Monday, February 25, 2008

e-Marketing effectiveness

An interesting podcast by Carolina Petrini on Pharma eMarketing Benchmarks.

Online advertising/marketing is a booming online segment which has been revolutionized by the likes of Google, Yahoo, Double-click etc. Considering the proliferation of advertising on just about every online property, I often wonder how effective this advertising - particularly in the different forms - really is.  It is not an easy task to measure how a banner exposure really attributes to a visitors overall impression, favorability, or decision making process around a product.

While this podcast is focused around the Pharma industry, some of the metrics that come out of Ms. Petrini's work with comScore are quite interesting and I would be very interested to see what other industries experience.

Advertising effectiveness metrics tend to be centered around aided, un-aided, favorability and conversion. As discussed by Ms. Petrini, favorability towards a brand seems to be one of the primary metrics of interest. Some of the interesting metrics that were discussed in the podcast include:

Incremental increase (difference between control and test groups) in favorability towards a brand:
  • Exposed to a banner: 1.7%
  • Interacted with rich media ad: 4.2%
  • Visitor driven to web site as result of an ad: 28%
Now, for a patient already using a drug, the results are:
  • Exposed to a banner: no significant difference
  • Interact with rich media ad: 4%
  • Visitor driven to web site as result of an ad: 15.8%
There were some interesting metrics regarding conversion as well. (In the pharma world, conversion means leading to a new prescription or refill of a prescription.) For example, a site visit counts for a 4.9% increase though the numbers for an existing patient are much higher with 4%, 9.5% and 20% for exposed, interacted and visited site, respectively.

It baffles me why so much advertising is based and measured on exposures and ad click-through metrics only. Does a metric of 100,000,000 or 5,000,000 exposures or a 0.2 CTR really mean much? Measuring this 'reach' is a small piece of the pie to understanding the effectiveness of online marketing.

Favorability, conversion and targeting metrics are far more interesting to me . . . though targeting is a topic on it's own.

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