Working Together To Improve Measurement: The Cynopsis Conference

For anyone working in the research, data and analytics space, there is no better event than the annual Cynopsis Measurement and Data conference.

It is an opportunity to dissect what is going on in the Wild West World of media data that maps the intersection of two main issues: the ever-increasing availability of new datasets that expand our knowledge of consumer behavior and the legacy measurement that continues to monetize and fuel the business. At some point these two forces must merge. But how?

What is Constant and What is Evolving

There are some aspects of the media business that remain constant such as the need to agree on KPIs for a campaign, the need to form partnerships that have open communication and the need to agree on how success will be measured. But more and more, we are seeing elements of the business that are perpetually in flux such as the range of data availability, metrics and measurement analytics and  consumer behavior with device usage.



 For George Ivie, CEO and executive director, Media Ratings Council, getting a handle on measurement all boils down to data usage. The two major industry changes according to Ivie, are, “How the industry views using research data and how consumers view data usage.”

Defining outcomes are pivotal to managing change. From a technological standpoint we need to understand “how consumers are using technology. They are moving off linear and the MRC is tracking that behavior. Everything is mobile which is harder to measure and nail down,” he noted. “Consumer choice is causing tension in our business. We need to design server-side ad insertion and find ways to avoid ad blocking,” he concluded.

Improve the User Experience

Solving for content navigation in a world of increasing choice would seem to be a no-brainer for the industry. Carol Hanley, Chief Revenue Officer, TV Time offers a solution: “We are a consumer-facing app,” she explained, “With 13 million global users who interact around TV content, there is a need in the TV business to understand how to get content. We are like a TV Guide on steroids,” she explained. This app also captures user data such as sentiment information, social dialogue and moment-by-moment interactions.

Improve the Advertiser Experience

Attention appears to be the most valuable commodity for advertisers, once the ad itself is viewable and unblocked. But how does one define attention? Dan Schiffman, CRO and co-founder, TVision, believes that, “Attention can be defined by the outcomes that occur after a person sees an ad.” But how much time does it take for a brand attention to occur? How many seconds? Schiffman says three seconds is that threshold for recall and awareness of that ad. But Julie Detraglia, vice president and head of research, Hulu, disagrees. “It’s hard to believe that three seconds are enough for an individual. We have more work to do to understand what the threshold is.”

Donna Speciale, president ad sales, Turner, has made it her mission to reimagine TV and advertising. “Our collective goal is to make advertising better for our fans and clients,” she explained, “We develop smart marketing initiatives across all platforms empowered with ideas and solutions to drive consumer outcomes.” She advocates a new direction for measurement. “We need to transact on those formulas that show how people are actually consuming our content.”

Next Steps

Maybe the era of competitive cooperation is here and will lead to much needed new industry measurements and standards. Apropos of OpenAP, the Advanced Audience Platform created by Turner, Fox and Viacom that has now added NBCU to the mix, Speciale noted that, “We have a lot more work to do. No one company can change the industry. We need to hold each other accountable so we all win.”

1 comment about "Working Together To Improve Measurement: The Cynopsis Conference".
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  1. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics, August 20, 2018 at 3:56 p.m.

    Donna Speciale has been a leading force in imagining new and useful ways to measure cross platform persons based measurement for more than a decade. Kudos to her on keeping up the initiative and driving real change not just shiny objects. 

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