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The State of Online Advertising in 2015

Author's avatar By Susanne Colwyn 14 Jan, 2015
Essential Essential topic

6 issues to consider when reviewing your investment in online display advertising

Online media measurement company comScore and WARC have summarised the state of Display advertising in an interesting deck giving 6 key lessons to help maximise the impact of your display advertising, from planning, to managing and evaluating your campaigns to improve your brand loyalty and engagement. Their whitepaper provides good examples from leading brands such as Kelloggs and opportunities for brands to leverage, so we thought it was worth sharing and summarising.

6 Lessons to improve your Display Advertising

Lesson 1: Don't rely on CTR as the key measurement

Ad Clickthrough rates (CTRs) have always been relatively low compared to Google AdWords, but  it's not a complete metric, since people may view your brand or offer on a ad and it will resonate with consumers who later search on the brand or go direct to the site.

This research shows Advertisers experiencing low CTRs did see an increase in sales, evaluated by their site visits, branded search and on/off-line sales.

'52% average lift in visitation to the advertiser's site from those exposed to the advert'


Lesson 2:  Cookie-based targeting and measurement is inaccurate

Targeted communication is key and this has become very popular. Though with this medium it's proven to be less effective due to cookie deletion, cookies being derived from computers (IP addresses) and not individuals, and out dated cookie data demographics.

The figures given on cookie deletion show it's shockingly high:

  • 28% of users delete first-party cookies per month
  • 37% delete third-party cookies per month

Lesson 3: Focus on Measurement on viewability, brand safety and non-human traffic

It's becoming more difficult to measure campaigns, due to 'high-touch, direct buying to low-touch and automated transactions' according to this research.  It recommends looking at 'in-view rate for ad impressions' through viewability data. 

"comScore's analysis shows little correlation between in-view rates and CPMs"

It also refers to 'brand safety' to assess campaign delivery and using inflight data to improve this:


Thirdly,  ' non-human traffic' which is known as 'invalid web traffic'.

Lesson 4: Manage expectations through industry benchmarking

Their research has already highlighted where analysing this medium can be inaccurate, which can be unusual for digital. By measuring billions of campaigns, it shares in-target and in-view benchmarks by country using statistical evaluation




Source: comScore vCE Benchmarks, Q2 2014

Lesson 5:  Improve your Brand and ROI though in-flight optimisation

Don't wait until the end of the campaign to evaluate its effectiveness. Kellogg's inflight tools helped them make ongoing changes and reallocate funds, increasing their ROI with a 75% increase in sales.

Lesson 6: Take a 'unified multi-platform consumer view'

Consumers are multi-screening, using different devices which Advertisers are learning to reach out on and plan with their media buying. comScore's findings share that 'In order for online advertising campaigns to achieve optimal impact, provide the opportunity for real-time optimisation and be fully comparable to TV, campaign measurement of audience delivery needs to be scalable and granular.

You can download ComScore's full report on Online advertising from their site.

For practical advice on getting more from your online advertising, Expert members can download our guide on Ad Retargeting - one form of display advertising we believe everyone should use.

Author's avatar

By Susanne Colwyn

Susanne is a Marketing Consultant and Trainer, with over 20 years marketing experience in the public and private sector. She's passionate about supporting companies with practical result driven marketing, to help focus companies on evaluating and driving their marketing forward. Experienced in Integrated Strategic Marketing Planning, Data Segmentation, Customer Relationship Management Systems, Customer Insight and reviewing internal systems, data and processes, to maximise conversion strategies and the customer experience. You can connect with her via her LinkedIn or follow her @Qtymarketing.

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