Interesting article last week on Silicon Alley Insider, commenting on recent OPA/comScore study designed to help the advertising world get beyond the click. This topic is near and dear for me and I have written on it previously. Now, I don’t always agree with the OPA (for example, I’m not sure I would have gone with “The Silent Click” as a title for the research – sounds like a bad Meryl Streep movie), but in this case they are right on. Clicks don’t equal sales. Period. (Sales don’t equal ROI either, by the way). The research (slide 11) showed online ad exposure increased online sales by 7%. We’ve seen the same dynamic looking at offline sales as well; those exposed to online advertising buy more of the advertised product in offline retail stores. This is an even more powerful result than the online data presented by OPA/comScore because nearly 90% of all retail spending still occurs offline, even higher in key brand categories like CPG. Interestingly, the OPA deck stops short of presenting any actual correlations (or lack thereof) between CTRs and the other variables they discuss. So I will pick up where they leave off – in our offline sales lift results to date we have seen no correlation between CTR and ROI (offline sales lift vs. media spend). What drives ROI is a mix of Cost/HH reach and quality of content environment where ads are shown. Clicks might be useful for something, but not as a proxy for ad effectiveness.