The click is not just the wrong measure for branding. It’s the wrong measure for performance as well.
“Don’t use clicks to measure a branding campaign…cookies don’t equal people.”
But we would go further and say the click is also the wrong metric for a performance campaign. At best, it is just indicator. Not a Key Performance Indicator. JUST an indicator.
What is your goal?
Easy right? Well, not so fast. Two things tend to happen with performance campaigns that conspire to obscure ‘real’ goals.
First, ad networks and media have dictated the terms of the discussion. We focus on CPC and CPA. Our goal is to get the click or maybe fire the pixel. This is our comfort zone. We don’t want to talk about the finer points of lead quality. In fact, many of us wouldn’t understand a lead quality discussion if you brought it up – we are in sales thank you. Our refrain, “we got the customer to your door, now it is up to you.”
Performance media have successfully defined the terms of campaign success in our own interest – our responsibility ends at the click.
Second, advertisers, caught up in our “pre-click” discussion, forget that their real ROI metrics happen after the click. Well, they don’t “forget”, it’s just that long-term performance is kinda a new concept in advertising in general. Until the internet, everyone just bought media and sorted the rest out afterward – the whole 50% wasted thing. Advertisers are not in the habit of sharing performance data with their media.
So media just want to talk clicks. And advertisers don’t share their post-click ROI metrics. Then, both parties think of online advertising based on the old paradigm – buy media, hope you got the segmentation right. This makes the ‘click’ the goal because that is the received metric for online advertising. And the click is only the beginning of the story.
In performance advertising, the ‘goal’ should not be to maximize clicks. The goal should be to deliver quality. (volume VS quality is another topic)
By knowing what long-term metrics our clients use, we have seen situations where we provide only 10% of the volume but 70% of the ROI.
If clicks had been the goal, we would have failed.