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BizReport : Advertising archives : May 10, 2010

Why marketing strategy should measure more than clicks

When it comes to the length of time consumers actually spend on-site, everyone knows the higher the rate the better it is for the brand or marketer. Likewise, most marketers believe the number of clicks an ad receives the more engaging the campaign is to consumers. Which one of these perceptions is actually correct? The first. Lucky for all marketers, though, a recent platform addition helps marketers engage beyond clicks

by Kristina Knight

"Today 99.92% of online ads don't get clicked," said Joe Apprendi, Collective CEO. "The industry has long known that simply seeing an ad delivers branding dividends." So, since ads aren't being clicked as often as in the past, marketers need to consider other ways of measure campaign influence.

Still not convinced? Eyeblaster, in coordination with Microsoft Advertising and comScore, researchers found that consumers with higher Dwell rates used branded search terms nearly 40% more often as those with lower Dwell rates.

Higher Dwell rates were also found to increase conversion rates. According to the report increasing the amount of time consumers spend on-site by as little as 5% to 15% can increase conversion rates by as much as 45%. Eyeblaster defines 'dwell' as the entire course of action a consumer takes on-site prior to making purchase. So, from the time a consumer clicks on a ad, surfs to a website and engages with content to the time they finalize a purchase.

Researchers found:

• High Dwell rates increased traffic by 69%
• Ad placements in areas where consumers 'dwell' longer causes them to stay online longer
• Video ads increase Dwell rates by 29%
• News content, instant messaging, map sites and children's sites all have high dwell rates

"It's encouraging to see the same metric applicable to different marketing objectives," said Gal Trifon, Eyeblaster CEO and co-founder. "The connection between engagement and conversions emphasizes the value of digital display as a response medium, while the joint research with Microsoft Advertising shows clear branding correlation."

What all of this means is that consumers need to engage with a website, whether a content hub or a product information area, before they will convert to a purchase. Nothing new there. What is new is the disparity between high-dwell and conversions and low-dwell and lower conversion rates.

But, how can marketers make measurements like time spent on-site as informative as click-thrus? Recently Collective launched a new engagement metric giving marketers the ability to determine how engaged consumers are rather than measuring simple clicks. The addition gives marketers the ability to measure how long a consumer is exposed to an ad, to measure mouse-over activities or to determine if an ad was placed in a viewable area of the consumer's computer screen.

Tags: Advertising, Business, ComScore, dwell rates, Eyeblaster, Gal Trifon, Joe Apprendi, Microsoft, Online advertising

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