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The Click Is Not The Right Metric For Many Advertisers

It's great that the Web is an interactive medium where everything can be measured, but it doesn't do an advertiser much good if you're measuring the wrong thing. And the click, Advertising Age's Abby Klaasen says, is exactly the wrong metric for many advertisers.

In the Web world, credit goes to the last ad clicked on. As Klaasen explains, "brand-focused sites such as NYTimes.com and MarthaStewart.com and even social-media sites such as Facebook and MySpace lose credit because they are often not where a consumer will see that last ad." This leads to diminished revenue for these Web publishers.

According to Steve Kerho, vice president of analytics, media and marketing optimization at Organic, "publishers have a lot to gain" from the study of how display ads affect conversions. For example, his firm recently found that a display ad can increase a search ad's click-through rate 25-30%. Had he only been watching search ads, he would have missed the display ad's influence. Even though the evolution toward better attribution models is steadily occurring, the report says that as many as half of all online advertisers are still measuring using "rudimentary models, such as the click."

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