Click-​Throughs Fail to Measure Campaign Success

In May, I blogged about the tendency of marketers to measure campaign success by calculating the click-​through rate (CTR). This easy-​to-​obtain statistic is used by 60% of the companies represented in the most recent Chief Marketer’s Interactive Survey. But analysts at Lotame Solutions argue that “the click—is at best inadequate and at worst deceptive for measuring campaign success against many key brand metrics.”

To date, Lotame has found that CTRs correlate negatively to desired brand metrics  in the following ways:

  • People who click  spend less time on the ad and are less likely to remember what the ad is about.
  • Marketers that optimize for CTR will end up with fewer consumers who have ad recall or intent to view.

What would work better to measure online campaign success? The company’s findings point to these metrics:

  • Brand awareness
  • Purchase intent
  • Likelihood to recommend
  • Favorability

Lotame’s recently published white paper on this topic shows that marketers who carefully identify metrics that correlate positively to campaign goals can significantly improve purchase intent. Analysts cited one example which resulted in a 12% improvement in purchase lift. The improvement resulted from identifying a narrow population based on behavior trends and then calculating cross-​metric relationships  via techniques such as Pearson correlation coefficients. With this information, Lotame was able to help clients better target an audience that was likely to buy and therefore improve campaign results.

Lotame CEO Andy Monfried, says “brand-​lift measurements can break that addiction [CTR], by showing all of us what really matters: Engagement, ad recall, and purchase intent.” This trend toward more sophisticated targeting and measurement is increasing as marketers feel growing pressure to demonstrate meaningful ROI for online campaigns.

[Source: Online Brand Optimization. Lotame. May 2010. Web. 7 Jul. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.