Six Ways to Measure Your Campaign for Greater Insight and Success

By David Kingsbury, Media Center of Excellence, IRI

First there were impressions, then there were clicks. The internet, and media in general, has come a long way in the past few years and it is time for campaign measurement practices to evolve too!

The most common ways to measure campaign success have been to understand the performance of households exposed to creative A versus creative B, ad size 720x90 vs 250x250, placement 1 versus placement 2, publisher X versus publisher Y, and so on. Slowly, the industry has started to trickle in additional metrics to those standard breaks, such as frequency, viewing device, viewability or demographics. Yet, there is still so much more that (and should) can be done.

In 2019, every campaign is generating data, be it impression logs, purchases, viewability, view length, conversions, etc. The amount of data is growing rapidly and with the right processing, mindset and techniques, you can move beyond the standard cookie cutter approaches and get more value, learning and ROI from your measurement.

Here are 6 ways to (re)think how you measure your campaigns:

  1. Engagement: Engagement means more than just a click. After a click, what happens? The viewer lands on your destination page. On that page, do they bounce off or do they stay, peruse a few pages and check out some recipes, maybe sign-up for a newsletter, redeem codes or points? Do they come back and visit the site again?  ALL of this is measurable and can help identify what actions on your site or page are driving the results you want.
  2. Lead Sourcing: How do people find out about your brand? Is there a difference in household engagement depending on if a household converted via a Facebook ad, email, search, or a combination of these?
  3. Location, Location, Location: We’re not just talking digital real estate anymore. It’s about what’s in the real world! Do you go to the gym and see ads on your elliptical machine’s screen, on billboards or stadium signage while enjoying your team strike out the other side? Thanks to geo-location technology, you can identify opportunities for consumers to see those ads and understand if households visiting those locations while the ad was visible experienced a change in behavior. Pretty amazing, huh?!
  4. Audience Segmentation: Behavior covers a broad spectrum today. Long gone are the days of just targeting on demographics. Your target audience is unique and should be treated as such. You want to be sure to build and target verified buyers to retain them, as well as target lapsed buyers to regain them and competitive buyers to poach them. But that’s not all! Are there households that don’t live anywhere near where they can purchase your product? No problem – if they commute past or work near a location that does, the problem is solved. You can still reach them. Finally, in terms of lifestyle or holiday purchasers, you can launch your new product and successfully reach your target yogi, Thanksgiving host or keto dieter with ease.
  5. Subscribers: So now some of the people that engaged with your brand have signed up. How often are you going to contact them and for how long? Similar to a frequency distribution, you can analyze the point of diminishing return for program membership, so you know when to re-engage. Is it after 3 months, 12 months, 18 months, or somewhere in between?
  6. Time: Time is of the essence. If you don’t serve the ad at the opportune time, you’ll miss the consumer and a purchase. With addressable targeting and inventory, your ads can reach the right household at the right time regardless of channel or show and, in some cases, streaming service. Don’t think so? Those addressable ads can be validated and compared against the performance of the traditional buy to see what the conversion rates are.

This is just a sampling of the many ways you can use the data your campaign is generating. When thinking about your next campaign, be sure to add these to your toolbox.

Want to find out how else you can improve your current or future campaigns? Contact your IRI representative or reach out to us at