As new buying models proliferate, in a constant game of catch up with ongoing technological innovations, marketers are slowly starting to move beyond click-based measurements.
Old habits die hard, or at least that’s true in the world of online advertising.
And when it comes to quantifying engagement in the digital era, our obsession with click-through rates isn’t helping.
In this new age of advertising, one which is growing in complexity but also capability, it’s high time marketers looked beyond clicks, taps, or even swipes.
Indeed, thanks to the likes of fingerprint scanners and high-quality cameras, consumers can interact with their smartphones in ever-newer ways. Advertisers need to consider this growing array of native smartphone functions. They must also recognise the importance of emotion as well as logic, and ensure creativity is harnessed to its fullest extent, encouraging interaction and engaging in ways which reflect the sophistication of the technologies at our disposal.
Whether we’re tilting, shaking, or simply speaking into our phones, many of the capabilities they now boast lie largely untapped. Given the huge variety of functions are smartphones now have, why would we seek to click on a banner ad which we can barely read?
In an earlier age of the internet, the obsession with click-throughs made sense. The first display ads were new and exciting and online behaviour was easier to quantify. These days, display ads are likely often clicked on accidentally rather than deliberately, while bots make it their business to find and click on banner ads, too.
Retailers with a high street presence must use store visit data to understand how online marketing activity influences visits to their real-world outlets. Reports can be created using aggregated, anonymous mobile location data, which can be used to gauge the number of users who have both clicked on an advert and visited a store.
The technology exists to see how campaigns contribute to retail footfall, to gain insight into the difference in behaviour between mobile and desktop users, and to see the impact of search activity. All this enables us to optimise campaigns accordingly.
Since the arrival of Amazon Echo and Google Home, we are now in the era of voice search. Pay Per Click models will not translate well here; advertising as we know it is going to change.
There are so many options. Whether it’s heatmaps, eye-tracking, or counting shares and conversions we use to try to unpick how to measure ad impressions, we must not lose sight of the need for creativity.
And while it’s true that we need to give credit where it is due, this is not easy in a world which seems to be turning at faster and faster. But, by ensuring a focus on creativity as opposed to clicks, we are halfway there.
“It’s the way it’s always been done,” is not only an all-too-familiar refrain; it’s also anathema to creativity.