An Audio Perspective on Click through rates

Digital Audio is expanding, and click through rates don't help. 

Faye McDowall, Digital Strategist for Dax and Chair of the IAB Audio Advisory Group

Digital audio has made huge strides in 2018 and as the audience continues to grow, more brands than ever are investing significantly in their audio strategies.   

One of the biggest areas of progress has been the increase in robust effectiveness case studies. B&Q ran a campaign using dynamic ads based on weather, location and DIY activity and were able to measure an increase in footfall to stores throughout the campaign. Virgin Atlantic promoted their new Economy classes by syncing their audio to their out of home sites and measured an uplift in brand preference and ticket sales, and Santander saw uplifts in purchase intent following a Podcast campaign. These are great examples of advertisers getting return on their audio investment using a variety of metrics which give insight into how well the campaign has performed, but there isn’t a click through rate in sight.

CTR is not the way to measure digital audio. While display companion ads are often served with audio ads we believe that very few of them are actually looked at because phone screens are locked and people are listening while they are going about their daily lives: running, working, cooking, travelling etc…This means the CTR isn’t a reliable representation of the audience’s reaction to an audio advertising message and when used as a proxy for attribution can exacerbate a focus on short term performance which has been proven to negatively affect brands (Binet and Fields).  

However, as investment into audio grows, so too will the adoption of the tools which can attribute the effectiveness of audio campaigns - using performance indicators that build richer insights to inform campaign strategies rather than isolated metrics not least because audio is a creative medium. It is not about driving a last click and should not be reduced to a single CPA figure. 

Tools such Listener Insight ID, DAX’s proprietary measurement tool help advertisers understand more about their audiences and what they respond to -which audience targeting is performing best, which creative messaging is most effective, and to identify the right time of day to convey particular messaging to gain maximum effect. 

The emphasis is on a test, learn, improve and innovate approach to digital audio campaign planning.  By measuring the impact different audiences, creative messaging, frequencies, dayparts or more bespoke metrics. 

The next stage is to build benchmarks across advertising categories and creative performance insights which helps to ensures a sustainable future for digital audio advertising.

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