Native advertising has a measurement problem. While the industry seems to have finally come closer to agreeing on what defines a native ad, there remains uncertainty on how to best measure success.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers, marketers were all over the place in regards to the KPIs they employ for native. Responses ranged from CTR to awareness. While CTR was the most widely used KPI, awareness was considered the most important. This data is very similar to a study TripleLift conducted with over 100 agency executives in terms of the importance of brand awareness.
In the survey, 96 percent of agency executives claimed they used native advertising as a branding tool, with only 20 percent saying they used it for direct-response. Therefore, it was no surprise that among the main KPI’s used to measure native ad effectiveness, 35 percent said brand lift was the main KPI they relied on to determine success. Only 13% claimed to look at CTR as the main KPI – a noticeable difference between both studies.
Notwithstanding, each study highlights the fact that measurement remains the top challenge associated with native advertising. In last year’s agency survey, 40 percent stated measurement is difficult. So almost a year later, there is still a challenge and the need to call for the industry to establish best practices for native advertising measurement.
It will be important that when measurement standards are announced, that it reflects both branding and DR campaigns. Like any well-executed advertising campaign, native can be leveraged to achieve both goals.