Retargeting Generates Most Brand Lift

comScore and ValueClick Media recently released findings from a study titled “When Money Moves Digital, Where Should It Go?”, which investigates the effectiveness of various forms of online display advertising with regards to cost efficiency and return on investment.

The study was conducted between July 2009 and March 2010, and analysed 103 campaigns under 39 advertisers and covered 7 industries.

The different forms of online display ad targeting methodologies studied were:

  • Audience targeting – based on the users past interest and interactions on the internet
  • Contextual targeting – Ads related to page content
  • Efficiency pricing – Click-Per-Cost engagement
  • Premium pricing – High visibility placements on premium publishers
  • Retargeting – To users who have already visited the advertisers site before
  • Run-of-Network (RON) – Ads appearing anywhere in the network.

Comscore data
Comparison of brand lift for various targeting strategies

Each of these strategies has its own pros and cons, and marketers require accurate information in order to judge the performance of each strategy and optimise the ad campaign.

The average reach and cost of each strategy was compared to the baseline run-of-network strategy.

While retargeting had the highest lift (1046%), by a very wide margin, and it has moderate costs, it has low relative reach.

Audience targeting also has moderate costs with a good degree of brand lift but it also has low reach.

On the other hand, premium and contextual strategies are both very expensive. While premium strategies have a high average lift (300%) their reach is very low, and contextual ads have a lower lift but higher reach.

Run-of-network and efficiency based ads are both low cost with fairly high reach but show low brand lift (126% and 100% respectively).

The study has, however, found that when different placement strategies are used concurrently, they generated a better overall performance than any individual method.

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