The industry practice of using click rate as a “true” measure of advertising effect originates from a belief that “only what is clicked on has effect”.

A passage from a research study using multiple experiments to elaborate on the issue reveals that the industry may be mistaken; “Using click-through as a measure of advertising effect seems to be an inappropriate procedure where the market researcher is at risk of measuring the wrong thing. Remember Krugman’s statement, “[…] the nature of effective impact of communication or advertising on low-involvement topics, objects, or products consists of the building or strengthening of picture-image memory potential. Such potential is properly measured by recognition, not by recall. The use of recall obscures or hides already existing impact.”The use of the click-through measure obscures already existing impact to an even greater extent than what recall does since it is an even less sensitive measure than what recall is.”

One could perhaps add that the purpose of advertising is not always to achieve a click. If that would be the case advertisers would pull their hair nowadays since click rates are dropping and are now often found to be below 1‰ in a population. Instead of solely relying on click rates, advertisers should include additional measures of advertising effect. //

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