Advertisers are "increasingly interested in very complex
targeting scenarios," said Nick Talbert, director of product
marketing at MediaMind. "These are people that are really pushing
the needle in terms of really sophisticated campaigns."
The number of digital campaign analytics technologies and
companies has blossomed, and their tags are proliferating.
MediaMind found that the number of ads with two or more third party
tags -- which help track ad interactions, brand impact, and measure
for campaign optimization -- rose 267% from 2011 to 2013. Today,
almost a third of digital ads employ more than one tag, up from
around 25% in 2011.
Indeed, these tags are so rampant, the number of ads that
featured five or more of them skyrocketed 476% in the years
evaluated. According to the study, that's nearly 19 times the
growth rate of ads with just one third party tag attached.
Advertisers doing lots of geo-targeted advertising with a
variety highly-targeted messages based on location and demographic
information tend to have the most tag appendages, such as auto,
telecom and CPG brands.
The number of conversion tags, which track whether people
complete an action via an ad, such as signing up to download a
white paper or purchasing an item, is way up, along with the number
of events they track. The number of tags used by the top 10% of
advertisers rose 49% since 2010, and events tracked leapt 460%.
"These are the guys that are getting the most out of digital,"
said Mr. Talbert.
However, he cautioned there is a point of diminishing returns, and
tag-hungry advertisers could be reaching the brink.
"There's a lot more gains you can potentially make by looking
across the board," he said, rather than poring over a swath of
reports, each revealing limited views of overall campaign
He also noted the increased amount of setup time and costs
associated with additional tags and technology layers, suggesting
that some campaigns can take as much as five weeks to arrange, in
part because of the tag pile-on. "At some point the overhead
becomes more daunting than the results," he said, adding that the
point at which overhead surpasses the true value of the
technologies is "at a different spot for each advertiser and each
"We think that a client's ROI is going to be greater served by
looking at the synergies across digital as a whole rather than
silo-ing each and every strategy," he said.
The Complexity index