measurmentMaximizing the advertising impact with innovative campaigns to stand out from the competition with the least possible cost is the goal of every advertiser, isn’t it? However, the measurement of the effectiveness of digital media activities, in spite of all high-tech tools in the market, still remains a key challenge - beyond the established planning and market research approaches. There are no uniform measurement models yet that allow real-time control of campaigns for the advertising impact.

Although there are different media goals and campaign parameters that can be quantitatively measured and controlled by programmatic systems, the advertising impact can be enhanced by considering the following:

The right parameters: while the contact dose, the advertising format, including the visibility and the media environment, are still unquestionably important planning criteria for evaluating and maximizing the advertising impact, extremely relevant variables, such as the actual contact distribution and target group achievement are often not sufficiently in focus. These are, however, just as essential to fully demonstrate the advertising impact and to optimize the campaign settings. Only if a user in the target group of a brand is reached with the correct contact dose in the right context, advertising can act as planned.

Optimize campaigns to the fullest: for a meaningful measurement, the parameters mentioned must be considered as a whole, but unfortunately most campaigns are only optimized to sub-goals. Besides the costs, these can be ad impressions, format sizes and viewability rates. Audience targeting, for instance, often isn’t evaluated, causing advertisers to lose tremendous potential in terms of campaign effectiveness. It is important that all relevant parameters are viewed holistically and in real-time, so that campaigns can be optimized on an ongoing basis. In particular, the control of an actually achieved contact dose per user - instead of a simple frequency capping in terms of a maximum number of contacts or a mere consideration of average reached contacts (across all users) - is due to the high level of complexity not yet or not consistently implemented in practice. This is often due to the technical complexity of controlling across different inventories, formats and devices. However, and in practice this pattern outweighs, marketers tend to retain what they have learned, such as optimizing a campaign for a gross rating point (GRP), even if this does not always produce the optimal outcome. The metric serves as a measure to assess target group penetration. Though, the meaningfulness is limited because the result expresses only the ratio between net reach and average contacts in the target group, with GRP optimization often favoring inadequate contacts among most users, while a smaller portion is over-penetrated. This leads to an inadequate advertising impact, thereby overstating the inadequate costs of the campaign.

To efficiently perform measurement, comparability and optimization, external (measurement) tools and functions in the DSPs could be useful. In order to make the impact of advertising measurable and maximizable, advertisers need to be vigilant in enabling them holistically to demonstrably gain insight into the actual success and effectiveness of their campaign.

None the less, digital media has the great advantage of being measurable, comparable and optimizable: a goal that every advertiser should pursue.

By Daniela La Marca