The content marketing dilemma

Campaign Effectiveness testing in advertising is a staple research offering for many media platforms. Whilst the rise of digital advertising has produced an array of new metrics by which to judge success impressions, click throughs, dwell times, and completion rates, among others - there remains a need to understand the impact of an advertising campaign beyond its mere reach. What occurred in the mind of the consumer?

Advertisers often expect the media platform to answer this question, and so campaign effectiveness research attempts to service this need using a variety of research methods such as exposed/control methods, direct intervention, and cookie-tracking, and producing evidence in the form of a raft of brand metrics such as Top of Mind Awareness, Brand Favourability, Message Association and Purchase Intent.

These research services have kept the industry warm and ticking over for many years, however the rise of content marketing has created a dilemma. Few could dispute the rise to prominence of this new form of advertising, with many global brands investing in an opportunity to associate themselves with a content type or genre, enjoy accelerated reach through content sharing, and enter the public consciousness through a less invasive avenue than direct advertising. However in producing this more comprehensive and less overt form of advertising, the traditional campaign effectiveness tools are less fit for purpose.