Hi! My name is Leo Celis, and I write about Ad Tech.

View-through tracking (11/21/2019)

How to measure a brand’s awareness? Some advertisers will try to bend the concept to make it look similar to direct marketing. “If I spend 100k in a brand ad, I would expect some results along the funnel.”

Others will claim that you can’t measure brand awareness, and whatever is your budget, spend it all and don’t wait for results.

A brand ad is the opposite of a direct ad: you are telling a story about your brand, you are not expecting the user to take any action, your goal is to make the user aware of that you exist.

With view-through tracking or impression tracking, you can quantify how many conversions events were, without the user clicking on the ad.

Imagine that a user saw your ad at 1pm. She did not click on it. Then at 5 pm, she went to your website and created an account. Thanks to an impression tag, you can attribute that conversion event with her seeing your ad at 1 pm (impression.)

The assumption is that your brand ad had some influence on the user. So she kept thinking about your ad, and eventually searched for your brand and found your website.

If you want to measure the power of brand awareness at the very top of the funnel, you are completely wrong about using view-through tracking.

The only case when you want to use impression tracking is for understanding what percentage of the users are not clicking on your ad and still converting.

You want all the users to click on your ad. If they are not doing it, something is off either in your ad or in the channel. You want to optimize a direct marketing campaign, for clicks, not impressions.

If you want to measure a brand’s impact, there is only one metric that is useful: impressions. Maybe, people reached. As soon the user became aware of your ad (multiple times, ideally), you’ve done your job.

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