More Data, Better Performance: How to easily collect more data for your online campaigns

Edward Gerits Quality & Control ManagerMore about Edward

Data is an indispensable factor for successful campaigns, but when speaking about data and online advertising, we can refer to many things, like user behavior stored in cookies, basic stuff as the number of impressions, clicks or conversions or to more advanced insights as viewability and exposure time. At Bannerconnect we use data generated by online campaigns to optimize and we can even increase the amount of data to make better optimization decisions. Want to know how? Our Optimizer, Quality and Control Manager Edward Gerits is spilling the beans.

More-data-better-perfomance

Viewability

Everyone will agree that data is currently an important factor for a successful campaign, which means that it’s very important to use data in the best possible way. Having access to log level data is the holy grail for many advertisers. There are over a 100-different metrics that can be stored for a single impression. However, when we make a few tweaks to our campaigns we can even enrich our data! Adding a tracking pixel of a viewability vendor is such a step, as viewability and exposure time add a whole new dimension to the data you have available. Our previous research proved that there’s a positive correlation between exposure time and performance, something which we couldn’t find without the addition of viewability data.

Funnel

It’s common to implement a conversion pixel on the landing page and the “thank you”-page of the advertiser to optimize towards landings and conversions. An important factor is sometimes ignored here, as customers often need to finish a few steps before completing their order. By implementing a pixel on all steps of the conversion funnel, you’re not only able to calculate drop-off percentages, but the conversions can also be used as a proxy for end conversions. Landings often come with a lot of noise of people who for instance click by accident or quickly decided that they’re not interested. However, a customer who started the conversion process has clearly shown more interest. Instead of using end conversions, which could be just a few (especially at the start of the campaign), one could choose to use the first step of the conversion funnel for optimization purposes, increasing the amount of data with limited noise.

Retargeting and the last cookie counts principle

People often refer to the last cookie counts principle when discussing attribution models in online advertising. In many cases, the last impression or click for a conversion gets all the credit attributed, while one can argue whether this is valid when the user had 10 previous touch points. Instead of focusing on adding value for the client, this attribution model gives a perverse incentive to just aim for the last cookie. The last cookie counts principle is often used in the context when several companies are on the same media plan and all companies are competing for that last touch point. However, what most people don’t realize, is that the last cookie counts principle is also applicable within a single campaign. This might be a little confusing, so we’ll dive a little deeper into this.

Often, campaigns are split by strategy, like prospecting, audience and retargeting. These strategies also “compete” for the last touch point, just like competitors on the same media plan do. Retargeting will often receive credit for most conversions as it’s often the last contact in the customer journey. Other strategies might have contributed to the conversion, however, the fact that these strategies are often not responsible for the last touch point leaves them empty handed without conversions attributed and without data, it’s hard to optimize these non-retargeting campaigns. A quick and easy, but often overlooked solution, is implementing an additional conversion pixel on the “thank you”-page. Let’s call this the assist pixel, which is placed at the same position as the original conversion pixel. The only, but very important, difference is that the assist pixel is not associated with the retargeting campaign. This means that when a customer converts after seeing a prospecting campaign first and the retargeting campaign second, the retargeting campaign will still get the end conversion attributed, just like when you don’t use an assist pixel. However, the “assisted” conversion will, thanks to the assist pixel, be attributed to the prospecting campaign, which indeed gave the assist for the conversion. Now your prospecting campaign will gather more data, which can also be used by your optimizing algorithm to further optimize your campaign.

More data will help optimization and efficient budget spending

You can’t deny that data is an important factor for a successful campaign. Through data enrichment or by placing a few additional conversion pixels to measure and assist the steps in the funnel, you can collect as much data as you possibly can. The more data you have, the better optimization decisions there can be made and the more efficient a budget can be spent.

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