Assessing the relative performance of online advertising media

Master thesis Portuguese OPEN
Alves, Tomás de Oliveira Mouton Ribeiro (2014)
  • Subject: Publicidade on-line | Anúncios Facebook | Campanhas Multi-canal | Canais Online | Google Ad Words | Facebook Ads | Desempenho de Canais Digitais | Media Channels | Multi-channel Campaigns | Digital Media Performance | E-mail Marketing | :Ciências Sociais::Economia e Gestão [Domínio/Área Científica] | Online Advertising

Online marketing campaigns are the big trend in today’s advertising world. The obvious advantages of online ad media – low costs, multiple tracking options and better segmentation -, are forcing marketing managers to re-allocate big portions of their advertisement budgets from traditional offline marketing media to online ad campaigns. Several digital communication channels are suitable for online advertising, each serving different communication goals - awareness, engagement, traffic generation, lead generation and sales conversion – according to the overall brand strategy. Yet, which channel or mix of channels should advertisers or marketing agencies employ in order to best achieve its communication goals is something that still remains highly unclear. This is particularly true for advertising markets outside the USA. The overall aim of this dissertation was hence to compare the performance of different advertising media channels – E-mail marketing, Social Networked Media and Paid Search -, with performance being assessed from the viewpoint of a digital marketing agency, both in terms of campaign effectiveness (traffic and lead generation) and campaign profitability (ROI). To this end, secondary panel data regarding the features and performance of six online ad campaigns (five of which were conducted in more than one channel), namely click-through rates (CTR; traffic generation), lead conversion rates (LCR; submission of a registration form) and Return-on-Investment (ROI), conducted over the course of the first trimester of 2014 were compiled. OLS multivariate linear regression analysis was then performed to understand which channel and campaign features significantly affected campaign effectiveness and profitability. Moreover, primary data were also collected by selecting a poorly performing campaign, optimizing it based on the results of the secondary data analysis, re-launching it and re-analyzing its performance results. Results show that e-mail marketing campaigns seem to be the most effective and the most profitable ones for digital marketing agencies operating under performance (lead conversion)-based pricing models. Social Networked media such as Facebook, however, seem to perform better when the campaign goal is drive traffic to advertisers’ websites, as CTR rates for this channel tend to higher on average. Regarding the quasi-experiment done, E-mail and Google had similar performance in terms of target effectiveness. The number of conversions was also similar, However, Google had substantial higher costs, due to the number of impressions. After dropping that channel, campaign’s results have improved. Nevertheless, the increase in the number of leads may have been due to E-mail design rather than the channel choice. Atualmente, as campanhas de publicidade on-line são uma grande tendência entre as empresas. As principais vantagens dos canais on-line – como por exemplo os baixos custos associados, as opções de tracking e de segmentação, motivam os Marketers a re-alocar uma parcela maior do orçamento total de Publicidade do tradicional para campanhas online. Existem diversos media on-line que podem ser usados, assim como objetivos diferentes - branding, aumento das vendas ou captação de bases de dados. No entanto, ainda não é claro o que o canal on-line mais apropriado para uma empresa, consoante o objetivo traçado. Ainda, a maioria dos resultados só dizem respeito ao mercado dos EUA. Esta tese visa compreender o desempenho dos canais E-mail Marketing, anúncios do Facebook e Google Ad Words, tendo em conta três objetivos diferentes: geração de tráfego para o site do cliente (número de cliques) , o preenchimento de um registo (número de conversões) e o ROI médio por canal . Devido à parceria com Revshare , uma agência digital Português, todos os resultados são baseados sobre a perspectiva da agência. Foram analisados dados secundários de 6 campanhas, lançadas no primeiro trimestre do presente ano, no mercado Português - 5 das quais são campanhas multi-canal. Foi realizado uma análise descritiva dos dados obtidos. Também foram recolhidos dados primários, com o objetivo de avaliar o impacto da escolha dos canais no desempenho dos mesmo. Foi realizada uma regressão linear OLS com o intuito de entender quais as variáveis que têm impacto no número de cliques, conversões e ROI. Concluindo, o E-mail aparenta ser o canal mais adequado quando o objetivo é a conversão. Além disso, é o único com um ROI positivo. Os anúncios do Facebook são uma boa opção em direcionar o tráfego para o site do cliente. Relativamente à expriência realizada, tanto o canal E-mail como o Google tiveram uma performance semelhante em termos de leads e segmentação. Contudo, devido ao maior número de impressões gerados pelo Google, os custos deste canal foram substancialmente mais elevados. Assim, e depois de ter sido retirado este canal, os resultados da campanha melhoraram. No entanto, esta melhoria poderá ter sido originada pela alteração do design do E-mail e não pela combinação de canais.
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