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Actions Speak Louder Than Views

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When it comes to measuring the success of an advertising campaign, there are many KPIs and metrics that marketers consider. Impressions and views have long dominated as the top metrics to determine the impact of advertising. However, when they are boiled down, what do marketers gain from these potential statistics? Can they demonstrably prove their value?

While that type of brand awareness is always important, advertisers and companies are better suited pursuing actual actions taken by consumers. Being able to influence and track a specific action, such as filling out a form, purchasing a product, visiting a store or website, researching further, etc., are the actual results marketers hoped for when receiving views or impressions in the first place. With today’s granular targeting, advertisers can reach a precise audience of the people most likely to take actions, and with advanced attribution they can track the actions to show the real ROI of their marketing budget.

Impressions Aren’t the Only Metric

The marketing industry has reached an inflection point where the number of eyeballs on a specific ad is not the sole answer marketers are looking for. In the past, getting in front of an expanded audience meant that even if marketers couldn’t track the individual outcomes directly, they could reasonably assume that a certain percentage of viewers had visited the website or storefront, made a purchase, etc.

This model of volume has driven decision-making for years, but without the ability to directly track the channels driving the actions, marketers are left making assumptions based on metrics like number of impressions or clicks driven to a website and more. However, these results are always susceptible to other confounding variables. This was common with specific channels, like linear television, which reaches an extremely large audience with the same message in an effort to push brand awareness.

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Today, these brand awareness goals are not enough. Campaigns that flaunt a high number of impressions often cannot distinguish that everyone served the ad found it relevant. Serving the right ad campaign to a relevant target audience, and being able to track the impact or effectiveness through consumers’ actions, is vital to effectively break through a noisy digital space, optimize campaigns, and drive performance.

What Matters in the End?

Advances in attribution are changing how advertisers target audiences and measure results. So what is the end goal? What is it that matters to marketers? Ultimately, if a marketer could prove that an ad directly influenced the consumer to take an action such as visiting an advertiser’s website, completing a form-fill, adding a product to a shopping cart, purchasing a product and more, the in-between metrics of impressions or views would not hold as much value.

Today’s marketing landscape requires that marketers shift their approach and prioritize targeting the right audience ― even if that audience is more precise. The thought is that those highly targeted consumers are more likely to take the desired action and advertisers can eliminate wasted impressions. So even with a smaller sample of people who see an advertisement, if they are the correct audience, they can generate more revenue for companies than larger samples of unknown audiences.

Driving ROI Through Tangible Actions

With the many KPIs and metrics that marketers take into account for an advertising campaign, driving measurable actions will be a key priority for advertisers to fully understand the impact that their campaigns have on their bottom line. With the precise targeting and advanced attribution capabilities available in digital, advertisers can influence and track an action now, making digital campaigns more valuable. With granular attribution reporting metrics, marketers have more control and influence over the ROI for the campaign.

There is no denying that reach will always be an important campaign goal. However, targeting the right audience to generate actions is really what the goal should be for any advertising campaign. The industry is at a tipping point, and advances in targeting and attribution are leading the way.  


Ryan Horn is the SVP of Marketing at Simpli.fi. A marketing professional with a strong strategic vision coupled with tactical execution, he is responsible for corporate branding, lead generation, public relations and training. Prior to joining Simpli.fi, Horn worked at Think Finance, a financial lending technology company, and First Choice Power, a retail electric provider. Horn holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Texas Tech University.

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