A View to a… Conversion?

Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2009 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Consumer Experience, Display, Featured

So, anyone remember the plot to “A View to a Kill”?  No?  Well, here is a 32-word synopsis from the James Bond spy thriller:

“A rich mogul plans to gain the monopoly on the microchip market by blowing up Silicon Valley and his microchip-producing competitors until his diabolical plans are spoiled by Special Agent 007, James Bond.”

Last week, Google unveiled one of many more to come functional enhancements to the AdWords interface designed to become a comprehensive online marketing solution with rich analytics across multiple forms of media: View through conversion tracking in the Google Content Network.

While an evil-genius-out-to-rule-the-world cackling laugh would be well timed about now, the objective observer will realize that the enhancement is a step in the right direction toward being able to tie cross media performance metrics together for every marketer.

“What are view-through conversions?” asks the hardcore search marketer.  A view through conversion is a consumer who viewed an ad and converted within a 30-day period, regardless of whether they clicked on the ad that was viewed.

Ad Networks, ad servers, and marketers routinely measure view-through conversions on their display buys as a means of evaluating the effectiveness of their ad.  Knowing that consumers routinely will search or shop around before converting, view-through conversions provide insight into ad performance by identifying ads that influence consumers to convert.

While the hardcore direct-response advertiser may think view-through conversions are a crutch for justifying online spend, measuring view-through is a valuable tool used to understand conversion attribution across media channels.  The ‘last click wins’ theory justifies every dollar spent on marketing but often devalues the effects of brand building and influencing ads have in driving a business.

While the movie version lasted a mere 2 hours and 11 minutes, the ending to this story and the fate of those that lie in the path of Google’s plans to build a comprehensive cross media marketing analytics platform will have to wait a bit longer.  Grab a martini and enjoy the ride.  Shaken, not stirred, of course.

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One Response to “A View to a… Conversion?”

  1. Just as one needs to suspend reality when watching a James Bond movie, so one has to suspend belief when dealing with anything that’s not in the “now”.

    Assigning a purchase or goal with a past event i.e. a click / visit ties up a few loose ends, but without inclusion of additional external stimuli it’s a lot more difficult to see if the ad itself is comparatively more effective at conversion, or the external influence.

    Example. I’m researching a bike, click through to Cannondale (I’m logged) and then a couple of weeks later as I’m in the local bike store about to buy a Specialized bike when a buddy of my comes over and tells me “I’d be crazy to buy that when Cannondale is so much better, dude.”

    I go back to the Cannondale website, make the purchase.

    Is that a search engine related sale? OR just word of mouth winning the day?

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