Is post impression tracking a better way to view campaign success?

Kristi Moss
July 10, 2012

Generally speaking, people don’t click on ads, yet our industry clamors for the click-through report at the end of every campaign. This disconnect has bothered me for some time. I wrote about this a few weeks ago in “Dethroning the Click-Through King.”

Technically, the only success mechanism provided by publishers is the click-through report. “Dethroning the Click-Through King” talks about why it’s generally not a good measurement analytic, and, since then, I’ve engaged in a few discussions that hold great intrigue for me. I hold out hope that agrimarketing will quickly embrace the idea of post-impression tracking.

Consumer ad networks have provided post-impression tracking for years, but we don’t see it much in agriculture. Post-impression tracking is essentially tracking a visitor who has been presented an ad (but didn’t click) and measuring to see if that visitor ever shows up at your website.

Here’s an example of how it works: We put up some Client X banner ads on randomfarmwebsite.com. Joe Farmer visits randomfarmwebsite.com and one of our Client X ads was presented to Joe Farmer. We use a cookie to know that Joe Farmer was served a Client X banner. If Joe Farmer visits Client X website in the next 60 days, we have a match. Though not a perfect analytic, it certainly makes a good argument for the value of branding, frequency and (depending on the situation) the value of a multi-media marketing platform. Considering 85 percent of people say they never click on a banner, I would think adding this functionality into reporting is pretty important.

The analytic is simple and invaluable to agency, client and publisher. While I understand the privacy factor and publishers wishing to limit cookies, I fail to understand why publishers aren’t offering this function of reporting, as it would seem that this analytic is as valuable to the publisher as anyone. It’s an extremely valuable sales tool for all of us.

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