Earlier this year in my Web Analytics and Behavioral Targeting Predictions for this year, I wrote
"Offsite Analytics – With proliferation of Widgets and Rich Media ads a need to measure, understand and optimize the user interaction with widgets and Rich Media ads will become important. Web Analytics will include offsite measurements i.e. user interactions with widgets and Rich Media Ads"
Yesterday I came across an article on iMedia Connection that validates my thinking. The article talk about an The online widget Ad by Paramount Vantage to promote “The Kite Runner” a movie This ad unit (widget) allows users to interact and make a ticket purchase for the movie without leaving the widget i.e without going to advertiser’s site. As you read the article by Media Post, you will see that they (agency/advertiser) are measuring the interaction rate (not sure what exactly is considered interaction maybe number of visitors/visit who clicked inside the widget/to number of visitors/visit who saw it) and the conversion rate. According to the article: "The first trial campaign saw interaction rates at 14 percent compared with other online campaigns where 0.5 percent is considered successful."
They also say that ticket sales ticked up but did not say how much.
As ad units like these become common there will be a need to measure more than just interactions and conversions. There will be a need to measure where in the whole conversion process visitors dropped off, what they searched for (cities, zip code, times etc), what other pieces on the widget distracted them, need for A/B and Multivariate testing etc.
I also believe that it will become common to use Behavioral Targeting in these widgets. Let’s say a widget like this was promoted by Fandango and they were promoting tickets for several movies. Knowing the user past behavior they could put the ticket sales for the movie genre that fits the users past behavior instead of any random movie.
What do you think? Will ad units like this become common or this is just a fad? What about behavioral targeting within these ad units? Yes, I know privacy is one of the issues but that can easily be worked out, if the use the opt-in model, as I said in my predictions about Behavioral Targeting.