A new research released recently by comScore, a leading source of measurements and analytics of the digital world, in collaboration with Pretarget, a keyword-based advertisement targeting firm, has revealed that advertisements work better with longer air time and makes for a clearer and better presentation. Additionally, sales and inquiry of products advertised are more associated to how long it stays on screen more than how often it is clicked.
As Keith Pieper, founder of Pretarget, puts it:
Your ad being seen matters more than your ad being clicked – if you have a back-end conversion metric. After all, what good is an ad that can’t be seen? It’s intuitive that an ad must be seen to make an impact, and it’s even more intuitive than someone hovering and engaging with an ad might convert, even absent a click.
Pretarget reportedly analyzed around 263 million impressions gathered within nine months with the participation of 18 advertising companies from different industries. Pretarget also utilized a comScore service called validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) to collect data about air times, clicks and conversion (which includes purchases and query for more information) of advertisements. They also used a Pearson correlation for the analysis and interpretation of data.
The report released by comScore says that traditional measurements for advertisements’ imprint or simply the number of times the advertisements are supposedly viewed by consumers only measure the number of times the advertisements were sent by the servers. This actually does not have a very effective rendering since the advertisements are mostly at the lower part of the pages, which means that consumers will not see the advertisements unless they have another reason for scrolling down. For the worse, some ads are loaded with 1×1-pixel boxes, and instead of advertising, only become an annoying eyesore for the user.
Findings of the research imply that the traditional technique of rendering where advertisements are presented more often but with less attention given to its presentation is not exactly the best way to do it.
Results show that presentation lengths and good viewability of the videos contribute more to conversions (with a correlation of 0.35) than impressions that have notably lower contributions (with correlation equalling to only 0.17). Moreover, clicks for advertisements seem to contribute the least with a correlation of a mere 0.01 to conversions. These results suggest that for an advertisement to be more effective, advertisers should focus more on alternative approaches as to how advertisements reach the consumers besides clicks.
comScore’s SVP of Corporate Development Kirby Winfield says,
The Pretarget study helps illuminate several critically important findings for the digital advertising community. First, it once again demonstrates the perils of relying on click-throughs for measuring the performance of display ad campaigns, with this metric showing virtually zero correlation with total conversions. Secondly, it highlights why the viewable impression – which is now easily measurable through vCE – is significantly more meaningful than the unvalidated impression. Finally, this study shows why other non-click metrics of engagement, such as interaction or hovering, may be much more important in evaluating campaign performance than the click ever was. It’s time to start measuring the impact of campaigns using metrics that really matter, not just the ones that are most easily measured.
Furthermore, studies conducted by other parties go alongside Pretarget’s analysis. The “2009 Benchmark Report” released by MediaMind in July of 2010 states that “on average, increasing Dwell from 5 percent to 15 percent increases conversion rate by 45 percent, from 0.4 percent to 0.6 percent.” In Casale Media’s “Ad Visibility Report” released last year, findings also stated that “ads appearing above the fold were 6.7 times more effective at generating conversions than those appearing below the fold.”