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In search of real outcomes

This is a sponsored post from Xaxis.

If there’s anything marketers have learned over the past several years, it’s that traditional advertising metrics may not be all they’re cracked up to be. Click fraud, bot traffic and a host of other ills have led advertisers to the conclusion that simply racking up clicks, views, downloads or likes doesn’t necessarily translate into real world results such as sales conversions.

Shifting the mindset from just generating traffic to the actual value of a consumer is what needs to be done. The click is merely a first step. Compare it to a brick and mortar store which has placed a big ad in a newspaper the week before for a big sale. The shop could have hundreds of visitors but if no one buys anything, from a sales perspective the day was a complete failure.

This is no different in the digital world. Yes you need clicks to get consumers to your website, but what do you want these people to do once they’re there? Clicks are primary metrics but what really matters are your secondary (and tertiary metrics). Think of client Long Term Value (LTV), basket value, recurrence of shoppers, margin of products that are mostly bought, are they discount buyers, ROI, ROAS etc.

Buying traffic is cheap, and there will always be a vendor who can deliver more traffic at even cheaper prices. The real question is ‘what is the true value of that traffic?’ Is it traffic that delivers converting and valuable customers? Are your ads placed on websites in brand safe environments? In the end, ‘real outcomes’ are what counts!

Looking towards real outcomes

In search for more concrete measures of success, marketers are increasingly setting their sights on customized, real outcomes that directly track to a brand’s business objectives. For example, instead of focusing on driving an easily gamed metric like clicks, a brand may choose to focus on driving sales as the primary metric. Instead of trying to simply drive app downloads, a savvy marketer would instead optimise to app downloads that result in-app sales, subscriptions or other forms of engagement.

Like any change, adopting a real outcomes model requires a shift in mindset on the part of advertisers. Now, instead of going for sheer volume of response, marketers must instead look for quality of response. A high volume of app downloads is meaningless if it doesn’t ultimately lead to people actually using the app. Marketers stuck in the old math will be increasingly outpaced by those who move to more meaningful measures of success.

While optimising to real outcomes offers advertisers a significantly greater degree of confidence that their campaigns are delivering real world results, the flip side is that it is much, much more difficult to do. Achieving this higher order of response requires a superior level of audience intelligence, greater access to premium inventory and a team of experts to effectively guide the machines.

At Light Reaction we take this challenge on directly, guaranteeing real outcomes for brands by combining proprietary media, data and technology at scale. With a device and marketing channel agnostic approach, we drive outcomes from wherever relevant audiences happen to. Rather than emphasizing mobile, social or display, the focus is on identifying the audiences most likely to deliver positive outcomes at exactly the right moment regardless of where they are accessing media. It’s the next stage in our development from a mobile-first business into a multi-channel outcomes business.

Upping the intelligence of your campaigns

Audience intelligence means having the ability to accurately identify and then reach audiences who are not just likely to respond, but also have a high lifetime value. It’s an extra level of precision that requires the ability to look beyond an initial discrete response (say a click or a download) to predict real outcomes (a sale, a subscription or other type of positive engagement).

Through access to Turbine, the industry’s leading data management platform (DMP) developed by Light Reaction’s parent company, Xaxis, we are able to do just this. Verified for predictive accuracy by comScore, Turbine combines the intelligence to pinpoint the most relevant audiences with the scale to reach these audiences across an unparalleled collection of premium media inventory on all addressable channels. Exposure to fraudulent traffic, bots and unsafe inventory are mitigated.

Generating the initial response is only the first part of the process. What happens afterwards is equally important. By evaluating what audiences do post-action we are able to track the quality of response on an ongoing basis as well as re-engage audiences with additional, relevant messaging to drive the desired, high-value outcomes.

The beauty of the platform is that we and our ads, are continually getting smarter. Each audience outcome is rated in terms of how successful it was in delivering the expected value and fed back into the system as a learning event. This continuous data stream allows us to refine our accuracy in matching audiences to desired, high-quality outcomes on an ongoing basis.

Real performance empowers advertisers by setting a higher bar for success, demanding that campaigns show a direct link to true business results. It’s the next generation of performance advertising.

The writer is Auke Boersma, managing director, APAC at Light Reaction.

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