With online formats now an accepted and growing part of most ad budgets, the promises that publishers have made are being scrutinized. Marketers want to  know that they are not wasting their advertising dollars and this holds true for both branding and direct response campaigns. The field of data analytics has arrived.

eMarketer just published its analysis of the ‘Optimization Research’ study put forth by Maxifier. The general trend in the U.S. has been for marketers to allocate increasing sums for branding campaigns, which now stand at 43% of online ad spending. Direct response accounts for 54% and other campaigns make up the balance of online spending, 3%. At the same time, marketers are showing a keen interest in measuring the results of all of the spending in as precise a manner as possible.

On a scale of 1-12, here are the top priorities for U.S. marketers and their agencies with respect to online display ad metrics:

  •  Effective costs (eCPM or eCPC) 6.6
  • On-time impression delivery 6.4
  • Total impression delivery 6.2
  • Count of new business leads 5.9
  • Click-through rate 5.8
  • Measured brand engagement 5.7
  •  Cost per conversion 5.0
  • Measured increase in brand awareness 5.0

When considering whether a website will be an effective place for a brand awareness campaign, agencies say audience targeting (32%), price (27%) and conversion rates (26%) are extremely important.

Analysts were surprised to see that marketers are placing such importance on metrics that  have traditionally been more important for direct-response campaigns.  This new trend may prompt publishers to boost their analytic data offerings for all types of online campaigns.

[Source: Brand Marketers cling to Direct-Response Habits Online. Emarketer.com. 22 Feb. 2012. Web. 8 Mar.2012]