Breaking Out Of Legacy Measurement: Q&A With Marketo's Ellen Weinstein

It seems as if the accessibility of big data enables all types of media trading, targeting and placement. Still, it was by talking to Ellen Weinstein that I learned how marketing campaigns can use data segmentation to impact “the addressable market.”

Weinstein is a television industry veteran with a background in designed planning, buying and workflow systems using data for such companies as Nielsen and Canoe. She is currently involved in helping agencies to quantify addressable marketing efforts at Marketo.

In my interview with her, Weinstein defines the addressable market as that which connects to a consumer in some personally identifiable way, including anonymous cookie tracking, which can be used to give a more complete picture of the customer journey. She talks about Marketo, changes in the legacy systems that impede the evolution of our industry, and what the future holds for companies on both sides of the buy/sell model.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview. The complete version in video form can be viewed here.



CW: Agencies are on the forefront of change. How are they de-siloing their functions to become more nimble?

EW: A number of agencies have recognized that technology is very important in how one evaluates and makes media decisions. Among the big agencies, many have acquired or formed smaller companies that can be more flexible in the digital space. And I think that you will start to see consolidation where all these smaller entities are subsumed into the larger agency.

In terms of reaching the consumer, a lot of the agencies have formed divisions that are essentially internal consulting divisions that use a lot of these different technologies -- it’s usually three or four individual channels. Then they can consult with the brand executive on what would be the best combination of technologies to use to achieve goals. 

CW: What do you see as the role of legacy systems and measurement in the new media landscape? 

EW: Many years ago, I was selling Birch Radio, which was a competitor of Arbitron. It was a very difficult sell because so much was and is based on history, historical data and the prices everybody pays.  So to introduce a new way to evaluate all of this would take a lot of time.

The legacy systems really do not have a quick way of bringing new data in, so I think there will be other vendors that may sit between legacy systems to allow agencies to quickly evaluate. But they almost need to take all the data they have and be able to translate it into a different base because today they are just taking what they did last year and doing it again this year. At some point that is not going to work anymore. 

CW: What about legacy TV measurement data compared to other viewership measurements?

EW: If you are basing your decisions on Nielsen data, there is a huge history there. If you wanted to look at Rentrak data, you must figure out how to do that and how to make the client feel comfortable in deciding which numbers are more realistic of what is reflected in the marketplace. I think it has to be done, and I think different agencies are moving in that direction. But it will take a long time.

Some legacy systems don’t have access to Rentrak data. Clients are requesting Rentrak data and they are manually building it into their spreadsheets. That will change eventually, but we need to move quicker. I believe that legacy systems are impeding our movement.  

CW: There is more use of segmentations to target consumer -- but when it comes to posting, we still use age and gender as proxies. Do you see this changing?

EW: I think we have to. People are using that data to post, but when they are negotiating they are using qualitative and purchase data. They are making decisions on what to buy using much more detailed data than what they are posting against.

And it really comes down to the price trending. There has to be a way to start to look at how the industry can move from age/sex to actual consumer data. It’s available. Many agencies are collecting detailed data that is not age/sex and they may be using that for buying decisions. But the seller is using age/sex, and the client is asking for age/sex. It may be an educational process. 

CW: How do you track marketing campaigns at Marketo?

EW: Marketo shows you what marketing programs are working and what is not working. You can slice and dice the data in many ways to understand the marketing impact on the customer journey. Because Marketo connects to your customer database, the system already knows a lot about your website visitors. You can use that data to personalize what you show [those visitors] so you are always improving your campaigns. We also integrate with a number of DMPs, where you use your own secret sauce to create customer profiles and target customers smarter and sooner in the customer lifecycle.

2 comments about "Breaking Out Of Legacy Measurement: Q&A With Marketo's Ellen Weinstein ".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 20, 2015 at 4:26 p.m.

    Charlene, I understand that Ellen Weinstein has to be a little vague when answering some of the questions you posed to her----and the answers certainly were rather vague. However, I was disappointed by the brief discussion regarding how TV time is bought----presumably referring to national, not local, TV. Ellen states that aside rom age/sex demos, which are used for "posting" ,that product usage and "qualitative" data is also employed---sort of behind the scenes--- in making buying decisions. The implication is that the age/sex CPMs and attendant cost per rating point ( CPP) evaluations are merely to allow for trending with older buys, while the other data actually rules. That is pretty misleading. What actually is happening in most of the major upfront buys is a blending of some sort of qualitative data with demo-based rating estimates as a basis for audience delivery guarantees. The agency and the sellers agree that aside from adults 18-49, or some other umbrella demo that will be the rating currency for the buy, that said rating estimates will be adjusted, using "qualitative" factors like viewer loyalty, attentiveness claims, commercial recall, etc.This, supposedly, goes to the notion of targeting "engaged" adults aged 18-49, not just any 18-49 viewer, on the premise that engaged viewers are more likely to see commercials.Therefore, if commercial recall is the metric used, and Show A generates average recall scores that are 5% higher than the norm for adults aged 18-49, this index ( 105 ) is applied against the unadjusted 18-49 rating , in this case, raising it slightly. As each network's package is evaluated the resulting adjusted total schedule 18-49 GRPs are evaluated against other packages in terms of their overall CPP ratios---as well as other factors, like merchandiseability, for example. But the basic umbrella demo---adults aged 18-49----modified only slightly, in most cases, by the "engagement" indicator, is the dominant factor from a numerical weight standpoint. Also, when advertiasers began to use  "engagement" metrics, of necessity, they had to forgoe long term trending analyses as such data wasn't being used 10 or 15 years ago.

  2. Charlene Weisler from Writer, Media Consultant:, April 20, 2015 at 5:23 p.m.

    Hi Ed,
    Thank you for a great comment. I think the net/net metric in posting a buy is strictly via the guaranteed proxy breaks of age and gender. The negotiation in planning might include engagement indices, segmentations or targets or other more qualitiative data. So an older skewing network that delivers A50+, for example, may get on the buy by negotiating on discretionary income for purchasing and may even apply a metric to that effect against performance, but at the end of the contract they will still need to deliver A25-54 (not A50+ - few buys are guaranteed on that demo!) for example.

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