When I worked at IBM (I quit last month) one of my projects (for an entire year) was measuring the US Homepage of IBM.com for homepage promotions each week – it was a time intensive job with a lot of politics and not that much appreciation – but I managed to figure out some things that lay hidden in the measurement platform we were using at the time, IBM Surfaid, and, together with my own theories of engagement, produced an engagement index and ultimately, a valid way to measure the value of the homepage promotions each week.
How did I do it? A Spot Click – a campaign tag that was able to track everywhere on IBM.com that a visitor went who clicked on the homepage promotion; in my thinking, when someone filled out a lead gen form somewhere on IBM.com, that fact they came from the homepage promo should be a consideration. But how much of a consideration? – that’s where it gets really sticky.
Here comes Microsoft, who is going to figure this out where Microsoft Announces New Reporting Standard for Digital Campaign Performance: Engagement Mapping and TechCrunch has a write up on Microsoft Tells Advertisers “Engagement” Is More Important Than Clicks, But Is Vague on Details where the details are:
“…Instead of measuring clicks or impressions, engagement mapping aims to track how many times a person comes across an ad on the Web, and correlate that to actions taken down the line. So if you see an ad on Facebook for a Visa card, and then on three other sites before you click through to sign up, Microsoft will give Facebook some credit for that eventual customer engagement.
In theory, it sounds good. We all know that clicks can be gamed. But at least clicks are a straightforward measure. Microsoft is vague about what exactly its unit of engagement will be—some combination of “the impact that recency, frequency, size and ad format (such as rich media and video) have on a consumer’s online path to action.”
Actually, it’s not that different that what I wrote about in 2006, probably stimulated by my work on IBM’s Homepage, in Webmetricsguru.com – Measuring Multi Channel Marketing – an open question to the Web Metrics Community .
I also thought about how reach and frequency, exposure through multiple channels ends up not only working much better but is possible, with the right setup, to be measured.
I need to spend more time reading what Microsoft has put forth and will write about it here and on my other blogs.