Intelligence Driven Marketing: The B2B Marketers Blog

Mar 27 2013   10:17PM GMT

If only brand ROI were easy…



Posted by: Courtney Kay
Tags:
Awareness Generation
Brand Marketing
Brand ROI
Display Advertising Benchmarks

68% of marketers would buy more digital brand advertising if ROI were easier to measure (Digiday) – it’s a question worth billions if someone can answer it effectively…  As a marketer, how do you make the most of, and measure, your brand investment given that it’s definitely not an easy thing to do?

The average person is exposed to approximately 5,000 ads or offers per day (Yankelovich) – so naturally, we’d think it’s a waste of our marketing dollars to run awareness oriented programs, particularly online, where it’s noisier than any other medium.  How can you possibly compete in any meaningful way with volumes of that caliber?!

Believe it or not, for you B2B marketers, your buyers are seeing your ads.  TechTarget conducted an Advertising Impact and Engagement study, finding that for North American enterprise technology buyers, 80% regularly or frequently noticed business-related advertisements with a full 100% noting that they saw them at least part of the time.   While it’s nice to know you’re noticed, it’s more important to know it’s working.  79.6% of these same buyers told us that ads influence their research and 71% said they influence purchase- so our buyers are telling us those ads matter.

Now that’s a conditional statement- the ads generally only work if they’re tightly coupled contextually with the content of the page they reside on.  Our study revealed that 86% of contextually related ads influenced research vs. 24% (influence of ads not contextually aligned). Click to tweet this stat.

The trick is to figure out how you want to measure the success of your program before you run it… is it driving clicks… site traffic… interactions…dwell time…  content views…prospect generation, etc. ? The goal is a critical first step, as is understanding the environment you’re running the program in (geographic, firmographic, topic, demographic considerations and benchmarks for your success metric).

For example, if your measurement metric is CTR, the offer has to be really worth the click (according to a recent Forbes presentation, 70% of users note that they won’t click on an ad because it’s disruptive to their research (takes them away from the site they’re on).  Also understand that the country or region you’re running those ads to may each have a variance in CTR (check this article out http://www.smartinsights.com/internet-advertising/internet-advertising-analytics/display-advertising-clickthrough-rates/ to get a sense of CTRs by country/region on average).  So straight benchmarks, while great general guidance, will miss the mark if not applied appropriately (taking goal and environment into consideration).

We can actually get a good sense of the power of awareness (aka brand) programs when we look at lead generation campaigns that include both editorial and vendor content.  In a recent TechTarget program, 32% of leads from the campaign came in through editorial content, 89% of the 32% viewed only editorial content (over 110 leads never would have been generated for the program).  Not only did the awareness lever in that program broaden the reach, 10% of the prospects who downloaded editorial went further to download vendor content- the editorial alignment (or awareness focused component) drove deeper engagement with the corresponding brand.

There’s no silver bullet to measurement when it comes to awareness, and no go-to source for simple benchmarks-  each campaign and effort needs goals and environmental factors assessed before the content and approach are designed.  Working with your publishing partner, you can narrow down your target, identify your options and likely get a good sense of the benchmarks you should be aiming for.

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