Performance Marketing: the ROI of Branding

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INBOUND MARKETING · 09 / 04 / 2015

Can the results of the brand campaigns be measured in AdWords?

Promoting and maintaining a brand’s notoriety is a necessary, albeit not sufficient, part of the success of the online marketing strategy. But what is not measured cannot be improved… Do the brand campaigns offer measurable results? Is it possible to calculate the ROI of branding?

The main goal of AdWords marketing efforts is a measurable result: the Conversion. Let’s focus on the most common brand campaigns with AdWords, how to run the measurement and the doubts that can be presented in the process.

Types of Brand campaigns

Among the types of campaigns that Google describes as “indirect response” or “branding” we emphasize:

  • Advertising on the Display network
  • Advertising on Youtube

The results of both campaigns can be measured, but often we do not find an adequate volume of conversions that justifies investment. However, these campaigns influence the performance of the web and the other marketing campaigns, enhancing their results.

This is where we can establish measurement patterns to see the effectiveness of branding with AdWords beyond the campaign itself.

How to measure branding in AdWords?

There are multiple KPIs that can help us analyze the performance of brand campaigns. We must take into account when evaluating the results the phase in which we are at the level of branding. To measure we need a critical volume of data that will allow us to draw conclusions, something that we cannot obtain in the pre-launching or launching stage of a brand. Therefore, the most appropriate phase for the measurement of ROI results is post-launch. If you want to know more about these phases, I invite you to read this AdWords Branding article.

For this particular study we only analyze the indicators most related to our main objective: to increase the profit of the company through the marketing of results.

1. Macro Target ROI:

  • KPI: Direct Conversions

Conversions registered by the AdWords platform or conversions from Adwords according to Analytics (attribution criteria differ).

  • KPI: Assisted conversions

To measure the Conversions That come through the brand campaigns we have the Assisted conversion report, within the module conversions > multichannel funnels

Assisted conversions

Google Analytics Assisted Conversion Report

In this report we can see the number of conversions that a channel has helped to complete.

In the route to the conversion can intervene different channels. This report is incredibly useful when working from the result marketingapproach. They count as assisted conversion all those conversions in which a channel has intervened, and that do not proceed from the last interaction.

If the configuration is correct, here we can see how many conversions the Display channelhas attended. Within it, using as a secondary dimension “campaigns” we will see how many conversions has attended each one. Here we will find the AdWords campaigns for video (Youtube) and Display that we have configured.

It is very interesting in this report the ratio of assisted conversions/Direct conversions that summarizes what role a particular channel plays. If it approaches 1 it means that the channel assists and ends conversions to the same extent. Higher values reflect that the channel assists more conversions than it ends.

Once we have the total volume of conversions (direct + assisted) we can calculate a special CPA and GET the ROI of the investment in brand campaigns.

2. Micro Target Notoriety (Brand Awareness):

  • KPI: Evolution of the number of search queries by brand terms.

We will find the search queries in the Acquisition module > optimization in search engines > queries.

Branded terms Queries

Overview of the acquisition report of Google Analytics.

Once there we can filter by our brand or brand term and see the evolution of the impressions since we activated the brand campaigns.

We must look at the tendency more than in the numbers, by the limitations of the platform (not provided).

Also, if we have an active brand campaign in Search we can track the impressions and we should see a growth linked to the activation of the brand campaigns.

  • KPI: Evolution of the number of visits by direct traffic

We often mention the Web URL in brand campaigns, so an increase in notoriety generates logically an increase in direct traffic.

Following the evolution of this metric, parallel to the evolution of our campaigns, we can determine if there is a direct influence.

These KPIs function as micro objectives of our main objective, the conversion.

Questions in the measurement of brand campaigns

Although we can clarify the volume of conversions that a certain channel helps to complete, we can not know for certain how valuable this intervention would have made the user even if he had not stepped in his path a certain banner?

There are advanced tools that make it possible to maximize the “de-duplication” of the data, avoiding to assign to one channel conversions generated by another, but until now it is impossible to know what real weight each channel has in the decision of purchase (or record).

On the other hand, different platforms offer different models of attribution, generating discrepancies (Last direct click, last indirect click…). These are the most important limitations that we can find in the measurement of brand campaigns. From the point of view of performance marketing or results marketing:

“The solution is to define a custom measuring model that is coherent with our sector and to work in a consistent way in the evaluation of results.”

The Analytics Attribution Module allows us to play with the different attribution hypothesis, being able to differentiate the results by the time the interaction with a certain channel is given, but this gives for a post more or a few! ????

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