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Click Through Rate is passé

07-August-2013
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Click Through Rate is passé

Click Through Rate or CTR came into use as a metrics in early stages when online was used as a direct – response sales channel. CTR gained momentum as it was the only numerical medium to measure the reach of digital campaigns in definite numbers. However, CTR now falls short in terms of measurement as advertisers broaden their objective from the medium to include brand building at a larger scale.

Where does CTR lack?
CTR was extremely effective in the initial days of internet as it allowed measuring the direct results of a particular campaign. The increasing complexity of the medium requires a number of elements to be taken into consideration, and CTR lacks here.

The major issue with CTR is that there is no surety on whether the clicks are transferring into any real-time RoI. The consumers might be accessing or clicking the ads for various reasons, but they might not end up buying the product.

“CTR does not differentiate between genuine clicks and clicks by mistake, which is a good percentage of the clicks you receive. It also fails to give a holistic campaign success impression to audiences. Tracking the conversations that your campaign generates is an important metric to understand how engaging and viral your promotion was. The demographics, time spent on the website is equally important for a marketer – for the current campaign and while planning future campaigns,” said Zafar Rais, Founder and CEO, Mindshare Interactive.

While CTR focusses on the users who clicked the advertisement, there is no account of the users who did not click on the advertisement. According to Facebook Analytics, only 16 per cent of a brand’s fan base view its advertisement; however, it cannot be assumed that the remaining have not viewed the ad or have not been affected by it.

Going beyond CTR
In an era of cross platform campaigns and complex brand extensions, CTR is not rendered ineffective, but needs a supporting metrics, which would take into account all the elements that it lacks.

“The problem is that marketers treat CTR as the only yardstick. All the existing metrics should be aggregated and classified and with the help of deeper analysis, relevant metrics should be formed. CTR should also be associated with the buzz created by the campaign,” said Chetan Asher, Founder and CEO, Tonic Media.

Going beyond CTR also helps marketers compare the results generated by the digital campaign with other media campaigns. Brands can also look at alternate metrics that would help them measure the end result. According to the Indian Digital Playbook for Brands and Advertisers, brands can look at Reach, Dwell, Site Lift, Search Lift and Conversations as alternate metrics to measure campaigns.

Digital campaigns now need to be measured in terms of sentiment of the clip, impact, behaviour and geographical analysis of the user so as to justify the multi KPI role of the platform. Thus, brands can either look at aggregating CTR with other effective metrics or create alternate metrics that would measure from a holistic point of view. Depending only on CTR can prove fatal for brands in the complex digital era.

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