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  • Paige Winchester

The Measurement Quandary

Updated: Oct 18, 2023


As a media agency, we’re often briefed on campaigns where we are asked to provide the measurement KPIs as part of our response. More often than not, we’ll respond with a proposal which provides clear media deliverables, measuring success on metrics such as reach, frequency, OTS, CTR etc., however the question back will be, “How many sales will this deliver?”

computer with graphs and title

It can be a difficult response to measure success on uplift of sales, as many clients don’t have the luxury of a vast media budget to accurately build econometrics modelling (also known as Media Mix Modelling which establishes the link between media channels on performance and delivery), so we have to look at alternative ways to judge campaign performance:



1. Attribution modelling

Attribution modelling via 3rd party ad servers such as Google’s Campaign Manager or Adobe, or indeed audit providers such as Nielsen can deliver some view of performance. Using Campaign Manager 360, we can see performance via a floodlight tag located on a trigger point of a page. Ideally, a sales tag which passes back information so we can view delivery post click or post impression (which is whether the audience saw an ad and then converted via another channel).


The default is post-click where the final click is accredited with 100% of the conversion value, however other models such as linear or even first-click could be more suitable. This only works where a sale can be defined as a landing and so doesn’t work for the case of intermediated channels (sales delivered by an adviser or 3rd party).


1. Tracking offline sales

Another consideration is the tracking of offline sales via online channels and call tracking solutions, such as ‘Infinity’ or ‘Mediahawk’. These services create unique phone numbers which are attributed to the source of exposure and can go as granular as keyword level in PPC. This can be a solution in assisting sales with a high value where the audience prefer to speak to a human, rather than rely on a website to sign up and so provides a more realistic outcome to the media.


2. QR codes

QR codes have risen in popularity since the pandemic and are seen across Out of home (OOH) / print and even TV placements. These have been seen as ‘nice to have’ as only a fraction of audiences use QR codes. A friendly URL is often used as well but the truth is that we, as time poor human beings, usually go down the route of convenience and ‘Google it’ instead.


3. Owned channels

The uplift on owned channels such as direct site traffic or paid brand PPC where site traffic and results increase as the brand share of voice(SOV) in the market increases. Equally, uplift in performance on media channels such as more clicks on brand display or social ads can also be attributed to the wider campaign.


4. Research (our preferred route!)

A pre / post survey delivers accurate and tangible results but is often overlooked due to cost or time. This can be crucial in accurately managing uplift – whether its brand uplift, awareness, perception or sentiment, it delivers a more meaningful evaluation behind performance (and one which stakeholders can understand!)


To conclude

The truth is that the true impact on performance is to be on the bottom line – whether this happens in the short term or the long term (this also relies on the client’s level of patience!)


Written by

Chris Green

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