Marketers must look beyond CTR when measuring campaign success

A report by Joe Nguyen in November revealed that online marketers’ favoured click-through rate is no longer as important as once thought and may not matter at all when it comes to measuring online advertising success.

Online advertising has often been praised for the ability to track it’s performance by CTR however research has shown that most internet users don’t actually click on adverts with only 16% of U.S. internet users doing so in 2009. Therefore a campaign measured solely on clicks ignores the majority of internet users.

However this doesn’t mean that direct click ads don’t work, just that marketers need to use other tools to measure their success. A good example of this is a case study of Salford University’s student marketing campaign run by Penna Barkers on The Student Room. The agency tracked both the direct visits to the site by clicking on their ad (CTR) as well as the ambient traffic, where students had seen the advert and then navigated to the site independently.

The campaign was also run on other popular social networking sites, Bebo and Facebook, as well as through Google and a UCAS email. However the results from these sources did not compare with the traffic generated by The Student Room, which provided over half of the total traffic generated by the campaign. At least three times the amount of any of the others.

Additionally discussion about Salford University increased by 63%, which shows how the benefit of advertising in an open discussion forum, like TSR, helps the spread of information in a way that other social media can’t.

Full details of the Salford University case study

The full report, Moving Beyond the Click, by Joe Nguyen first appeared at