Seldom does a week go by without there being an article or industry panel talking about the measurement issues facing the U.S. media industry.
These discussions focus on many relevant and important topics, including counting audiences across platforms, the impact of walled gardens, identity graphs and management and the role of measuring beyond exposure to include attention or content/ad synergy.
They focus on media selling and buying, but fail to concentrate on advertisers and what they need to continue to successfully invest in brand building video advertising. While those selling/buying issues are important, we’re missing the forest for the trees.
More specifically, in a highly fragmented marketplace, with traditional inventory and digital/addressable inventory, including multiple walled gardens, how can advertisers allocate their dollars to maximize reach?
Historically, national brand advertisers relied on national TV and broad reach print magazines to achieve their reach goals. But consumer behavioral changes and marketplace dynamics have impacted the national reach potential of both media.
Consider national TV and the combination of:
We recently analyzed a typical brand schedule and found a monthly TV budget that has only kept pace with overall inflation (not CPM inflation) would achieve at least 13% less reach than it did in 2014.
How important is reach?
The ARF Audience X Science conference in April had an immensely important presentation from Les Binet, from Adam & Eve/DDB in London. Binet analyzes actual campaign results from the IPA Databank to develop clear insights on advertising effectiveness. Two key findings: brand building is achieved by optimizing reach against a broad target, and that reach explains 91% of media effectiveness, all other things being equal, i.e., creative, targeting and ad environment.
The reality is that through all our discussions about measurement, building tools that allow advertisers and agencies to effectively plan to optimize reach across screens and platforms has not been a top priority.
We have limited ability to plan for digital and addressable video complementary to TV; we don’t have a clear view of how to plan spot-based linear TV in tandem with impression-based digital/addressable video. Part of the challenge is data on walled gardens — what reach each can contribute, how the various walled gardens complement linear.
It’s difficult. We need to link together exposure to spot inventory and impression inventory; include audiences measured with syndicated data and audiences measured through proprietary data stacks.
We need to reflect different targeting tactics that are available on each platform.
Many of the data-driven initiatives taking hold in our industry are aimed at short-term, bottom of the funnel sales lift. Binet’s presentation said short-term activations do not contribute to long-term brand health. Given the contribution that reach makes toward media effectiveness for brand building, our lack of focus is worrisome.
This is one example where our measurement discussions haven’t been broad enough, adjust the aperture and others will appear.
Clients of Nielsen, Comscore and other research vendors have not done a great job of clearly detailing their need. We haven’t been thinking big enough.
Every day, our industry gets more balkanized and consumer behavior makes our current research infrastructure more obsolete. The industry desperately needs a mechanism to ensure the voice of the customer, especially advertisers, is clearly enunciated and guides the product strategy of key research suppliers.
We wanted to validate our concerns with others in the industry. Here are statements from two industry notables:
Agencies have been building tools internally to measure potential reach across platform, but what agencies really need is more granular, consistent log and segment level understanding of impact for attribution solutions.”
The current limits of measurement get applied across under-sampled universes, rendering our calculations of reach erroneous across channels. Then these poor estimates contribute not only to poor R/F estimates, but ultimately, inaccurate attribution."
Measurement 2020 (M2020) is a group of industry advisors whose purpose is to leave a better measurement world for the next generation of researchers. The M2020 team includes Howard Shimmel, president, Janus Strategy & Insights, Artie Bulgrin, EVP, Insights & Strategy, MediaScience, Dan Murphy, Principal, Danalitix and Gerard Broussard, Principal, Pre-Meditated Media.
—with Artie Bulgrin, Dan Murphy and Gerard Broussard