Traditional brand survey methods have historically fallen short for brands trying to assess the real influence of their native ads and use those insights to impact live campaigns. Clickthrough rate (CTR) has largely been used as the guide for live campaign optimization and brand lift survey results are typically analyzed after the campaign with the hope of informing next year’s strategy. We now exist in an ‘on demand’ era and marketing research should be no exception.
Working in partnership with Kantar Millward Brown, we think we’ve broken through these limitations to a new era of insights and optimization for the mobile native era. Together we’ve developed a new set of native advertising measurement tools, available now for Sharethrough clients, that provide brands with results more relevant to the new realities of mobile native advertising, in faster time than ever before. Following successful beta tests with several major companies, Ford is the first company set to use the product in its public release.
Because the vast majority of consumers read native ad headlines, even if they don't click on them - as our research with Nielsen Neurolabs demonstrated - it is essential for brands to understand the influence of their native ad copy decisions in time for them to make adjustments as their campaigns are running. Additionally, in recent research we have found that reading a native ad headline alone can drive meaningful actions beyond clicking on the ad; for example in a recent Millennial study we found that 39 percent of people have searched a brand online after reading a native ad headline and that 44 percent had visited a brand website or social media page.
Our new suite of brand insights tools allow brands to assess the real value of each impression: how memorable their ads were, whether they made someone more likely to buy a product and whether their ads made people feel more favorably toward their company. They allow brands to assess the impact of positive word of mouth (through the Net Promoter Score metric), how each of their targeted messages is tracking with their target audiences and what demographics are responding best. Most importantly Sharethrough will be working directly with the brands themselves, within weeks of a campaign going live, to report back on how they’re really moving the needle and help them optimize toward creative variants and audience segments where they’re performing best.
This all draws upon Kantar Millward Brown’s exhaustive audience panel, so brands know they’re drawing insights from the right people - a current challenge for many platforms on mobile. Brands can deploy surveys with more questions, to larger samples of people, with better audience segmentation. Each campaign is able to be benchmarked against all of Millward Brown's prior brand research, so brands can compare their results against a library of thousands of other campaigns, which in turn will allow Sharethrough to develop the first set of robust industry benchmarks for native advertising, across the full range of brand lift metrics.
As we’ve beta tested these new tools, we’ve seen some exciting and innovative use cases already:
- A media company promoting a new show saw that overall the early results of their campaign didn’t look favorable, but they were connecting strongly with one particular demographic and by adjusting their targeting mid-campaign they could make a far greater business impact.
- A famous tech brand ran a campaign with two sets of content, one trying to create positive associations and the other using fear tactics to try and incite action. They could study closely how the negative set of content brought about a sudden change in impact (for the worse).
- A leading e-commerce brand studied the impact on brand lift when they use an influencer in their brand content, against when they don’t.
We believe that our work with Kantar Millward Brown, who have over 40 years of brand research experience and is active in 55 countries around the world, has raised the bar for what brands can expect when evaluating the effectiveness of their mobile native advertising. It allows brands a higher degree of confidence than ever before when measuring brand lift and enables both publishers and advertisers to more quickly improve the quality of their native ads.