Advertisers Need to Stop Shoehorning Performance Metrics into a Brand Channel

Hagai Sadot

It’s easy to forget sometimes that video advertising is still very much in its infancy. While it’s perfectly normal for there to be a certain amount of confusion, at this point you would hope that most advertisers understand why they’re using video. Yet, even in 2016, that’s not the case, as Hagai Sadot, COO & Co-Founder at Berlin-based Evania Video, explains here.

While industry metrics and KPI’s might not always be the sexiest of industry topics, they’re very much a cornerstone of our industry. Get them right, and digital advertising can reach its true potential. Get them wrong, and you could be wasting an advertiser’s budget and distort the digital economy, usually for the worse. The question of metrics can be particularly troublesome when you’re moving budgets from traditional media to digital, and in online video – where budgets have been moving over from TV – it appears that many of us have taken a wrong turn.

Same Medium, Different Metrics

Let’s start with how TV is measured. Advertisers use various metrics for measuring outcomes of their TV ad campaigns, none of them being an ultimate solution if applied on its own. According to the Forbes Insights Study, the two primary metrics used for the TV ad campaigns are based on increased brand awareness (49 percent) and increased sales (44 percent). Among increased sales we can include total purchase data after ads run, total website visits after the ads run, total in-store visits and more. Applying various metrics together and understanding the product gives advertisers the right context to evaluate the success of their campaigns and what actions they can take to improve them.

In the pre-video era, KPI’s such as clickthrough-rate (CTR), cost-per-lead (CPL) and cost-per-install (CPI) were the holy grail of online advertising. When video came along, the KPI’s used to measure TV campaigns were left behind. Instead, the same KPI’s formerly used for display campaigns were applied to video, as if it’s the device that matters and not the format. And this is where the problem lies. Based upon these metrics, advertisers rely solely on direct response, while brand awareness or offline sales — both of which are video’s key strengths – are overlooked.

Although recent studies have shown the strong and long-term effect online video has on driving sales, you still encounter advertisers who want to shoehorn video into performance campaigns. Being able to measure response in the same way we do display advertising should be understood as an additional bonus for the marketers, but not as the ultimate metric.

Over the last year or so, we have run several performance-focused video campaigns at Evania Video. More often than not, this has resulted with a disappointed advertiser who feels frustrated by the failure to meet their KPI’s. And we have seen this happen in both desktop and mobile campaigns. 

Yet, even to this day, you still end up taking calls from advertisers who say the campaign is failing to meet their performance goals, or that conversion rates are too low etc. In most cases it was clear that the only metric that was taken into account was their CPL or CPI. No overall increase in sales or installs, no additional conversions over time or any other higher-level overview of the campaign’s effect was considered. So when advertisers take such a myopic view of video, disappointment is inevitable.

Let Video Do What it Does Best – Tell Your Story

Ultimately, instead of applying the old KPI’s inherited from display advertising, marketers should concentrate on assuring the quality of their video campaigns by focusing on things like viewability and VTR, combined with applying the right targeting tools. These are the real benefits online video offers, and marketers should make the most of them. This way they can get the long-term results they want and enjoy the same or even higher ROI that online video offers compared to TV.

When applying the right KPI’s and measuring each marketing channel in the right way, marketers will get a clear picture of their overall marketing efforts. When doing so, it becomes clear that while video shouldn’t be used as a standalone direct response channel, it remains an essential feature of any plan.

Subscribe to Weekly VAN Newsletter

Ad TechMeasurementProgrammatic