Ironically, digital media -- once thought to be the most accountable media -- has turned out to be the least accountable, with viewability levels, according to some studies, hovering around just 50%. That’s got to change or advertisers will pull dollars off the table.
That’s according to Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, who spoke at the 4As Conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Liodice said the industry must improve media measurement significantly. Marketers need and want to buy digital media, but the return on investment has been hugely disappointing. The ANA CEO cited some sources that estimate that for every digital dollar spent by a marketer, only 50 cents is applied to the media itself.
That’s one reason why Liodice and the ANA are pushing for an e-grp measurement standard that would include digital, TV, radio and print. That’s the “holy grail,” he said. “We need to have that kind of comparison because marketing is integrated.”
The cross-platform measurement standard would improve the precision of marketing mix models, Liodice said.
Gayle Fuguitt, CEO of the Advertising Research Foundation, said the biggest problem with measurement standards is that they “don’t keep up with consumer behavior.” Relatively new media, like social and mobile, are rapidly growing sectors in terms of consumer consumption, she said. “But we’re still learning” how to accurately measure that consumption.
Another problem, Liodice said, is that over the years, no single unbiased entity has been responsible for developing industry measurement standards. “There’s been a vacuum,” he added, which has allowed for-profit third-party entities like Nielsen and other vendors to develop standards over time, based on economic models that work best for them, but not necessarily for the customers that purchase their measurement services.
The ANA is convening a “measurement summit” to discuss steps for change, Liodice said. Marketers need to take “control of the agenda and bring it in-house.” The summit would set priorities and a game plan for instituting needed changes.