This post is based on a webinar Warc hosted in partnership with comScore. The full webinar is available to view here.

Are you getting the most from our digital advertising? Given the continual developments in techniques and measurement of online advertising it can be difficult to benchmark success. On November 18 Paul Goode, svp regional marketing at comScore, brought some clarity to the conversation. Drawing on years of in depth global research, comScore has produced six guiding principles that help shed light on the state of the industry and enable more effective planning and improved results.

There's a brief overview of the six lessons learned below, for more in-depth findings watch Paul's webinar.

1. Clicks are at best an incomplete – and at worst a misleading – metric

While the click on a display ad is still used by some as a measure of campaign effectiveness, industry research has shown there is no significant, positive correlation between clicks and key effectiveness measures of advertising, such as sales lift.

2. Cookie-based targeting and measurement can lead to inaccurate campaign planning, execution and evaluation

Cookies offer the promise of precision targeting but this is undermined by the frequency of cookie deletion and the face that cookies measure computers not people- and so cannot distinguish, for example, members of the same family using one PC.

3. Viewability, brand safety and non-human traffic measurement can provide much-needed transparency in an increasingly opaque, programmatic world

With increasing usage of programmatic ad buying and selling, it becomes important to check exactly how a campaign was fulfilled. Was the ad in-view on the page? Was the ad appearing next to unsuitable content that could impact the brand image? Are the campaign impressions being delivered to humans, and not spiders or bots?

4. Industry benchmarks can help media buyers and sellers set campaign delivery expectations

Digital media is impressively measurable and targetable, but it's not possible to have 100% accuracy. There are multiple reasons for ads not reaching the desired target – with shared computers cookies can show an ad to the wrong person, not all registration data people input is accurate or a user might leave the page in less than a second, among other factors.

5. In-flight optimisation of campaign delivery can have powerful brand-building and ROI impact

Post-campaign evaluation is important, but analysis also during the campaign can greatly increase effectiveness – minimising wasted ad impressions and improving ROI.

6. As the media environment fragments, campaign and audience measurement must adopt a unified, multi-platform view of the consumer

In June 2014, multi-platform users, those accessing content from desktop computers and mobiles or tablets, accounted for 75% of the online population in the UK – advertisers need to understand how their content is reaching people across screens to improve media buying, selling and evaluation.

Download the full comScore whitepaper.