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What is the impact of display advertising and how to measure it

We make client’s campaigns more effective, and in this article we will describe what exactly should be meant by the impact of advertising, how it affects performance activities and, consequently, business metrics.

Newage. agency specializes in display advertising, that is, one that introduces consumers to brands and fills the upper segments of the sales funnel. We make client’s campaigns more effective, and in this article we will describe what exactly should be meant by the impact of advertising, how it affects performance activities and, consequently, business metrics.

We believe that effective advertising is one that achieves its goals. The purpose of display advertising is to introduce the audience to the brand and product, as well as to form loyalty to them. From this we can formulate such a definition of the display advertising impact.

Display advertising impact — it is the impact on the audience of advertising that stimulates demand, introduces consumers to the product and builds brand awareness.

But this is a basic view of display advertising. We have gone further, and within the framework of our own methodology, we can answer deeper questions: how display advertising really works and how it affects sales. Next, we’ll show you how to implement it for you.

What is considered a display ad?

The target audience of the company can be divided into three large groups, depending on its treatment to the brand. We are talking about the classic See-Think-Do framework:

Advertising, in all its diversity, can be divided into two large groups according to their goals: performance and display.

Performance advertising works with the lower layers of the sales funnel, pushing a hot audience to a specific purchase. These include:

  • Google and Facebook shopping ads
  • contextual advertising for “selling” keywords;
  • advertising targeted at an audience interested in buying;
  • price manipulation: promotions and special offers.

And with the upper layers of the funnel, in the classical sense, works display advertising. It is she who introduces consumers to the product and develops brand loyalty:

  • product placement;
  • branding;
  • banner advertising;
  • video advertising;
  • sponsorship;
  • content marketing, etc.

At the same time, all types of advertising create an impact. It is not so important whether the client learns about the brand from an image video on YouTube or from Merchant Center contextual advertising. In both cases, a person will remember the logo and build an association in memory.

An advertisement that does not introduce the client to the brand, its product or messages has no media effect. For example, if you upload a TV commercial as a Youtube ad that users will skip before they realize what is happening, such an ad will not have a media effect.

How to evaluate the impact of display advertising

There are several approaches to how to evaluate the impact of display advertising. Each requires a different level of knowledge and technology, so let’s look at a few basic ones.

Evaluation of media indicators

The easiest way to evaluate the media effect is to look at media metrics:

  • impressions;
  • coverage of the target audience;
  • coverage of the target audience at the frequency;
  • views, etc.

According to such indicators, there are no categorical rules, like “inspections should be more than 50%, and if you have 30%, then the campaign is bad”. Everything here is individual, depending on the niche, type of business, creatives, audience, etc. Media metrics should be compared for different ads within the same campaign to suggest which works well and which should be optimized. They can also be compared retrospectively to see if current campaigns perform better than last year.

The key task of this level is to understand the “strength” of our advertising campaign. How many users actually saw the ad, what percentage of the target we covered, how the Share of voice campaign happened

This is the base that should be in service with every Internet marketer. Now let’s look a little deeper.

Comprehensive Analysis

Typically, display ads are evaluated by clicks. This is an inefficient approach, because there are delayed post-view and cross-device conversions that display advertising creates.

  • Post-view conversion is the execution of targeted actions after a while after viewing an advertisement. Yesterday I saw an advertisement, did not click, but today I went to the site for a branded request. Tracking system will connect this view and search.
  • Cross-device conversion is action delayed in time and from other devices. For example: I saw a video in the subway on a smartphone, and the next day I found a company from a laptop.

If you can’t see post-view and cross-device, don’t look at clicks either, it’s so easy to make a mistake.

We, as a MarTech agency, have developed an author’s method of evaluation —  Comprehensive Analysis of display advertising. It allows you to mark all ad viewers and track post-view and cross-device conversions, in addition to clicks. 

This gives us detailed information about the effect of display ads in terms of how many users visited the site after viewing the ad.

And we are not talking about users who came within a week after viewing. In a company with a complex product and a long sales cycle, it can take months for advertising audiences to return. So, for example, it was with the AJAX client — the first openings of the application are rolled out on the 50th day after the flight.

Evaluation of brand indicators in dynamics

If it is not possible to connect an auditor and evaluate advertising technometrically, you can look at the dynamics of some indicators. Display advertising affects metrics that relate to the brand and the company as a whole:

  • dynamics of brand requests;
  • dynamics of direct traffic;
  • sales dynamics;
  • baseline brand health indicators Brand-lift.

If from month to month Google Analytics shows that more users visit the site for branded queries, then display advertising works as it should: more users learn about the brand and remember it. If before the campaign there were 100 sales, and after the launch it became 150, the ad works, users learn about the product and buy it.

Well, BrandLift usually talks about the basic indicators of brand health (recognition, loyalty, etc.). It can be launched at the end of an e-commerce video campaign in Google Ads or other ad servers.

Case study: the impact of display advertising on performance

Having mastered Comprehensive Analysis to perfection, we decided to go further and evaluate the impact of media advertising on performance indicators. This experience can be repeated by companies that manage sales to the end consumer and can put meters on the sales sites.

We took as a basis the project of the Prom.ua client, a large Ukrainian ecommerce marketplace.

For this experiment, we also used Google Campaign Manager: before launching the campaign, we installed its tags on the client’s website. Due to this, at the time of the conversion, the Client ID of the person who made the conversion was transmitted to the dashboard.

And at the same time, Google Campaign Manager acted as an auditor and standardly marked everyone who saw the ad.

Thus, we got two cohorts of users:

  • those who saw the advertisement;
  • those who have not seen the advertisement.

By separating the users, we were able to compare the behavior of both cohorts and concluded that the ad audience was 12% more likely to convert compared to those who did not see the branded videos.

Case study: FMCG media impact assessment

For Jägermeister we were running big campaigns and since it’s FMCG the question arose of how exactly to measure growth. Most of a customer’s sales happen offline, and understandable and measurable e-commerce accounts for less than 10% of sales – and those from different retailers, in different stores.

Our main challenge here was to build a media impact assessment system for a production company, and this experience will be useful to everyone who works with dealer and distribution networks.

  1. At a basic level, we assessed media performance. Views, reach, frequency, screenings, impressions – everything you can get from advertising accounts.
  2. Further, at the middle level, we carry out Brandlift, evaluate the dynamics of search queries, and also track mentions in social networks.
  3. And in order to evaluate how digital advertising is converted into sales of an FMCG product, we are negotiating with stores and agreeing on installing auditor counters on their websites. This will allow you to estimate how many people have switched to a purchase after viewing an ad.

We can arrange with sites to put a counter on the product page in an online store or marketplace. And in this way it will be possible to link ad views with clicks to a purchase – to track all the “magic” that display advertising creates.

In reality, it is still as difficult as it seems from the outside. After all, not all sites agree to install third-party counters, even for several products.

Installing counters for specific products is a matter of time. When the share of online sales becomes more significant, FMCG brands themselves will begin to actively negotiate with retail about building analytics. Of course, we are not talking about small and medium-sized businesses, but about companies comparable to marketplaces.

Previously, another FMCG client of ours organized promotions and led the audience to promo pages. These landing pages helped evaluate the media impact of the respective campaigns. How it works, read in the case study How important post-view and cross-device data are in analysis. 

Conclusions

  1. Display advertising impact — it is the impact on the audience of advertising that stimulates demand, introduces consumers to the product and builds brand awareness.
  2. Both performance and display ads make impact. The audience can become familiar with a brand or product both from image activities and from a sale message.
  3. Only those ads that do not introduce the client to the brand, its product or messages have no media effect. For example, if you upload a TV commercial as a YouTube ad that users will skip before they realize what is happening, such an ad will not have a media effect.
  4. The easiest way to evaluate display ads is by display metrics: impressions, reach, pageviews, etc. They should be compared from month to month and from year to year in order to evaluate the effect over time.
  5. To estimate how many users are actually brought to the site by display ads, use Holistic Analysis. This methodology will help track the pent-up demand that occurs after a campaign.
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