Relying on one metric to quantify digital branding campaigns using multiple types of media, or trying to run too many formats in one ad, such as branding and direct-response, can contribute to failure, according to eMarketer analyst Lauren Fisher.
Marketers must break the old habits of using one measure of success, Fisher said. The lead author of the report "Quantifying Digital Brand Ad Effectiveness" outlines challenges that quantify the effectiveness of digital branding campaigns. Benchmarking online branding performance based on offline measurements doesn't work. But as a variety of tools such as mobile are added to the branding coffer, some marketers still want to use traditional metrics -- such as TV and radio -- online.
While there is no "foolproof set of metrics for best quantifying the influence of digital branding," the best choice calls for both "traditional brand lift measurement and digital-specific engagement metrics," Fisher said. This strategy will enable marketers to verify the campaign effectiveness within digital.
In some cases, marketers should incorporate sales-related metrics gained through purchase and customer loyalty data to get a more complete view. For video, it might mean incorporating an engagement or a completion metric.
A variety of data can help support metrics. Fisher points to a strategy that brands use when lacking access to or ownership of customer loyalty or purchase data. They will often use other digital touchpoints, such as coupon downloads and QR code scans, to build a better view of branding efforts.
Companies will spend nearly $85 billion worldwide in online advertising during 2012, of which $12 billion will flow through mobile, according to GroupM.
eMarketer estimates that marketers in the U.S. will spend $62 billion by 2016 for online campaigns. Of that total, ad dollars devoted to branding will account for $26.66 billion, or 43%.
Marketers also have begun to find new ways to use ad formats and objectives for various campaigns, which can complicate metrics as the lines become blurred. For example, these numbers from eMarketer put search, email, classified and lead generation ad dollars into the direct-response budget, and display ad spending into branding.