Evolving Measurement for a New Age of Marketing

Evolving measurement for a new age of marketing

Today, many advertisers use desktop web analytics as their primary guidance. These tools are crucial for digital performance optimization, particularly when online sales, acquisitions, or conversions are a primary goal. With these systems — also known as “last touch” or “last click” — the most recent exposure (before conversion) is considered the main reason why people ultimately decide to make a purchase. Over one-third of surveyed US marketers and agencies have reported that last-click attribution will become more important in a cookie-less world. 1

Snapchat is an immersive platform built for a new age of marketing, creating opportunities to connect with consumers via augmented reality (AR) and vertical video. We believe measurement approaches must evolve for this new era. Relying on last-click attribution as a primary lever for digital media optimization can severely harm brands in the long term, causing them to lose out on major opportunities to grow their brand. 77% of Snapchatters say they are unlikely to take action after seeing an interesting ad on their phone that would result in a last-click attributable event. 2

To showcase the true performance potential of ad engagement, Snapchat commissioned Neustar to conduct a meta-analysis of multi-touch attribution (MTA) for 10 brands across multiple verticals including retail, consumer packaged goods, and entertainment. Unlike last-touch attribution, MTA is a modeled approach that assigns advertiser’s conversion credit across a wide range of marketing touchpoints. This method models both a person’s natural tendency to take an action as well as the impact of their marketing interactions. The length of marketing tactics varied by client, but for this particular analysis, most of the measured impressions fell within Q4 2020 and Q4 2021 and covered the US only.

To assess efficiency, Snapchat’s contribution to both on and offline conversion events were evaluated and compared to other major paid digital media elements. The assessments consisted of measuring efficacy, impact, and efficiency, as well as display, paid search, online video, and social. 3

Last touch greatly under-credits Snapchat’s value

Neustar found that last-touch severely under-credits the value of Snapchat advertising. On average, 3.7 times fewer conversions and 3.2 times less revenue were attributed to Snapchat when using a last-touch attribution approach. To further unpack these differences between last-touch and true incremental MTA performance, it’s critical to assess Snapchat’s role in the path to conversion as well as how Snapchat contributes to advertiser returns.

Snapchat is full-funnel

Snapchat’s position in the path to purchase is quite balanced, with the vast majority (83%) landing in the middle of the pathway. However, Snapchat is more likely to be a consumer’s first exposure to the brand among converters when compared to search, online video, or social. Looking at any other social platform, Snapchat clearly provides more last-touch exposures. 

Snapchat can shorten the purchase cycle

On average, Snapchat converts 10% faster on display and 7% faster than social.  For brands, this could amount to shaving days off consumers’ path to purchase. In fact, 44% of conversions involving Snapchat occur within a week of exposure, which, among measurement of other digital channels,  is second only to online search. Snapchat’s immersive advertising experiences bring people closer to a brand and keep that brand close to consumers.


Our audience is unique

Among the 10 brands measured, the analyses determined that Snapchat speaks to a more unique audience than all other channels measured. Per dollar spent, Snapchat significantly reaches more unique prospects than online video (+191%) or social (+50%). Snapchat’s unmatched ability to reach new potential buyers — and reach them before other channels — lays the foundation for why advertising on Snapchat is highly performant. 


Efficient and effective

Using multi-touch attribution provides visibility to Snapchat’s true performance. When compared to other channels, Snapchat, relative to spend, contributes disproportionately more to both attributable conversions and revenue. Snapchat’s incrementality — or new conversions as a proportion of total impressions — is aligned with other social and exceeds both display and online video. Efficiency, defined as incremental conversions per unit of spend, is moderately higher on average than display, online video, or other social. 

When comparing efficiency to paid search, the difference is stark, with Snapchat achieving 10.5 times more efficiency than paid search. Neustar theorizes that with paid search, those converting generally have higher ingoing propensity, which could not be accounted for in a last-click measurement approach.

As reflected by research, relying solely on last-click or last-touch attribution will cause advertisers to lose out on the ability to convert new and existing customers efficiently in general and across the entirety of their digital campaigns. At Snapchat, we take a holistic measurement approach, rooted in incrementality, that considers a variety of privacy-centric methods aligned with campaign KPIs. 

If you’d like to learn more about our approach to continuous learning and measurement, please reach out to your Snapchat marketing science representative.

1 Source: Advertiser Perceptions, “Identity: Are we heading toward resolution, revolution, or regression?” Oct. 19, 2020.
2 Source: Snap Inc. survey of US Snapchat users January 22 - 26, 2021. Age and location data subject to restrictions. See https://businesshelp.snapchat.com/en-US/a/audience-size-tool for details. Question: If you see an interesting ad on your phone for something you won’t buy immediately, which of the following, if any, do you do?"; 456 respondents"
3 Neustar does not capture OTT or Youtube. Based on Neustar’s capabilities, Facebook and Instagram are only included in overall attribution, incrementality and efficiency analyses.