Categorized as Channel Marketing, Digital Fusion, Return on Investment, Strategy

Forget Vanity Metrics, It’s Time to Measure Real Digital Ad Outcomes

Forget Vanity Metrics, It’s Time to Measure Real Digital Ad Outcomes

All digital ad campaigns start with serving an impression. Advertisers expect the ad to be targeted to the correct audience and have it result in a consumer clicking on the ad. Once the consumer is on the ad’s landing page, they are compelled by a call to action to engage with the brand.


Unfortunately, too many digital ad campaigns are focused on impressions and initial clicks. While impressions and clicks are important, moving beyond these vanity metrics to what happens after a consumer hits the submit button is what’s really important. When channel marketers are developing performance ad strategies for their dealers or distributors, it’s important to clearly define return on investment outcomes and how they will be measured and reported.


There are a few things to consider when moving from vanity metrics to measuring real digital advertising outcomes.


Define Cost Per Acquisition

For paid search advertising, it’s important to establish a bidding strategy that is based on cost per acquisition and not cost per click. A good starting point is understanding what it costs your organization to acquire a customer and what the initial average value is for that customer’s initial purchase.


For example, let’s say you’re selling a product and the average customer purchase is $1,000 and the cost of sale is $100. Continuing our example, of the $100 cost of sale, let’s say $15 of that amount is attributed to advertising. That $15 amount is inclusive of all advertising related expenses. If $7.50 of that amount is allocated to actual media spend, you have determined what your cost per click should be for performance advertising. When your campaigns are running, you are now able to optimize individual campaigns or tactics based on your bidding strategy.


Compelling Call to Action

Another key consideration when it comes to measuring digital ad programs is ensuring you are using clear and compelling calls to action on your landing pages. It’s important to connect the proverbial dots between your ad content, how the ads are paid off on the landing page, and, ultimately, how the call to action helps drive conversions.  Most of the dealers or retailers selling your products aren’t digital marketers and don’t know this.  That’s why it’s so important to engage with a partner who can deliver this expertise to local merchants who are recommending and selling your products.


One of the beauties of digital advertising is the ability to test, test and test some more, especially when you’ve established a defined cost per acquisition. For example, if paid search advertising is a key channel for your customer acquisition efforts through your dealers & retailers at the local level, you not only have the ability to test different ad copy, but you can also create and test multiple landing pages and corresponding calls to action. By analyzing search terms and understanding the terms that are driving initial clicks, you can incorporate some of the terms in your landing page copy as well as calls to action. Optimizing your landing pages like this can also bring down the cost you are paying for each click since search engines will give your dealers’ landing pages a higher quality score.


Attribute Efforts to Revenue

One of the challenges of any performance advertising program is being able to directly attribute a campaign to sales impact and revenue generation. For channel marketers, this can be even more challenging as dealers and distributors are focused on running their businesses and not necessarily worrying about measuring advertising effectiveness. That’s why it’s important to provide the tools or processes to help measure return on investment.


One approach to attributing ad expenditures and cost per acquisition to revenue is to link the analytics data from your ad campaigns to sales reporting. If a landing page is capturing consumers’ name and email address, for example, that information is also captured in a dealer or distributor’s sales reporting. This linkage can be done manually or systematically but should ultimately be integrated into your channel marketing reporting dashboards or business intelligence systems.


By clearly defining return on investment outcomes and how they are measured and reported, channel marketers are able to take their ad strategies to the next level and move from vanity metrics to measuring actual revenue contribution. Clearly defining the cost per acquisition, ensuring clear and compelling calls to action that drive desired conversions and establishing reporting capabilities to measure and attribute ad programs to revenue generation are a great starting point. Closing the ROI loop on your channel marketing program is the most important thing you will do as a program manager.


About Channel Fusion

For 20 years, Channel Fusion has been delivering strategy, customer experience and return on investment outcomes for brands and their channel partners with a wide variety of solutions and industry expertise. We continue to invest in the overall ecosystem of our channel marketing offering to ensure our clients provide their partners with an optimal customer experience. Our core technologies and configurable platforms are supported by a team of customer-centric “Fusers.” Let us know if you’d like to learn more about how we deliver desired outcomes for brands and their channel partners.

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