How Ad Tracking Works

15 Mar

The trick to effective marketing is to mix qualitative and quantitative analysis—in other words, to analyze both concepts and numbers, and to understand how the two relate to one another. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in ad tracking.

What Is Ad Tracking?

Ad tracking is the use of quantitative data—measurements taken through studies and through digital analysis—to determine how effectively your advertising campaign is communicating your message. Whether you’re trying to create exposure for your brand, or trying to reach a new audience, experienced marketers use ad tracking to determine what works and what doesn’t.

Some ad tracking is based on asking questions to respondents. For example, you might issue a survey that exposes people to an ad or a portion of an ad, and then see whether those people can identify the product, brand, or company that the ad is about. These surveys determine who has seen your ad, and thus how effective it is.

There are also a lot of ways to track advertising digitally. One simple method is to track how many people click on a banner ad to learn more about the product—if people are ignoring the ad, then it is not reaching them. Ad tracking ( ) software gets much more complex than that, of course, and there are many different options out there.

What Can Ad Tracking Tell You?

The truth is, the raw numbers of ad tracking won’t necessarily tell you very much. That’s where skilled marketers come in, bringing their years of experience to identify larger patterns in the data.

When done well, ad tracking is an essential tool that enables your brand to remain flexible. First of all, ad tracking tells you whether your advertisements are worth the investment—you can begin to quantify your return-on-investment in terms of the number of people reached for each dollar you spend. This measurement lets you identify when a campaign is worth your money and should continue.

Even more importantly, though, ad tracking tells you when your advertising is not successful, which means you know when to try a different approach. An ad can fail for many different reasons—perhaps it isn’t reaching the right audience, or perhaps a longstanding and successful ad campaign no longer communicates effectively to a younger generation. There’s nothing wrong with failure, but you need to identify it when it happens and know how to adapt your brand strategy.

However, skilled marketers will learn to identify more than just whether ads are succeeding or failing through ad tracking. There are a lot of ways to measure effectiveness—maybe your ad is succeeding with kids, but failing with adults. In that case, you want to increase how kid-friendly that ad is, while also working on a new way to communicate your brand’s ( ) message to the audience that the first ad didn’t reach.

Interpreting Patterns

It’s not enough to recognize patterns. It takes experience and skill to understand what those patterns mean, and how to build on them. Ad tracking draws on these skills to more effectively communicate your message.

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Posted by on March 15, 2017 in Marketing


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