Le’Nise Brothers, head of interactive, PHD Rocket has just posted a great article on iMedia UK.

Offering a rallying cry for sensibilities, she argues that the key is:

“…understanding of the role of digital in the wider comms mix. Digital isn’t a channel or medium – digital complements and enhances other part of the communications plan, which means that a silo approach where the digital agency / department receives briefs long after the comms planners / comms agency have crafted a solution will never work. Consumers don’t consume media in channels, so why should media be planned in channels?”

She is a woman after my own heart!

Lets face it, clicks DO NOT equal response and are unnatural behaviour towards advertising. They are neither a branding metric nor a derivative Direct Response metric. They only time it can be argued if the latter has clear call to action saying click here to buy, and even then we see appalling fall-off rates.

You simply cannot and will not measure “animated” advertising on TV, Outdoor, Print and dare-say Mobile via a click to prove effectiveness, and neither do I believe it is the most effective way of measuring online display advertising. It is floored and based on historic user experience from Search and we simply would not measure any other media channel by such an immediate trigger-happy response. Every other channel takes a message to the people, not the people to the message (on a landing page).

0.5% clicks is suggesting that 99.5% of people exposed have had no effect. We now know through studies that most of the clickers are not the target audience anyway (reducing actual CPC to your CPM) and have ZERO recollection of the brand – so what is the point of the click? Most people exposed to an ad campaign (wherever) make an emotional connection with a brand that leads them into exploration and inquiry later on – this could be measured within the ad itself, or via search for further info or possibly (but relatively small numbers) on a client direct site. I would argue we trust reviews on places like Amazon more than client site information these days in terms of consumers moving through a conversion funnel.

With this in mind we must measure effectiveness in terms of exposure in situation such as Dwell Time (i.e. the number of seconds user interacts with a creative of their own volition) and then any resulting effect seen along a path-to-conversion – doubtfully clicked and more likely searched. From data I have I can tell you that 10-20% of impressions are touched and played with for 1 minute on average (twice as long as TV spot) and up to 30% of people searching have been “exposed” to an online display ad first. These are lot more exciting and interesting numbers to demonstrate digital advertising effectiveness then the measly few who bothered to click…