Measurement of interactive ad effectiveness

Figure 8.18 summarises the different terms used for measuring banner ad effectiveness. Each time an advertisement is viewed is referred to as an advertisement or ad impression. 'Page impressions' and 'page views' are other terms used. Since some people may view the advertisement more than one time, marketers are also interested in the reach, which is the number of unique individuals who view the advertisement. This will naturally be a smaller figure than that for ad impressions. Cost of ads is typically based on CPM or cost per thousand (mille) ad impressions as with other media. However, the popularity of CPC search advertising and CPA affiliate deals mean that these are options too.

There is much discussion about how many impressions of an advertisement an individual has to see for it to be effective. Novak and Hoffman (1997) note that for traditional media it is thought that fewer than three exposures will not give adequate recall. For new media, because of the greater intensity of viewing a computer screen, recall seems to be better with a smaller number of advertisements compared with old media. The technical term for adequate recall is 'effective frequency'.

When a user clicks on the advertisement, he or she will normally be directed to further information, viewing of which will result in a marketing outcome. Usually the user will be directed through to part of the corporate web site that will have been set up especially to deal with the response from the advertisement. When a user clicks on an advertisement immediately this is known as a 'clickthrough', but adserving systems (using cookies) also measure viewthrough which indicates when a user views an ad and subsequently visits a web site within a defined period such as 30 days. This increases overall response, but it should be borne in mind that users may have visited the site in response to other stimuli.

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