Nikki Wicks
Aug 18, 2015

Brands need to stop relying on CTR: ISM

Brands in Asia must continue to re-evaluate how they measure the success of online advertising, says Steve Doyle from ad tech firm InSkin Media.

InSkin Media calls for a re-evaluation of CTR
InSkin Media calls for a re-evaluation of CTR

Discussing the traditional metrics for measuring online advertising, Doyle, Inskin’s chief commercial officer said that brands need to move away from click-through rates (CTR) if they want to a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of their ads.

“A click through rate is only the beginning of a journey for a consumer, and with brand advertising to fully understand the value of your message to a user, you simply need to know more,” said Doyle.


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InSkin Media (ISM) considers itself the antithesis to programmatic and automated trading. The company works instead with brands, agencies and publishers to create and distribute bespoke, creative digital branding formats.

A report in September last year by xAd, Nielsen and Placed, found that while CTR has been the standard metric for online banner ad engagement, it doesn’t completely cut it, particularly when looking at mobile ads. Instead, the report suggested brand should measure secondary action rates for better indicators of ad awareness or engagement.

For Doyle, time spent with the brand is a key metric that advertisers should be looking at. “It gives advertisers and agencies a deeper understanding of the effect their ads are having on a users perception of a brand,” he added.

ISM, which has offices in London, Sydney and Hamburg and Hong Kong, recently launched operations in Singapore and told Campaign it was looking to expand further into Asia amid growing demand.

“The Asia-Pacific market in general has been slower to adopt to brand advertising online as its deep heritage with offline media for doing the branding job continues. However we firmly believe this is set to change as brands embrace creativity and technology within media,” Doyle said.

“We've opened offices in Singapore and Sydney in 2015 and both can already be heralded as successes. We need to establish a core presence in both markets before further expansion is implemented, but we don't think this is far away. We are eyeing other markets in Asia as well as cities in ANZ.”

So what’s been the biggest challenge in convincing advertisers to re-evaluate CTR?

“The honest answer is just time and education,” Doyle said. “We've been saying this message or similar for over half a decade and have produced many fine examples of creative and technology that have led to long lasting partnerships with brands and agencies. It's not that it needs a rethink per se, but simply to evaluate brand advertising online, where a wider depth of analysis and understanding is required.”

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