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Branding vs. Sales: A Quick Guide to KPIs

By November 24, 2015March 21st, 2018No Comments

Our previous blog post discussed the importance of understanding measurement and defining KPIs when determining advertising success. In this post two basic campaign types will be compared to show differing methods of evaluating campaign success.

Before diving into this follow up we should reiterate the previous post’s point. The first step towards increased efficiency of advertising dollars is understanding the prioritization of certain metrics. To advance further we must know what the metrics actually mean, and when we should be selecting each as the KPI.

The two examples we are covering in this post are popular campaign types- branding and sales.


There are a number of goals closely associated with branding success that differ from campaign to campaign, but branding campaigns typically aim to get the word out about a business or makeover an existing brand perception. For branding campaigns we try to get the brand message in front of as many people in the target audience as possible. The most relevant metrics to this type of campaign are as follows: Viewability, Reach/Impressions, CPM, and vCPM.

  • Viewability: The percent of time that ads are in view or above the fold of the consumer’s screen. This holds obvious importance because of the emphasis on getting the message across. High viewability increases the likelihood that people come across the message.
  • Reach/Impressions: Both describe how many people either have seen the ad or have the chance to see the ad. Having a high number of impressions served and unique people reached is important when branding a company in a new space or to a new audience.
  • CPM: How much is spent per thousand impressions served. Due to reach importance, keeping a low CPM ensures the ability to reach maximum potential consumers. CPM is kept low by placing importance on getting in front of the target audience, but not necessarily engaging them with the ad. When optimizing for a lower CPM it is important to also consider the quality of the placement. In many cases you get what you pay for, so being aware of ad farms, bot traffic, and low quality inventory is imperative to finding a balance between quality and cost.
  • vCPM: The culmination of CPM and viewability creating a metric called viewable CPM. This is the cost per thousand impressions that were specifically viewable to your targeted audience. vCPM is rapidly becoming an excellent metric to optimize towards because of the impact on quality views from your relevant audience. As a fairly new metric, it is definitely one to keep in mind.


When it comes to sales campaigns, getting the right message in front of a target audience with an intent or interest to buy becomes more important than reaching as many people as possible. A few of the most important metrics to consider when looking at sales goals include: CPA/CPC, Clicks, and CTR.

  • CPA/CPC: How much money it costs per consumer acquisition or conversion. Maintaining low conversion costs keeps ROI high when making digital sales. Setting this as a priority goal to optimize towards can vastly improve sales campaigns.
  • Clicks: How many clicks an advertisement has seen over its’ lifetime. The more engagement, the better and hopefully more effective the ad. Conducting A/B testing can continually help develop better, more dynamic creative that will likely keep increasing click count.
  • CTR: The percent of people that see an ad and make the decision to click through for more information. With a sales campaign, there is obvious desire to attract people to continue on to ultimately make a purchase. High CTR values can lead to higher sales and optimization towards relevant marketing segments through a variety of means, but CTR is not the end-all, be-all metric. It’s important to take a holistic view of the campaign and paint a picture of user behavior through the use of tracking pixels and analytics. Sometimes users may click through, but quickly bounce off your website. Other times, users will see your ad but may come back to shop later through a different route or device.

Hopefully going over even just two broad campaign types can shed light on the importance of knowledge about metrics. This can provide some things to think about when developing strategies and benchmarks for future campaign analysis. Knowledge is power, but only when used correctly.

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