About those online metrics

It’s time to stop using worthless online ad metrics. Click-through rates are the most used KPI in marketing, but they are useless. Click-through rates don’t correlate with any meaningful brand metrics. Billions of dollars are “optimized” based on nothing but noise. “One impression’ is one web browser making one server request for one advertisement. Human eyeballs have nothing to do with it, so it’s all useless.

One of the services we offer clients is a review of their online metrics. Often, clients are disappointed when I inform them that their websites and online media are not performing well. When I go into depth and explain that their online paid media is losing money, they usually respond with, “why didn’t my agency tell me about this?” That’s a good question.

Any agency that uses impressions and even click-through rates as a KPI should be fired because they ddon’tmean a damn thing.

Then there is programmatic advertising. Advertisers get three cents of actual value for every $1 spent on programmatic platforms. Adtech companies were supposed to save money by cutting out the middlemen, but they just replaced one set of middlemen with another. Programmatic advertising is a massive scam.

When we launched Cialis, our online ads were so successful because they were placed on sites where we knew our audience was going. I also understood that the primary goal at launch was awareness, so I designed the homepage to communicate the critical brand metric for high bounce rates. Also understood that many people in our audience might come to the website while surfing the Web at work and wwouldn’twant to be caught going to a site for an ED drug.

I created a mini-site for our online ads that could communicate the critical brand metrics without clicking through to the site. I also created a mini online game that communicated vital brand messages. I was lucky to have a great manager who allowed me to implement a creative online strategy.

Your online media should communicate your key brand message after it has been tested, without requiring someone to click through to your website. Place ads where you KNOW where your audience is going, not randomly by some algorithm that wastes your budget. Advertisers should not care about protecting a media company or social nnetwork’sproprietary information or algorithms. They should care only about getting their money’s worth.

When I launched Sarafem, we had a section where visitors could post stories about their experiences in dealing with PMDD. Even though our regulatory and legal people moderated the posts, it was a highly successful tactic, and we received over 450 posts in the first week.

When it comes to pharma, the playbook for online marketing is old and worn. As an online marketer, I was willing to work closely with my M L R team to educate them and bring them into the loop before presenting it as part of our online strategy. You need a great online marketing person on your team who understands marketing and what people do online so they can suggest tactics that improve your ROI.