3rd March 2014: A study of more than 1,200 consumers across the UK and US has revealed that marketers should better embrace the latest consumer insights technologies to ensure accurate measurement of digital campaign success, which goes far beyond ad impression figures.


The ‘See-Say’ study, designed to ascertain whether what participants say they saw is what they really saw – (‘seen’ versus ‘recall’), was conducted by eye-tracking specialist Sticky, using the extensive panels of market research software provider Cint. It covered four different target groups and looked at ads from a variety of major brands, including Levis (UK and US), Netflix, Wuaki, Bank of America and ING Direct.


The participants were shown a number of adverts and then subsequently asked if they recalled seeing them. This was then compared to the gaze patterns that had been monitored by Sticky’s technology, and a See-Say gap was unveiled, i.e. people sometimes say they have not seen what they actually did seen and vice versa. The gaps varied across the board and indicated that there can be a real disparity in the gap size even when like-for-like advertisements are shown to the same group. However, across all the tested ads in this study there were an average of 25 % false negatives (actually saw the ad but didn’t recall doing so) and 10 % false positives (recalled seeing an ad but actually hadn’t).


Mathias Plank, CEOat Sticky, explained: “The rise of online channels means digital marketing campaigns are an excellent avenue for marketers, but this presents a problem in terms of measuring true reach. The norm has become to measure impressions and click through rates, but this is not a true indication of ad reach in terms of whether the audience has seen it. There is a danger of over or under estimating the media investment, which is exactly what our study highlighted, and shows marketers need to better understand the effect of the online display ad campaigns they invest in, as well as better understand the audience they are targeting.”


Cint’s CEO, Bo Mattsson, said: “This study reinforces to digital marketers the need for a combination approach to gathering insights in order to better direct spend to increase ROI. Using cutting edge technology and reliable survey panels comprising deeply profiled respondents, to speak to the right audience, is the key to ensuring digital ad spend is better targeted and ROI is enhanced. Obtaining such insights means marketers can decrease spend on ads which are not seen, or use the technology to gauge reaction to visuals and messages.


“Sticky’s service integrates with our self-service survey sampling tool, Cint Access, so projects can be set up quickly, easily managed, and over 10 million individuals in 57 different countries can be accessed cost-effectively through OpinionHUB marketplace.”


Cint announced its partnership with Sticky towards the end of last year, and the collaboration offers brand advertisers, who are looking to evaluate their online advertising success, access to the reactions of millions of individuals from across the world.


A breakdown of the study data is available on request.

Download Our Logo

Grab a .zip with our logo and icon
in PNG and EPS formats. (4.3MB)

Get the logo pack