digital metrics

Editor’s Note: much reader attention to this article, and a lengthy comment How to Measure Attention via MediaPost (source: Jonah Goodhart, CEO, Moat)

Advertising is just storytelling. String together some images and words to prod people to buy products. While the industry can effectively develop messages for TV and traditional media, it is trying to figure out how to tell better stories in digital.

Nearly all people (99%) who see online ads don’t click on them. 92% of U.S. retail spend happens in the physical world. There is virtually no relationship that exists between clicks and actual sales.

Still, it remains to be seen if digital metrics can translate as easily as tracking success at physical stores. For instance, you can monitor how many people walk buy the store versus going inside; how much time is spent; active versus passive shoppers, etc. “With those signals I could begin to understand attention,” said Goodhart. “The same theory is true in digital,” he said. We begin by tracking signals. How much time spent on a page; scroll down; page signals; ad signals; flip to another tab. “The right denominator for a marketer is attention.”

Access the Report

Resisting the Siren Call of Popular Digital Media – Facebook’s Brad Smallwood in the JAR

The following article is from the latest issue of the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

It is impossible to overstate the impact of digital tools and interactions on the marketing landscape. The way people connect, communicate and share information online has evolved in ways unimaginable just a generation ago, yet from a marketer’s perspective the biggest change may be in the amount of information suddenly available.

The deluge of data has offered an opportunity to create actionable real-time metrics that can inform and shape businesses in a dynamic way.

(However) The allure of measurable and traceable “shiny” metrics … has led marketers to endless, often beautifully crafted, intricate reports on the irrelevant.


To access JAR articles, please follow these 3 steps:

  • Login to your myARF
  • Click on “Journal of Advertising Research” on the left hand side menu
  • Locate the article in the search field on the page