PALO ALTO, Calif. — Looking to help marketers improve their digital brand campaigns, Facebook Studios, a community within Facebook, has released results of a study aimed at identifying the right metrics to drive and measure campaigns.

Since the early days of digital advertising, online marketing has been focused on optimizing ad campaigns for the click. But while clicks are an effective way to measure campaigns designed to drive traffic and fulfill direct response goals, research from firms like Nielsen suggest that clicks aren’t the right metric for the broader set of marketing objectives.

So how can marketers who want to drive in-store purchase or branding objectives build and measure their campaigns? Yesterday at IAB MIXX, Brad Smallwood, Facebook’s head of measurement and insights, discussed findings from a study conducted in partnership with Datalogix. The study looked a tool that connects ad exposure (seeing a brand’s ad) on Facebook with in-store purchases (buying the brand’s product). It also enables marketers who have offline sales objectives to measure and optimize their digital campaigns. The following are a few of the study’s conclusions out of 50 digital campaigns reviewed:

Impressions Create Value: Ninety-nine percent of sales generated from online branding ad campaigns were from people who saw but did not interact with ads — proof that it is the delivery of the marketing message to the right consumer and not the click that creates real value for brand advertisers.

Reach Drives Revenue for Online Brand Marketers: This is a concept very familiar to TV marketers, who often start with a reach objective. When applied to digital brand campaigns, the study demonstrated that campaigns that maximized reach had, on average, a 70 percent higher ROI.

Finding the Right Message Frequency Is Key: If marketers reallocated high frequency impressions to people seeing too few impressions, they would see a 40 percent increase in ROI with the same budget. That simply means there’s a “sweet spot” of effective frequency that maximizes ROI, which the DataLogix tool can help marketers empirically isolate for each brand and campaign.

While these conclusions might seem familiar to traditional marketers who use TV, they represent a substantial shift from the focus on click-optimization that is more typical of digital campaign planning. For more, watch Smallwood's full talk here.