and colors they like, to drive interest. Then I might run a Facebook coupon ad that provides 15% off incentive, targeted to those users who previously watched my video ads or interacted with my rich media ads (yes this is all possible).

Ads built for each stage of the customer journey

Video Ad Awareness    Rich Media Ad Considerations    Direct Response Ad Coupon

At the end of the day, as an advertiser I care the most about the actual conversions or online purchases generated by the campaign, but I’m paying close attention to video and rich media KPIs as those play a critical role in driving customers through the stages of the buying process. As a publisher, you rarely have visibility into actual conversions, which makes the other customer journey KPIs even more important. To help publishers translate an accurate, rich performance story for clients, here’s a cheat sheet of metrics to focus on based on the purchasing stage and ad type.

Cheat Sheet Digital Metrics

Although publishers will never be able to deliver a complete attribution story, they can help advertisers track and optimize for the right metrics throughout their campaign, by aligning the right campaign objectives with the right digital ad formats and KPIs. This enables publishers to tell a powerful, accurate performance story.

State of Digital Advertising for Publishers

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