As someone working in interactive media, we are often faced with many challenges due to the constantly evolving nature of our medium and industry. But one of the biggest challenges that I have personally found is people’s wrong perceptions and expectations of interactive metrics.
Metrics are the ‘Beauty and the beast’ of our medium.
There is a huge depth of info available online (sometimes too much if not channelled properly) but often people look at the wrong metrics for the objective that they are trying to achieve.
The most common example is asking for reaction metrics such as click-through rates for awareness/brand initiatives – I have pushed for many years for this metric to either be removed completely in the reporting of awareness campaigns or at least hugely downplayed as a principal performance indicator for such a campaign. Even so, this metric still continues to be requested for awareness campaigns.
But ultimately, Metrics must align with Media objectives.
A key question must be : what are the clients online expectations from the initiative ? Ask them at the briefing stage. What will they be happy with at the end of the online initiative ?
Increased online traffic perhaps (but how much of an increase is the client anticipating – some clients expectations of traffic increase may be way different from the agency’s) or perhaps a lift in brand awareness or purchase intent.
Irrespective of the media objective, the key is to ensure that everyone’s expectations are aligned early in the ideation process both internally and externally. As it says on the box below, if you align, you will avoid Gas and bloating!!!
By doing this, the benefits will be :
- manage the client’s expectations in terms of campaign performance = no unexpected surprises at the end = happy client
- orientate the creative and production teams in terms of the functionality of the ad units, or the various branding elements = ad formats & concepts that will attain their media objectives
- avoid having to explain irrelevant metrics at the end of a campaign that are wrongly perceived to be ‘under-performing’
It is our role as interactive media people to educate with regards to ‘which are the relevant metrics for which media objectives.’
If we aren’t able to do this and we continue providing irrelevant metrics, we may as well add a column to our reports entitled ‘Green Fahrenheits’ because that is as equally meaningless as providing reaction metrics such as click-through rates for branding initiatives.