It’s About More than the Last Click! Are You Using the Wrong Metrics to Measure Your Show’s Ads?

Feb 28

It’s About More than the Last Click! Are You Using the Wrong Metrics to Measure Your Show’s Ads?

As exhibitions and events spend more and more money on digital marketing to drive attendance, there is increasing pressure to justify the spend with metrics.

Attribution is complex so many marketers choose the easiest, quickest and most common way to do this, last-click attribution (LCA), which gives 100% of the credit for a ticket purchase to the last click a visitor made before completing that action.

However, LCA can be problematic, consider these examples…

Let’s say you run a display advertising campaign.  A prospective attendee sees one of your ads, types your show name into the search bar to find your show and then buys a ticket.  LCA would assign all of the credit for that transaction to search, and none to display which is how the person found out about your show in the first place.

Do you retarget visitors to your show website? If yes, this means regardless of how someone got to your site: display ads, social, search, etc., if they don’t buy a ticket during that visit but click on a subsequent retargeting ad and buy a ticket, LCA would credit the full value of the purchase to retargeting.  They may have seen a dozen ads before that retargeting ad but this valuation strategy ignores all of that earlier ad spend.  As retargeting sits at the bottom of the funnel right before conversions occur, it can significantly distort performance metrics when using LCA.

Clicks may simply not be the objective.  For example, if you run video advertising as a top of the funnel solution tasked with driving views of your show video, LCA would be pointless.

LCA also doesn’t address view-through conversions (VTCs), which occur when people see your ads but don’t click on any of them and then visit your website later and buy a ticket.

While LCA can be beneficial for single channel direct response advertising, it fails to embrace the reality that multiple channels are usually involved in driving ticket sales today.  LCA gives more credit to bottom of the funnel marketing channels at the expense of upper and mid funnel activities – and by not accounting for VTCs, LCA misses a material part of the conversion picture.

Perhaps most dangerous about LCA is that it may cause you to move ad spend away from channels that are performing well to other less valuable channels while giving you the false impression that you are actually optimizing your advertising.

Think beyond that last click!  Yes, holistic measurement is challenging, it will require more work, and it will take longer, but it will provide much better visibility into what is really happening, and ultimately help you drive more attendance.

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