Council for Research Study Calls for Measurement Improvement Across Platforms

The Council for Research Excellence (CRE) recently fielded its latest survey of Nielsen clients – our first since 2010 – canvassing clients for their views on industry priorities for 2014 and of the work of the CRE.

More than 300 Nielsen clients who responded offered clear direction as to where they’d like to see industry research efforts focused.

Topping the list:  Survey respondents want to see improvement in digital measurement (91% of respondents cited this as a priority) and in total campaign measurement, or “aligning impressions across platforms” (90%).

Other top priorities:  “mobile and the impact of digital technology on media use” (cited by 85%) and the “user experience across video platforms” (84%).   

Other research topics receiving high selection levels in our survey: 

-- “application of Big Data and analytic techniques to audience measurement” (77%);



--“further set-top-box study” (74%);

--“changing demographics” (72%);

-- “the impact of social media on purchasing decisions” (73%);

--“media use by life stage” (68%);

-- “measurement of media consumption ‘out of home’ and ‘at work’ ” (67%);

-- additional work in Video Consumer Mapping (observational research of usage and engagement)(66%); --“measuring the impact of pod length on commercials across video platforms”  (59%).

The high priority assigned to mobile and the impact of digital technology may not come as a surprise, given the reports of rapidly growing mobile-device use and interest we’ve already seen in research into this area.  

In June 2013, the CRE announced findings from its “TV Untethered” study of mobile-video viewing, attracting a substantial audience to our presentation of these findings at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement 8.0 conference. 

We also found significant interest among fellow audience researchers in June 2012 when the CRE launched a User Experience (or “UX”) database for the study of the video-user experience, drawing a large number of participants to our Webinar on the topic.   Both sets of documents can be found at the CRE site,

More recently, the CRE launched a two-year study designed to understand the impact of increased video availability across a growing number of devices -- and how people think about, and consume, video. 

The CRE retained GfK for this longitudinal video-viewing ethnography, and we have an estimated completion date of fourth-quarter 2015. 

The longitudinal ethnography will be accompanied by “accelerator” ethnography, designed to help researchers understand the adoption of new video technology as consumer prices decline. 

The studies will encompass viewing via TV sets, PCs/laptops, connected TVs (gaming consoles, smart TVs, set-top-boxes, wi-fi enabled devices), smart phones, tablets, personal gaming devices and DVRs.  

Among the objectives of this effort is to help understand what the trends mean for advertisers’ ability to connect with consumers.

Clearly our recent survey was enlightening as to which subjects media and marketing people consider ripe for additional, and in some cases fresh, study.

I chair the CRE’s Communications Committee, which oversaw the survey.  Other committee chairs--like me, they are research executives within the advertising and media fields -- will be considering these latest survey findings as they evaluate their own committees’ research plans for 2014. 

For example, the CRE already is engaged in discussions related to cross-platform/ total-campaign measurement and the use of Big Data, among other topics cited as priorities by the respondents for whose participation we’re truly grateful.

Respondents weighed in on myriad additional questions and topics. Survey findings will be made available via the CRE site (

Emily Vanides, VP, Director of Research, MediaVest, Chair, Council for Research Excellence’s Communications Committee



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