For decades the billboard and TV industries have tested markets in a way e-commerce entrepreneurs will find tells them a whole lot more. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Ever since the world’s first banner ad in 1994 asked users to click “right here,” clicks have been the default measure of success online. But clicks, it turns out, are a poor indicator of how successful one’s marketing really is. Consider the consumer who may have seen 10 digital ads before purchasing — by measuring clicks, you can’t definitively attribute 100 per cent of the credit to any one of those individual ads.
Because of that, it’s difficult to determine which ad to mirror in the future. Multi-touch attribution — an alternative to “last click” that awards value to each digital ad a consumer sees — is an advertiser’s dream. But collecting the depth of data to measure every factor affecting a buyer’s decision is not possible in reality. However, lift measurement — a staple of TV and billboard ad measurement for decades — is a much better gauge of online ad performance than any click-based attribution.
While digital advertising may be a quantum leap over traditional mediums (because marketers can target with precision whom they want to see their campaigns) lift measurements are one case in which TV and billboard advertising had it right. How lift studies for TV and billboards work.