- Published on
The White Lie About Conversions
- Philip Muellerscheon
Most commonly, advertising dollars are spent to increase sales or brand awareness, and the effectiveness of online ads is measured via conversions.
Sounds simple, right?
Well, not so fast.
More often than not, conversions are not equivalent to sales. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right! The truth is that most DSPs and points of sale do not report back sales data to advertisers or artists in a timely manner.
Welcome to the walled garden
When a fan clicks an ad to listen to a song on Spotify, advertisers can track the fan all the way up to opening up the Spotify app, but what happens next is a black hole. Spotify does not report what happens once a visitor enters their walled garden. Information like whether a fan only listens to 29 seconds of a song (= 0 streams/sales), or if they ended up listening to ten full songs, or if they ended up clicking the follow button on the artist’s profile, are simply not shared.
Concert tickets are another good example of missing conversion transparency. There isn’t a universal system to track ticket sales in real-time across all venues in the U.S., let alone globally. Livenation’s Ticketmaster is the closest thing in existence, but of course Ticketmaster, in line with most businesses today, likes to keep their data proprietary. Advertisers are able to tell how many people landed on an event page, but most of the time, not how many people actually completed the checkout process and bougt a ticket.
The good news
Conversions come in all different shapes and sizes, and lots of them, including video views, landing page loads, or post-engagements, are fully trackable and attributable.
For pro clients, our b00st.com team goes the extra mile whenever possible. A good example is having access to real-time sales data through an artist’s merch store to report actual sale conversions.
However, even b00st.com is unable to report something that the platforms and DSPs don’t share, which is why we focus on reporting topline ad metrics, such as clicks, views, CPC, CPV, CPM, and CTR.
A word of wisdom
Next time you read the word “conversion” in an ad report and are not sure what it means, it’s not inappropriate to ask how the advertiser or agency attributes conversions.