Perspective

How to measure and optimise the full impact of advertising spend

For today’s performance marketer, measuring the impact of your marketing spend is more challenging than ever. 

With customers using both mobile and desktop (often at the same time), cross-device conversion paths have become the rule rather than the exception. The cookie-based approach to measurement that worked well on desktop just doesn’t work as well across multiple devices.

Despite this fact, many advertisers still use last-click attribution where the last click is given credit for the sale or conversion. While multichannel attribution takes a more sophisticated approach, this methodology still entails measuring where clicks or views are happening rather than measuring the impact of a campaign on the exposed audience.

The cookie-based approach to measurement that worked well on desktop just doesn’t work as well across multiple devices."

Nate Wright, Product Marketing, Twitter

With conversion lift reports, we are helping advertisers take a more scientific approach to advertising. Here’s how it works: When you set up your campaign, your target audience will be broken up into an audience that is exposed to your campaign and a control group that is not.

As your campaign runs, the behaviour of those who are exposed to or interact with your advertising is compared with the control group, allowing you to determine the incremental lift to conversions your campaign drives. And, with conversion lift reports, you can gain access to this data as your campaign is running, so you don’t have to wait until it’s over—you can optimise mid-campaign.

We’ve been working with many of our advertisers to run conversion lift reports and what we’ve found gives our advertisers compelling insights into the effectiveness of their ad spend. Our research shows that users who are exposed to Promoted Tweets are 1.4 times more likely to convert while users who engaged with a Promoted Tweet are 3.2 times more likely to convert.*

Conversion lift reports are especially important for advertisers who are spending across multiple channels. This means those advertisers can look at incremental lift and view the causal impact of their marketing spend. As other media exposure is held constant, it’s possible to separate conversions a particular campaign drives from those conversions that, in actuality, may have been driven by other marketing activities.

Our research shows that users who are exposed to Promoted Tweets are 1.4 times more likely to convert while users who engaged with a Promoted Tweet are 3.2 times more likely to convert."

Nate Wright, Product Marketing, Twitter

Using conversion lift reports to understand additional sources of value.

We recently worked with one large consumer products advertiser whose campaign was focused on driving purchases on its website. When we looked at the Twitter website tag data, we saw more than 2,000 conversions. However, that number didn’t tell the complete story.

When we dug into the data, we found that customers who were exposed to the campaign, but did not click initially, converted at a much higher rate. With a seven-day attribution window, we saw that the campaign drove a statistically significant lift of 35% in post-view purchases.

This is just one way that conversion lift reports helped an advertiser more fully understand the incremental impact of campaign exposures. By looking only at last-click or multi-channel attribution, this advertiser was not getting a full picture of the impact of its marketing spend.

When setting up your campaigns with conversion lift reports, be sure to include view-through conversions (which measure the conversions where a customer saw, but didn't click a display ad) to get a more complete picture of the full impact of spend driven through both impressions and clicks.

Conversion lift reports are available for eligible advertisers worldwide.

Best practices for performance advertisers:

  1. Plan ahead and build conversion lift reports into your measurement toolkit.
  2. Set clear parameters for your test. Specify the types of conversions you are measuring and the time period for the test.
  3. Be sure that your tracking is set up correctly before your test.
  4. Consider both post-click and post-view conversions to see the full impact of your campaign.
  5. Use your test results to make more informed, real-time optimisations to your campaign.

*Twitter internal data 2015-2016