Avenue A to Track Campaign Effectiveness

Interactive agency Avenue A is offering a new service to clients that aims to better measure and track online advertising effectiveness.

The Seattle-based firm’s BrandOptics service, which it’s launching through a partnership with survey technology firm SuiteSmart, tracks the responses of Internet users exposed to a client’s online ads or email, or who have visited a client’s site, registered for a newsletter, and so on.

Similarly to offerings from firms like Dynamic Logic, BrandOptics uses surveys to glean anonymous information of how a campaign or site influenced users’ brand perceptions. But the service also uses cookies to track, anonymously and in aggregate, whether viewers later made an online purchase or registered for more information or email updates.

The benefits to such a combination of survey and post-impression tracking data could prove significant. Advertising-effectiveness surveys usually ask consumers whether seeing ads changed metrics that could point to whether a campaign was successful — such as their buying intent. But by using cookie-based tracking, BrandOptics would verify whether the campaign led to actual sales, rather than by simply relying on stated intent.

“Basically this is a technique that bridges the gap between what people say they do, and what they do. It answers a fundamental question — I do research , I learn my campaign changes people’s attitudes of my company, and then I go home and feel good, but I don’t really know what happens after this,” said Avenue A President Clark Kokich.

“There’s kind of an assumption in advertising and marketing that if you cold improve attitudes and purchase intent that it would translate into sales,” he added. “This is a way to quantify that.”

Avenue A said five clients have already signed up for the service but declined to identify them. The firm does not have any immediate plans to offer the service as a standalone offering outside its agency client roster, such as a technology offering through its Atlas DMT unit.

The new service comes as survey data is becoming increasingly important to the online advertising world as both marketers and publishers seek to justify Web ad spending. New York-based Dynamic Logic and several of its peers have been fundamental in a number of high-profile studies orchestrated by industry trade groups like the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which seek to promote the medium to advertisers.

Last month, Dynamic Logic also released an addition to its AdIndex product that ads survey support to email campaigns.

Post-campaign consumer tracking also remains a hot area, especially as offline marketers become more Web savvy. DoubleClick’s Abacus unit and consumer data giant Experian have also taken steps to track the efficacy of cross-media advertising and promotions, as have a number of incentive marketing players.

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