AdReady Blog

Measuring Your Display Ad Campaign’s Success, and Why You Are Likely Doing it Wrong

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There are two ways of evaluating online display campaign success.

The traditional and highly prevalent way involves launching a standard Display Ad or “audience acquisition” campaign and judging it solely on how closely it has met action-oriented goals (such as CPA, CPM, CPC, etc.), ultimately deeming it either a ‘success’ or a ‘failure’ based on this information.

Due to the emergence of retargeting and what we will call your “online audience,” this traditional approach, although widely practiced, supplies marketers with an incomplete view of true display advertising performance.

Because of this, marketers need to immediately shift the way they evaluate their campaigns.

AdReady’s own Senior VP of Sales and Services, Randy Wootton, tackles this very issue in How much is that cookie in the window here, ultimately establishing the importance of incorporating additional factors, besides initial actions, into your assessment of display efforts.

Instead of judging campaigns by up front, immediate actions, the way marketers should be evaluating campaigns is in two stages. In Stage 1 you, the marketer, launch a display ad campaign and generate initial actions. At the same time, you are effectively building an online audience which can then be retargeted. In Stage 2, you put this “online audience” to use and leverage retargeting to generate additional actions and at a better scale.

To put this in perspective, imagine an audience acquisition campaign that generated a horrible CPA, however the media was unusually inexpensive and the online audience converted at an exceptionally high rate, that the overall campaign, when combined with retargeting, in fact surpassed other successful campaigns in your portfolio.

By stepping back and viewing the holistic workings of audience acquisition (Stage 1 standard display ad campaigns) plus retargeting (Stage 2), this will give you much more valuable and accurate insight into campaign success.

So why is this important?

Moving beyond the traditional way of assessing success, online marketers realize there is still an undeniable amount of untapped value in their online audience that will manifest itself at a later point in time when they are served retargeted ads.

So, even if there is poor direct, initial conversion, this by no means indicates the display advertising campaign was a failure.

What you may find is that, the high cost per actions you saw as an outcome of audience acquisition is drastically mitigated by the success you’ve achieved via retargeting your online audience.

An apparent failure, turned into a great victory.