Trends

Measuring Success in 2020: Part Two

August 10, 2020
Four Tips for Going Beyond Clicks
Tags: Measurement

{This is part two of a four-part series aimed at helping marketers improve their programmatic game in 2020 by taking a more holistic approach to measurement. If you haven’t already, go back and read part one first.}

As we learned in part one of this series, more and more of today’s marketers are turning their focus away from proxy metrics in favor of measuring toward real-world business outcomes, like driving revenue and customer retention. But somehow the outdated click metric continues to prevail, despite the fact that the average click-through rate has declined steadily since the 2000s.

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In fact, according to our platform data, only 2% of users even clicked on an ad at any point in the last 90 days — and of that 2%, only 5% clicked more than twice in that same 90-day period.

All of this is to say — clicks are just the tip of the iceberg in understanding customer behavior and engagement with your brand.


Here are some tips for evolving beyond the click to measure the complete customer journey.

1. Make your first-party data your best friend

The more data you can measure, the better. If you haven’t already started, make sure you’re tracking ‘qualified’ actions like site visits, sales, form completions, and app downloads. If you’re not sharing your site or app data with your media buying platform, you’re not monetizing your digital budget to its fullest. Have CRM data on offline sales? Make sure you’re utilizing this data to its fullest potential across digital environments.

2. Partner with verified third-party measurement solutions

Many data companies offer solutions to measure things like gross rating points and reach, in-app actions, and online or offline sales. The Trade Desk platform offers an extensive marketplace of verified solutions to help you fill measurement gaps, and gain a better understanding of your customers. And since we don’t own any media assets, we’re completely objective when it comes to choosing a partner — we just want you to get the measurement insights you need, using your partner of choice.

3. Activate cross-device to capture the entire customer journey

Your customers use a variety of different screens and devices — and your measurement strategy should reflect that. Cross-device attribution helps you measure consumers’ journeys across touchpoints, like when you serve an ad to a customer on Connected TV, retarget them on display, and they buy something in store a few days later. Or, more simply, when you serve a mobile ad and someone makes a purchase on desktop later that day.

4. Don’t discount view-through conversions

Remember when we said only ~2% of users will click an ad? Most conversions come from users who were served your ad but did not necessarily click (view-through conversions). But when you only assign credit to click-through conversions, you narrow your understanding of the converting audience. So don’t turn your back on view-through conversions entirely. Instead, consider treating click- and view-through conversions differently — perhaps shortening your attribution window to only credit view-through conversions that occur within a day or two.

Click-through rates can sometimes be a valuable metric, but it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what’s possible when measuring your campaigns. Through the Trade Desk, you can access a growing marketplace of verified third-party measurement partners to track everything from incremental reach to app downloads to CPG and automotive purchases and more.

Want to bring your measurement strategies up to date in 2020? Contact us to get started. And read our third installment of Measuring Success in 2020 here, where we highlight one example of innovative measurement for the automotive industry.

Tags: Measurement