Actionable Online Audience Intelligence Key To Big Brand Investment
Later today, we expect that Google will confirm its first foray into delivering a (free?) modeled audience measurement and planning solution via Google Toolbar, possibly Google Analytics, and other network data sources. This follows Google's enhancement last week of Google Trends, to provide traffic counts for web sites.
This is a major event in our space since a great many publishers are paying substantial fees for audience data from syndicated services, which don't always necessarily enable full marketplace visibility or accurate audience detail.
For years, our industry has been pushing for improved audience data, and more importantly, a model that enables real-time segmentation at the impression level so that audiences -- instead of bulk impressions -- can be purchased and delivered. We have always claimed greater "accountability" versus other mediums, but failed to recognize that we really only own that mandate on the performance side of the business where conversion data is king.
Brand marketers -- who care about demographics, passionate groups, and customer segments -- honestly have had little to leverage beyond contextual, behavioral, and retargeting solutions. Nice, but nothing dramatic, scalable, or significant enough to bring them to the online ad table in a major way.
Among the solutions required to attract major brand investment online are greater confidence in the numbers on which their spending is based and more intuitive ways to understand and deliver appropriate audiences.
At Quantcast, we have had considerable success in helping the sell-side better understand and package their unique audiences. More than 10 million sites, blogs and video media assets participate in our Quantified Publisher program. Yesterday, we announced significant expansion to our measurement solution that translates directly measured cookie-based usage data to people-level audience information. This follows our recent launch of a media planning tool, and our commitment to the MRC accreditation process -- moves aimed at enhancing access to, transparency in, and accountability of directly-measured audience data.
These are important steps along the path that will bring buyers and sellers of audiences together around common, trusted audience data that is both accurate and actionable.
So, what does the future hold? What we should be paying much more attention to is the fact that digital media is a dynamic, impression based model where publishers sell, and advertisers buy, unique groupings of impressions based on real-time constraints. No audience measurement service has yet to supply the marketplace with adequate intelligence to evaluate, or drive addressability and targeting within this model.
The innovations that address these challenges will drive the media economy as we move from a unit based, to impression based economy. Not just on the web, but ultimately, across all digital media platforms. The truly addressable media economy will herald the next chapter in media planning, buying and selling -- as such, the next few years will be very interesting in the media world.