Internet Audience Measurement, Media Buying, Search Engines, Viral Marketing, Web Analytics

Every Click Counts…

The other day I read one good Mediapost article on Metrics. You won’t be surprised that there are quite a few of them- Buzz Metrics, Engagement Metrics etc. And there is also our old traditional media currency- GRPs or Gross rating points. (Simply put, GRP is reach x frequency) The more you have, the richer would be the brand. However, as we see more and more new media evolve ( internet and mobile), the ground rules have changed. The communication flow is not just one way but it is interactive and more importantly, measurable (this is at the cost of being labeled as cliche).

So, what would be the traditional measure of success in the interactive internet universe. Is it only going to be mere GRPs (reach of the media vehicle times the frequency of exposure) or the measurement of interaction? The new line of thought is to quantify this engagement in a number of ways. Not just look at pageview and visitations, but also look at time spent on the site, number of pages viewed during a visit and proportion of single access visits to the total site visits. In a nutshell, all exposures are not equal, some are more engaging than others. In fact, the beauty of this metrics is that it is not precise and needs to be molded as per the site goals. You can find this discussion “the peterson calculation” by a gentleman called Eric Peterson (obviously :)) by clicking on this link.

And as I was reading through this article, I was also forced to think about media creativity. In fact, I initially tried to build this article around a few creative sites and hence how the measurement differs. But alas, there is no reference content available on this subject. Hence I will concentrate on the first step of this conversion journey, which is the click.

In this whole context of buzz, engagement etc how important is a click.? This click which might come from a search engine, a banner, a creative blog (like mine) and PR sources across the net. What is the value of this click? How relevant is it towards brand building? A click is a click and is measured by a CTR or Click Through Rate (clicks/impressions served%). How important is a creative in this context? And how “Creative” is a creative in an online space?

Traditional Media like TV and Radio is easy, we have Ad recall and various studies. And we have presentations and PR on how good a Television creative was. We have various ad forums like Cannes, which tests the creative mettle. A good creative gets awards and ad recall. But what is the measure of an online creative? I had read another great article, which substantiates that the memory on the internet space is limited (and hence the power to influence brands, I would love to hear your comments on this, if you have reached this point). And I can guarantee you that you won’t remember which banner have you clicked on, what colour was it, what was the messaging and call to action. There are very banners which can contradict this statement. So how do you measure the worth of a banner (or any such communication) in the internet space. In our performance marketing jargon we call it CTR, the definition I described before. CTR gives you the return on your media buys, it brings the browser closer to the website and it is the first link towards the conversion.

Someone rightly said every click is a wish. And the website is to fulfill that wish. The creativity lies in driving the CTRs, which means altering few creative elements here and there to optimise the media performance. I have tried to use bright idea through the banners, but they don’t deliver CTR (or bring about the conversions on our website). Banners and text links are the lowest hanging fruits of the internet marketing domain, where the interaction starts.

The greatest impact on a brand through a website is through the website. There are a few links which I think is worth a mention, because they have done a lot good to the internet marketing and getting it closer to building brands (and not just limit it to a performance driver). They are the true testimonials to engagement/buzz/interactive marketing (the order is not a reflection of their ranking)….

1. Sunsilk Gang of Girls. They boast a decent traffic with 100K users within 4 months of its launch. Though originally, HLL had to use a lot of media muscle to drive traction, but they has been very persistent on this front. The best part is that the website is updated frequently, and now has a celeb zone with Priyanka Chopra, DJ Pearl, Piya Rai Choudhary, Dippanita sharma as contributors. The wesbite looks good, but the speed of page down load is very slow.

2. Mentoshelpline.com: I love their communication, (have you seen the latest one, which is called “the missing link“?). It is entertaining, engaging and very innovative. Checkout the helpline lady. You will also come across a great list of problems- love, professional etc. The site tickles you and has a huge brand rub-off. It has a new avatar called Mentosfriendsline.com . If you have any problem, just share.

3. MakeMyTrip.com: Some innovative viral, which is a buzz in the internet circle. I have seen a few guys using this link to define their personality.

There are a few more on these lines, developed by the same agency, Webchutney.

4. Bingo:, A good site, but as great as the communication.

The brand advertisers are definitely getting excited about the medium, pepsibluebillion.com, meethamoments.com (from Cadburys) are a good step in this direction which builds brands through engagement. None of the brand advertisers have a decent website, which interacts and engages the prospective consumer. In today’s scenario, web needs to treated as a touchpoint and a medium that can’t be ignored. Net is a medium that is designed and built to allow people to do things and get results from those actions.

Simplicity is the name of the game. The only thing that’s unreasonable is the use of interactive technology simply to interact. More often than not, you end up with something that’s overly complex. And although it may be creative, it doesn’t match up with the desires (the wishes) of the consumer. Buzz and engagement is secondary.

You might also want to check out magicofblack.com

Cheers!

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