Why Post-impression Conversions Matter for Display Advertising

Posted - 04/03/2013 By Holly Patel

Tagged with: Display

A concern that's becoming increasingly apparent for advertisers in regards to Display Advertising is the presumed irrelevance of post-impression conversions. They are often disregarded as a performance metric and considered secondary to the holy grail 'post-click' conversion as they don't meet the demands of a direct response client.

'Post impression' conversions refer to conversions that occur after a user has been exposed to the ad, but they don't click through straight away, instead choosing to revisit the site at a later date which is usually within a 14 or 28-day window. Of course, the ideal situation for an advertiser would be for a user to immediately engage with the advert, click and convert, but in reality this doesn't happen often.

According to this handy infographic, you are more likely to give birth to twins, climb Mount Everest or survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad. The fraction of the users clicking these banners may not be your best customers either, especially if we consider that most clickers are 55+ and usually not as affluent as post-impression converters.

We have to consider the habits of the online consumer before presuming that post-click conversions are the only statistic to focus on. Since users have become much more tech-savvy, they are unlikely to feel the need to convert instantly, happy in the knowledge that they can search for a brand name via a search engine and reach the advertised page again within seconds.

Of course, it is easy to idealise direct response marketing for its simplicity - it delivers immediate responses and can be instantly attributed to the channel by which it is delivered.  However, Display is not solely a direct response channel and it shouldn't be treated as so. There are of course things that can be done to increase the number of post-click conversions gained, such as including product feeds, interactive banners, limited-time offers and relevant retargeting messages, but we mustn't forget this.

Display mainly functions as a brand awareness channel, and the impact that this can have shouldn't be underestimated. Display activity has been proven to create an uplift in PPC and SEO performance and will help to increase brand affinity. The true impact that Display can have on other channels can only be seen if cross-attribution and post-impression metrics are considered, and thankfully technology exists to allow agencies to holistically measure the impact that digital channels have upon one another.

To conclude, advertisers need to consider their ultimate goals. Are you aiming to create a click or to create revenue?

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