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As Online Video Campaigns Ramp Up, Metrics Present a Challenge

Advertisers rely on views, brand lift and sales impact at almost the same levels

As marketers continue to expand the slice of their digital ad budget dedicated to online video, a better understanding of metrics in this area has become a necessary part of doing business. But the relative newness of online video, as well as the absence of any clear measurement standards, will likely present challenges to marketers as these types of campaigns mature.

In its “US Video Advertising Report,” a survey of agency executives conducted in April 2012, digital video advertising network Brightroll found that ad agencies had yet to settle on any one metric as the agreed-upon measure of an online video campaign’s success. While 26% said measuring views was the most important measurement of a campaign, 23% named brand lift and 22% said sales impact.

According to agencies, clients’ take on the best way to measure audiences was also spread almost evenly among a number of approaches, illustrating that a standard metric has yet to be established. One-third said their clients considered unique viewers to be the best way to measure audience. Another one-quarter said it was target impressions. And about the same number named gross rating point (GRP) or target rating point (TRP), which were combined into one category for the survey.

Advertisers are hungry for information that can bridge the online and offline worlds, by contextualizing digital effectiveness in terms of older, offline metrics. When asked what areas of online video warranted additional research, about three in 10 respondents sought greater insight into how video affected offline purchases. Almost one-quarter of those polled wanted more information about the performance of online video ads in comparison to traditional TV advertising. And interest in understanding how to link the gross rating point (GRP) to online video buying grew by more than six percentage points between 2011 and 2012.

With online video advertising in the US expected to experience steady growth—eMarketer estimates spending will climb from $3.1 billion in 2012 to $9.3 billion in 2016—marketers will need to figure out how to best employ metrics to gauge the value of campaigns on a more individualized basis.

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Check out today’s other articles, “QR Codes Aren’t Giving Consumers What They Want” and “Consumers in Canada Want Personalized Ads.”

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