Washing Post Digital Ad Center

September 30 2009

Why Measure Clicks If Nobody Is Clicking?

Fewer online users are clicking on ads than ever before. So why is the click the center of the online advertising world? Why do we go right to the click-through rate (CTR) do measure a campaign’s success.

ComScore recently presented an update to its Natural Born Clickers research that showed fewer people (16%) are clicking on ads and most clicks are from a small (8%) proportion of Internet users.

We know that display ads work: ComScore research also shows that those exposed to ads are more likely to visit an advertiser’s site than those not exposed. We also know that display ads drive measurable lifts in brand searches and online and offline sales.

So, why do we measure clicks? Because we can. We’ve been touting the measurability of online advertising, but we’ve been focusing on the wrong metric. We’re holding online advertising up to an unfair standard compared to other media.

The implications for advertisers are to set the click aside, look at the whole marketing effort and everything you can measure. Design creative to focus on more than just the click. Judge your online campaign by site visits or searches or incremental sales, as well as lifts in brand metrics and purchase intent.

Read the Comscore press release and download a recent presentation here.
Kunur Patel expounds upon the Comscore research in today’s Advertising Age.