Better answers to basic questions: Enhancing the accuracy of online reach and audience metrics

Piet Hein van Dam
Wakoopa, Netherlands
Robert van Ossenbruggen
CustomerCentral, Netherlands
Roos Voorend
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


Classical advertising research was all about researching the audience. Once a campaign was launched, research had to be done to answer basic questions such as how many people saw my ad (reach), how many times (frequency) and who where they (user demographics). In a later phase, more insightful questions were addressed: were they engaged and did it have impact?

In online advertising, we have a direct shortcut to impact. By placing cookies we can measure clicks. Click rates are a direct measure of impact. There is no need to have an accurate answer to all of the insightful questions above. One can optimize its campaign just by optimizing the click rate.