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comScore Chair: Metrics Woefully Misleading

The metrics that many advertisers and publishers rely on to measure the effectiveness of online display ad campaigns are woefully misleading, according to a letter sent out to the industry on Monday by Gian Fulgoni, comScore, Inc.'s chairman and co-founder.

"Online publishers are under siege, with some financial analysts now predicting dramatic declines in display ad prices in 2009," Fulgoni wrote in the letter. "I believe that one of the main reasons for this is that, in these challenging economic times, advertisers and publishers are not always using the right measures to analyze advertising effectiveness."

"With average click rates on display ads falling under 0.1%, the correct metric to use is clearly NOT the click," Fulgoni added. "Failure to recognize that exposure to the ad has measurable benefits in terms of consumer awareness and behavior--even without a click-thru--can lead advertisers and publishers to significantly undervalue display advertising."

As a result, said Fulgoni, use of the click alone to evaluate the effectiveness of display advertising could be one of the main reasons why display ad dollars are under pressure.

Rather, Fulgoni believes that advertisers and publishers need to use view-thru metrics, not clicks.

comScore recently published a norms database based on our analysis of the view-thru impact of hundreds of display ad campaigns.

The studies are intended to prove to advertisers that display ad campaigns are delivering real value in terms of substantial lift in site visitation (an uptick of 46%), lift in trademark search queries (38%), and increases in both e-commerce (27%) and offline sales (17%).--Gavin O'Malley

Tags: metrics, online
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2 comments about "comScore Chair: Metrics Woefully Misleading".
  1. Mel Stevens from cooley advertising , December 23, 2008 at 8:41 a.m.

    I totally agree with Gian's assessment. Using click-thru rates indeed undervalues what display advertising can contribute to branding.
    Mel Stevens

  2. James Carroll from World Vision Canada , December 23, 2008 at 10 a.m.

    I don't dispute the value of branding, but display prices will continue to be pressured until agencies stop selling display ads as a DR solution and tighten up liberal conversion attribution definitions. Knock on my door for Branding, not a conversion solution.
    In most cases, I don't think the metrics are as misleading as those representing them.