Digital Engagement Measuring Standards to Undergo Review

One of the stumbling blocks related to digital marketing has been how to define and measure the effect of advertising in the various formats.  rulermoneyWith digital marketing continuing to capture a growing share of the advertising dollar, industry participants are eager to agree on a standard definition and measurement system. This process has started with the publication of a whitepaper on the topic and the upcoming creation of an IAB Research Council Group.

The Digital Ad Engagement: An Industry Overview and Reconceptualization report points out that engagement should consider consumer response to advertising in 3 ways:

  • Ad Engagement – Does the consumer interact with the specific ad?
  • Content Engagement – Which content on a site is most interesting to consumers?
  • Audience Engagement – How many and which consumers are noticing ads?

The whitepaper, which may serve as a talking point for council members as they seek to standardize measurement, also suggests that engagement can range from cognitive (awareness) to physical (interaction such as clicks) to emotional (reaction).  Until recently, the click-​through has been the default measurement for ad engagement. But researchers envision other tactics such as biometrics  (especially eye tracking) and heat maps (where visitor activity data could be visualized). In addition, researchers want to continue using surveys of self-​reported responses to advertising.

The whitepaper, produced by Radar Research in collaboration with the IAB, acknowledges that as new digital ad forms develop, we need ways to accurately measure their effect. For example, with video ads – researchers are tracking play rates, share rates and viewing rates.  Similar interaction applies to rich media and mobile ads.

It will be interesting to follow the process of this group and the measurement system that evolves because of its work.

[Source: IAB Report on Ad Engagement. IAB​.net. 20 Dec. 2012. Web. 18 Jan. 2013] 
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.