Written in Chief Marketer, 30th September
John Wanamaker once said ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half’. It’s a question which has troubled marketers since the 1800s, and even with the huge amounts of data available today, it can be difficult for brands to judge which elements of their advertising campaign have been truly effective.
Digital advertising represents a huge leap forward in how advertising campaigns can be tracked and measured. Unlike offline campaigns, digital advertising delivers trackable, actionable metrics in real-time. By using a tag, ad tech providers are able to easily identify whether a user has clicked on an ad, watched a video (and if so, for how long), whether the audio was on and if they carried out an online action via the ad unit. It is also highly advisable to track whether the ad was viewable. By working with a third party verification provider, brands receive insights into whether an ad is viewable and consequently the true value of the impression or view.
While these actionable metrics are extremely useful, particularly for performance-based campaigns which are popular among brands like Netflix and Uber, where the end goal is for a user to perform an online action (sign up online or download the app), the challenge is when a user is being driven to carry out a purchase offline. How can the advertising campaign and final purchase be linked?
Location data, thrown up by our constant use of smartphones, provides another piece to the attribution puzzle. Each time an ad call is received from an app where a user has enabled location services, details of their current location is delivered via a lat/long co-ordinate (it’s important to note location can be determined in other ways, such as WiFi or user input but geo co-ordinates are the most accurate). These co-ordinates are assigned to the advertiser ID, which remains anonymous, and over time build up a picture of the user’s location behavior.
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