With 91% of advertisers already having a data management platform (DMP) or planning to use one in the next year, the marketing world is taking decisive steps to capture, unify, and activate consumer data.

Using data to understand consumer behaviors and preferences is a hot topic for advertisers. However, they first have to identify which metrics to pinpoint and understand how to capture those metrics during digital advertising campaigns. To do this, advertisers have to ask both strategic and tactical questions.



  • How do data points collected from digital ads influence other strategic or creative efforts, such as our email newsletter program and organic social media content?

  • How does tracking and using consumer data impact business goals?

  • How are we delivering the personalization our target consumers expect?

  • How are gathering all of our data to gain a 360-degree view of consumer?

  • How will our internal teams organize and share consumer data?



  • Do we measure ad impressions?

  • What’s our benchmark for the video completion rate?

  • Should we consider link clicks as the main success metric?

  • Does the time on a page after a click matter — and how much?

  • Should we primarily track revenue-generating conversions, such as an online purchase made after clicking a promotional ad?

  • Do we measure the same metrics for run-of-site ad buys as we do for a Facebook ad campaign?


Asking the right questions can be a daunting task. The list above is by no means comprehensive. What should advertisers measure, then, if they have so many options and so much data at their disposal?

Based on the Salesforce Digital Advertising 2020 report, we’ve compiled the top three metrics that matter to many digital advertising leaders.


1. Brand Recognition and Lift

Marketers have been measuring brand recognition and lift in many ways, especially via social media. A common way to measure brand lift over the course of a digital ad campaign is to measure follower count and engagement on social media pages to see if there has been a spike.

On top of the more traditional methods of measurement, there are also exciting new ways to track recognition and lift. For instance, if a company sponsors an event with its logo, a platform like Einstein Vision for Social Studio can use image recognition to track when and how the logo is showing up in an image shared on Twitter, even when the brand’s name isn’t mentioned directly in text.

In addition to monitoring social channels, 18% of advertisers are starting to measure brand lift in relation to their digital advertising efforts. As one example, Hunt’s, a brand owned by ConAgra Foods, Inc., measured a 200% brand lift through its digital content efforts by targeting environmentally conscious consumers with sustainability messages. This targeted content effort gave Hunt’s the ability to measure content engagement effectively and feed more relevant content to consumers.


2. Impressions and Web Traffic

When optimizing ad effectiveness, 19% of advertisers say that ad impressions and web traffic as a result of digital ads are important considerations.

The Digital Advertising 2020 report mentions, “The value of impressions and web traffic indicates that advertisers also remain dedicated to acquiring new business.”

This may be most apparent in ecommerce, where traffic to product pages can make or break revenue goals. So, understanding how to increase the ratio of ad impressions to web traffic is vital. In this field, A/B testing — changing only one element in an ad, such as the button size or CTA copy — can tell advertisers which ads generate the most web traffic.


3. Customer Lifetime Value

The most comprehensive metric, and the one that 27% of advertisers focus on, is customer lifetime value. This metric aims to pinpoint how profitable single consumers are over the course of their relationship with a company. This means that companies are seeing the promise of future returns from focusing on the consumer’s journey — from when they’re acquired to when they (ideally) become loyal advocates.

In fact, Business Insider reports that “returning customers spend nearly double that of new customers, and are almost twice as likely to make a future purchase." Understanding customer lifetime value can help you estimate repeatable business you’ll generate from a given customer, as well as how much you should allocate to acquire a new customer.

Whether you’re just starting to dig into digital advertising or you’re reevaluating which metrics truly help you optimize consumer engagement, see what digital advertising leaders are saying in our Digital Advertising 2020 report.