Can 3MS Drive Unparalleled Growth In Digital Marketing?
This initiative is being spearheaded by the IAB, 4A’s and ANA, and while it was announced earlier this year, I only recently heard about it. Back in the early 2000s the IAB was involved in research that clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of online advertising for brand advertisers an effort that generated a lot of interest in and attention for the Web as a viable brand-building medium. This has that same potential impact because our industry is known for being complicated, which can scare off some marketers with weaker stomachs. Simplification and ease of use can dramatically increase the role online will play in more traditional brand budgets, which will only solidify us as part of the crucial two, TV and online.
The 3MS hits on five areas of focus:
- Classifying creative formats
- Standard brand metrics
- Attitudinal studies
The first three areas are probably the most important, while I see the last two as different sides of the same coin. Viewability in our industry is kind of a joke, with an entire cross-section of the business monetizing ads that are never seen, much less have the chance to affect consumer behavior. In many cases these ads do not even exist. Fraud is an issue that the viewability initiative will address at the core.
GRPs, and whether or not we should use them online, have been a focus since the mid ’90. It’s about time we determine the proper way to use them. The shift toward audience based buying aligns nicely with a model of measurement based on audience rather than impressions. Impressions are a gross number, but audience is more refined and should be reflected as such.
No two creative formats are created equal, and it’s clear they should not be measured equally, either. Banners come in different sizes, interstitials offer a captive audience, and search is hyper-focused on a self-selected area of intent. Each of these has a different role in your marketing mix and that should be reflected at the outset so expectations can be managed accordingly.
Brand advertisers need a standard means of understanding the role that online can play, and this is even more important when you broaden the understanding of online to include mobile, connected TV’s and larger-screen tablets. The size and scope of the device affects the way content is going to be consumed, and therefore the role advertising will play within that content. If this initiative can provide marketers with a suggested means of measuring the impact of these ads on different formats and across different screens, and if marketers can integrate this measurement into the way they measure the impact of TV, print, radio and other media formats, then true attribution models could be developed. Attribution requires a standard, and that standard simply does not exist in the current models.
Once 3MS is established, we may see another boom in digital. It has the potential to create an irreversible tipping point, one where the dollars flood in and they never retreat. Are you involved and ready to help? Are you engaging with these groups to make your support known? Will you abide by these standards once they’re established?
I hope everyone is paying attention, because things are about to get good!