Retargeter Blog

View-Through Conversions: Don’t Discount the ‘Billboard Effect’

Nike. Apple. Google. Our culture is all about brands, yet sometimes there is so much emphasis on conversions and ROI that the importance of branding is forgotten. On the flip side, billboard ads are all about branding. Rarely does a billboard entice someone to purchase a product immediately, but its presence makes a difference the next time a shopper is deciding between two brands. If billboards can get their message across to drivers zooming down a freeway at 80mph, then display ads can certainly serve the same purpose to the millions of consumers surfing the internet. This is, quite fittingly, known as the ‘billboard effect.’

The billboard effect can help your retargeting campaign achieve the following:

    1. Keep your brand “top of mind.”

Using attractive and optimized creatives, constantly remind your audience that your brand is the best. This can in turn drive traffic back to your site. A comScore study from September 2010 even found retargeting to increase a brand’s website visitation by 726%, as well as a 1,046% lift in searches on brand terms.

    1. Educating your customers about new offers.

Customers may not know about your latest products or promotions, so it’s important to engage them and create opportunities to activate, resell, and upsell.

    1. Result in more conversions or sales later, otherwise known as view-through conversions.

Your audience might not click on the ads, but will be more likely to think of your site and revisit it later. Old Spice saw a 106% increase in sales after their viral video campaign, showing that effective branding can have a huge impact on sales.

The benefits of branding are undoubtedly difficult to quantify, but view-through conversions can provide some insight into the billboard effect. Many customers may not immediately purchase but will decide to later as a result of the branding. While view-through conversions are sometimes manipulated to make a campaign seem more successful, we at ReTargeter set the window for view-through conversions at 24 hours after the impressions are shown to ensure that credit is only given where credit is due.

Compared with billboard, TV and print ads, display ads are still much more cost-effective and provide multiple ways to engage with consumers. Of course click-through rates and conversions are still important measurements throughout a campaign, but don’t discount the billboard effect simply because it is difficult to quantify. With consumers spending more time online, it will be increasingly important to take advantage of the billboard effect through retargeting.

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  • With all the excitement of click-through conversions, the importance of branding can often be forgotten and perhaps still not receiving the credit it deserves. While you say you only want to give credit where credit is due by tracking only view through conversions 24 hours after the impressions are shown, I’d argue all retargeted ads affect users on a much larger scope.

    As Rajeev Batra says in his work, Advertising Management, “Familiarity may create positive feelings of comfort, security, or ownership. As the advertising researcher H. E. Krugman has pointed out, a product is often preferred not because it is indeed better but because the ‘pleasure of it’s recognition’…. sheer familiarity.” That said, the branding/ familiarity that comes along with a user seeing 10-15 impressions per month may be almost impossible to quantify, though undoubtedly very powerful. Not just online conversions, but purchases of a certain brand in retail stores can also be greatly impacted by ‘the billboard effect.’