Digital channels are much more measureable than any that have come before. The computerized infrastructure that provides all the web pages, videos, social mentions, and location services records everything. Every click; every page change; every message; they are all logged. The terabytes of data generated have the potential to provide insights into brand engagement like no other.
And yet the very volume of data can be a double-edged sword for marketers, especially those who are used to the “guesstimate” measures used by traditional channels. For example, if you have come to believe that circulation of a magazine represents the number of readers who are exposed you ad to it you may be disappointed by the 100% accurate count of page exposures of your website display ad, and if you believe that your magazine ad drives action you will be driven to a deep funk by the click-through rate on those same display ads.
There are two fundamental reasons for this:
1. Traditional media is guesswork
There is no 100% coverage of traditional media. There are surveys and audits that can give some level of confidence about how many pages are released, but none provide the absolute, rock-solid-ßsurety of a record of every transaction.
In the absence of other measures, however, these numbers are accepted and they are better than nothing. When you compare an uncertain number to a certain one, however, differences can appear and the tendency is to believe what you believed before, namely the traditional offline measures.
2. Digital measures may not be what you think
The problem with the vast volume of digital measures is knowing what you are, in fact, measuring. At different points in the patient journey, especially at crossover points there can be breakage. For example, if you have an in-office brochure that has a URL for further information (for example, www.brand.com/xyz) you can be sure that you know exactly how many users type the URL. You can’t know how many users trucated the URL to just “www.brand.com”. You can’t know how many users performed a search rather than typing the URL directly (this is quite common). These unrecorded events mean that your data, while technically 100% accurate, may not mean what you think it does.
Also, interpretation of the data can be difficult. For example, if you are measuring dwell time on a page and you find that it is longer than the other pages on your site that can mean that either:
- The content is confusing and visitors are struggling to comprehend it, or,
- The content is engaging and visitors are consuming the entire page.
So, what can you do?
Engage with your digital agency to understand the metrics
Make sure that the metrics being presented are detailed enough that you know exactly what they are measuring (and what they are not).
Instrument your properties to capture more
More detailed measures are available when your digital agency writes in coding tags on all links. Ensure this is part of the plan from day one.
Use digital crossover tools
There are technologies like the iKyp and Trackey that allow you to provide easy access to your digital properties from your hardcopy documents. Use these to reduce the breakage when users cross from your offline to online properties.
How about you? Tell us how you maximize your measurement accuracy.