Last week Google announced analytical support for multi-channel funnels. This means that you can now see the how users actually get to your product beyond the last click.
It’s long been known in the advertising industry that it takes more than a single exposure to an ad for it to be effective. The same is true online but until now there wasn’t a good place to see how a user came to click on your ad, just that they did. As such all the credit for a successful banner went to the one that led directly to the conversion.
Back when I was designing ads for clients it was hard to back them away from a direct response mentality because direct response was the only way they could prove a campaign was successful. So ads explaining the product or why product X was better, were tossed aside for their “buy now” counterparts.
Gladly, I no longer work on banners but the need to know how and why users are doing what they do is just as important to a website/app as it is for a banner. Data on user activity is essential and data like this is priceless for both sides of the ad industry (merchants and content distributors. If you’re making, designing, or selling ads online this is worth looking into.
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Google’s blog post: Introducing Multi-Channel Funnels: discover untapped opportunities in your conversion path