Measurement Mandate At Upcoming ARF Event

Mark your calendars. Next week (June 14-16) is the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement conference: a must-attend event for our industry’s researchers. After declaring the Measurement Mandate last year, ARF’s President and CEO Gayle Fuguitt has chosen “Translating Talk Into Action” as this year’s conference theme, stating the need for an actionable leadership mandate where insights and analytics leaders will need to reinvent themselves in order to be relevant.

The conference will offer panels of seemingly unlikely pairs -- companies operating in the same measurement space --  as a way for the industry to truly parse all of the different measurement initiatives in cross-platform. The conference is on the verge of being sold out, but I have been told that there will be sessions streamed on the ARF website for those who cannot make the conference in person.

This is an excerpt of a longer interview. The full video can be viewed here.



CW: What are some of the highlights to expect next week?

GF: We have important keynotes. Arianna Huffington is going to be talking about both her book “Thrive” (which is really relevant for us in research) and the way she re-invented herself when publishing, consumer connections and journalism itself had changed.

Lynn Power, CEO JWT, is going to be speaking about translating big data into creative connections to consumers.  I love that: it is the combination of art and science. Everyone is trying to figure out what to do with big data, and she has created an important treatise about how to take insights from big data and translate [them] into creative ideas to make better consumer connections.

The speaking sessions are going to be more panels this year rather than individual speakers. It is a combination of groundbreaking research, with David Poltrack (chief research officer, CBS) and Leslie Wood (chief research officer, Nielsen Catalina Solutions) using new technology in an interactive questioning system.

Artie Bulgrin (senior vice president, global research & analytics, ESPN) will be moderating a panel that will give a call-to-action for the industry with a provocative point of view — I won’t give it away here. This panel will have, for the first time that I can remember, all of the players… that are formerly known as competitors, who will share their cross-platform measurement solutions.

CW: What is the ARF’s Measurement Mandate?

GF: The ARF’s Measurement Mandate is actually a leadership mandate that translates talk into action. That is the theme of our conference. We are looking for common GRP, common ROI metrics, so that we can compare measurement across platforms. That is critically important.  

We are looking for decision-timed, C-suite-friendly communication, which is a leadership mandate, and we are looking for new solutions, experimentation and experiential learning. Everyone has to share.

What I have discovered in this job in the past two years is that there are amazing things going on in the industry — and we have presented a number of those on our stage — but not everyone has seen the others’ solutions.  The feeling in the industry now is that we really haven’t made progress in cross-platform measurement. So our mandate is to define and articulate what the principles of measurement are, and what they need to be.

CW: The conference has been in Times Square for as long as I can remember. But this year the conference is downtown. Why?

GF: We are going downtown! We need a fresh view and a fresh approach. The thing I really love about the Conrad Hotel is that it faces the Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty.

We have done surveys, and people say that these are the most complex times in over 50 years in advertising and the research and analytics industry. And so what place to be better inspired than overlooking the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Freedom Tower? It reminds us that even in times of great stress and change, there are opportunities and inspiration. It puts it all into perspective.    

6 comments about "Measurement Mandate At Upcoming ARF Event".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 11, 2015 at 5:10 p.m.

    I hope that they include a demand for validity not just more data----but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

  2. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, June 12, 2015 at 1 p.m.

    "It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants.
    What are you industrious about?"
    -- Henry David Thoreau,
    writer and philosopher

  3. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, June 12, 2015 at 1:13 p.m.


    Q. What are Nielsen People Meters (NPM) without People?  
    A. Mysterious black boxes that are up to no good?

    Stop People-less Sample Expansion in the NTI NPM Panel.  
    It Makes No Sense.  It's So Unnatural.  It's Just Wrong.

    A People Meter Panel Without People?  
    More Nielsen revenue.  Less Research quality.

    Here's An ARF Measurement Mandate for June 2015:
    Stop Nielsen from Implementing An Insane TV Research Methodology!
    Start counting viewers.  Stop modeling them.

    PS: Nielsen may be a conference sponsor,
    but it does not deserve a pass.  
    Not now.  Not ever!
    And the MRC cannot afford to fail the industry.

  4. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, June 12, 2015 at 1:33 p.m.

    Nielsen Media Research,
    On the eve of your Annual Client Meeting in Washington, DC...

    Please consider the following counsel, 
    which applies to the good women, as well as the good men in your ranks:

    "A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes,
    smart enough to profit from them,
    and strong enough to correct them."
    -- John Maxwell,

  5. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, June 16, 2015 at 12:01 a.m.

    A Reflection on Mandates:

    Everything we do these days - our lust for ever more comfort, pleasure, and distraction, our refusal to engage with the mandates of reality, our fidelity to cults of technology and limitless growth, our narcissistic national exceptionalism - all of this propels us toward the realm where souls abandon all hope.

    James Howard Kunstler

  6. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, June 18, 2015 at 2:32 p.m.

    One week ago, MediaDailyNews readers were told that there would be a "MEASUREMENT MANDATE AT UPCOMING ARF EVENT."  The "must-attend" ARF Meeting has concluded. Yet, there is no public word of a measurement mandate for those who could not attend (like the people who employ researchers).  Perhaps, there is a mandate and journalists have failed to report it.

    On the other hand, I suspect we're back to business as usual.  For example, it seems Nielsen continues to press for sample expansion (NPX) using a method that machines the viewing data (models & fabricates audience estimates) as opposed to tabulates them (counts audience through recording persons viewing in [NPM] metered panel homes within a statistically appropriate probability sample).  [#StopBadNPXThruVAP]

    There are other imperative matters of video and digital audience measurement that deserve intense and extensive assessment from a media research perspective.  There are also crucial issues related to the most essential question of how advertising works in 2015 and what constitutes appropriate measures of ROI for enormous advertising and marketing expenditures. There too: No word of an advertising research mandate!

    Even so, today we see news in MediaDailyNews of an ANA Mandate: "The Association of National Advertisers has issued an RFP for an "Industry-Wide Media Transparency Study." ... It is the ANA's belief that the industry requires an independent, objective individual or organization to provide indisputable marketplace clarity and to help set the record straight."

    While advertising allusions can be insufferable, I am inclined to recall the iconic question of Clara Peller for a brand that shall remain nameless (Do you remember?).  Clara indignantly asked "Where's the beef?"

    If the best thing to come out of this ARF Meeting was the Ephron Award presented to David Poltrack, the long-time CBS Dean of Research, perhaps that's enough.  In David Poltrack you "See the Sermon," whereas at ARF Conferences you mostly "Say the Sermon."  Poltrack's work is testament to what intelligent, imaginative, enlightened, disciplined, principle-based and goal-driven work can produce in the realm of working knowledge.  Congratulations, David.  Well done.

    In the meantime, "Enquiring Minds Want to Know"  Where's the Mandate?

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