Tracking Ad Success in the New Era

by David Miller

How do we measure whether ads worked or failed when it comes to video, social media or peer-to-peer networks? A lot's riding on the answer.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Few things thrill online advertisers more than metrics — those magic statistics that, at least in theory, enable them to know exactly who is viewing their ads and whether those viewers successfully made a purchase, clicked on the ad or signed up for a future mailing.

But what worked during the heyday of static banner ads hasn't necessarily translated to today's online advertising. Instead, the industry has struggled to come up with metrics for tracking newer forms of marketing that use video, social media and user-generated content platforms. And with no way to measure the success of their campaigns, businesses have no clear guidance on whether an ad was a success.

Figuring out the answer now may be more critical than ever. Advertising sans metrics makes brand owners very nervous, so measurable metrics "couldn't be more important than in this current economic environment," according to Mark Ghuneim, CEO of digital agency Wiredset, who moderated a panel discussion here on the topic at the Digital Hollywood conference in Santa Monica, Calif.

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  This article was originally published on Wednesday Nov 5th 2008
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