It is disappointing to know that most branding campaigns are still not directly measured for ad effectiveness and impact in real time. This is not to say that monitoring for fraud and brand safety, evaluating viewability, tracking impressions, and counting clicks aren’t valuable efforts. They are. The issue is that while all brand advertising campaigns are measured for their quantitative impression delivery, only a fraction are measured for their effectiveness at changing consumers’ hearts and minds. The result? Measurement that doesn’t scale.
Here’s a modest proposal: We need to critically reconsider our industry-wide reliance on panel-based sampling as a means of measuring brand lift. Conventional lift studies that use panels are expensive, (and) typically do not collect enough data. Thus, they aren’t informative enough early on in the campaign flight to be highly actionable. With access to real-time technologies, we can leverage considerably better alternatives.
Actually, representative sampling and quality can be even thornier issues. Surveys have a big problem with straightliners (people who select the same response option at each question), speeders (who take the survey too fast to be credible), and cheaters (who do not respond truthfully). Considering the challenges of holding consumer attention these days, if you were in the 7th minute of a survey about the Gap, what type of quality response would you (be) likely to provide?
Here are some ideas to make measurement better:
- Make survey placements match the placements where the ad campaign is flighted.
- Surveys should be served according to the same logic and targeting that steers towards a specific addressable campaign audience.
- Surveying should be completed with one or two questions by dual-purposing the very same ad and targeting tech that underlies how we serve ad campaigns today.
Just imagine how much better measurement would be if survey serving spoke to ad serving in real time.
Editor’s Note: The author puts forth several ideas that she believes could improve the measurement of ad effectiveness.