5 Metrics That Helped Snapchat Change the Narrative About Its Lack of Data

Just a year ago, advertisers were outspoken on lack of data

The cosmetics brand has found more than one way to engage many of the app's 166 million daily users.The cosmetics brand has found more than one way to engage many of the app's 166 million daily users.The cosmetics brand has found more than one way to engage many of the app's 166 million daily users.The cosmetics brand has found more than one way to engage many of the app's 166 million daily users.
Sources: Getty Images, Snapchat

This week, mobile agency Fetch will run its first Snapchat campaign for an entertainment brand using the messaging app’s granular, interest-level targeting that serves ads to people based on what types of videos they have watched. Such sophisticated targeting wasn’t available to marketers a year ago and reflects the mobile-messaging company’s aggressive moves into the world of ad tech and measurement while hoping to compete with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others. Jeremy Sigel, global director of partnerships and emerging media at Essence, has tested nearly all Snapchat’s ad types and believes in its measurement progress.

“The speed that they’ve onboarded these partners so that they could be compared to a Facebook, who has been around for 10 years, or a Google, who has been around 20 years, [is] a remarkable story,” Sigel contended.

Since revealing its API (application programming interface) last summer, Snapchat has expanded from 10 to 15 measurement partners that help marketers analyze metrics like viewability, brand awareness and conversions. Last week, the player inked a deal with measurement firm Moat to create a data-based score to show its ads meet watchdog Media Rating Council’s guidelines for viewable impressions. Additionally, in the same week, the app debuted a self-serve ad buying platform that includes a dashboard with a bevy of stats. Still, there remains a gap, in terms of comparing Snapchat ads to other types of media, especially with the app’s goal of cutting into big TV budgets. Julie Whiting, associate director of paid social at DigitasLBi, said that she’d like to see more “cross-channel measurement—measuring incremental reach that Snapchat gets you compared to your other media in market.”

Here, a look at Snapchat’s five buckets of measurement tools:

1. Viewability and impressions

With advertisers increasingly demanding platforms like Snapchat, Google and Facebook undergo full-blown MRC audits, Snapchat is beginning to work with Moat and the MRC to create a “viewability score” to assess if consumers see vertical ads.

“That’s probably where we can compare them to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter,” explained Torrey Taralli, head of U.S. paid social at Fetch.

Snapchat has similar arrangements with a handful of other measurement firms to track clicks and impression data. “Our campaigns need to have a solid foundation. We need confirmation that our ads are viewable and being seen by our target audience first and foremost,” added Whiting of DigitasLBi.

2. Audience targeting

Snapchat offers 60 audience groups—dubbed Lifestyle Categories—that lets advertisers zero in on specific people based on what content they look at from its publishers section, Discover, and Live Stories. For example, a sports retailer could target millennial guys who watch ESPN or The Bleacher Report’s Discover channel.

“Here, they’re stepping up and partnering with people to do this sophisticated demo targeting that folks expect,” said Sigel of WPP-owned Essence.

3. Purchase intent, brand awareness

Snapchat leans on Nielsen and Millward Brown Digital to run surveys  for advertisers that measure stats like brand lift, brand favorability and ad recall.

Snapchat cites recent fourth-quarter research from Millward Brown Digital to back up its measurement efforts. Snap Ads generated 1.6 times better purchase intent and brand favorability than the research firm’s averages. In brand awareness, Snap beat Millward Brown Digital’s average by 1.3 times.

Essence’s Sigel said that the agency created its own feedback tool that cuts the turnaround time for survey results by half, but added, “The more data, the better.”

4. Conversions

While film studios and entertainment brands were early testers of Snap Ads as a way to grab the attention of cord-cutting millennials, Snap needs solid data to prove that its ads work for big, sales-minded retailers and packaged-goods brands.

NexTech, July 27-30, 2020 Save your virtual seat for Adweek NexTech, July 27-July 30th to explore privacy, data, attribution and the benchmarks that matter. Learn more.
This story first appeared in the May 8, 2017, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Recommended articles