Once again CIMM launches its Cross-Platform Video Measurement & Data Summit, which brings together experts from the industry. This year, its tenth, is virtual and can offer insights into how the industry is adjusting during the pandemic and beyond.
Charlene Weisler: What are the biggest issues facing media measurement at this time?
Jane Clarke: Media and cross-media measurement is viewed differently depending if you are a buyer or a seller. From a buyer POV (marketer/agency), the biggest issue is complete cross-channel ROI measurement, which includes all marketing, advertising and promotional aspects of a campaign or ongoing marketing effort.
Marketers try to link one common impressions metric across all forms of advertising and marketing, by connecting them to an ID-graph that can provide ID resolution across all touchpoints and link the impressions to an outcome KPI, such as sales, site visits, app downloads, offline store/restaurant visits or other metric.
From the POV of a media seller, they are typically trying to deduplicate reach across traditional and digital forms of their media, such as between all forms of TV/premium video, and prove outcomes for their inventory.
Weisler: What initiatives are in the forefront of handling these issues?
Clarke: The media committee of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has published a Framework for Cross-Media Measurement, along with a Technical Blueprint. The main goal is to deduplicate reach across the walled gardens and other digital publishers and TV, in a way that protects data security for the data owners.
The WFA design is being adapted to work as a pilot test by ISBA in the U.K. and the ANA in the U.S. However, since the design was originally from a digital data security POV, it has been challenging to incorporate TV data, which uses different methodologies in different markets.
There are also many commercial initiatives to address these measurement challenges, as well as proprietary systems created or in development from agencies, media companies and MVPD consortiums.
Additionally, the MRC launched its cross-media measurement standards, and the IAB is working on a replacement for the cookie.
CIMM has completed initiatives aimed at addressing some of the four building blocks for cross-media measurement: 1) Standardized and scaled granular smart TV and STB data for content and ads combined to be as nationally representative as possible; 2) standardized digital content and ad exposure data across sites and mobile apps; 3) a single-source cross-media measurement panel, or a linked combination of single media measurement panels, to calibrate the large “census-like” datasets; and 4) a solution for ID resolution to connect all the datasets and deduplicate them.
We just launched best practices in combining smart TV and set-top-box Data, and last fall we published to our site a design for TV Data Interoperability & ID Resolution.
Weisler: How has the pandemic impacted measurement
Clarke: Panel measurement has been more challenged than other research during the pandemic, since it’s been hard to recruit new panelists when they don’t want to allow home visits. Existing panels, such as Nielsen, have had challenges replacing panelists and monitoring issues with current panelists and maintaining compliance with “checking in for person’s measurement,” as more panelists stay in the panels longer. New panels have been challenged to launch, due to these same considerations.
Weisler: What will be the most impactful efforts we can do to improve measurement?
Clarke: Data owners need to agree with the methods being developed to protect data security, in order to agree to make their data available to industry solutions. Standardizing digital video app and site player usage is critical to cross-media measurement.
Many companies use Conviva as a standardized mobile SDK for monitoring customer experience within an app, which gathers second-by-second viewing data that is standard across their customers, but the data are still owned by the media company. It would be great for the media companies to standardize around this solution.
Weisler: How close are we to an industry effort?
Clarke: It has been a big change to get marketers involved in creating the solutions for cross-media measurement, since they have leverage. However, the TV industry needs to decide which solution it wants to support. The different media companies, MVPDs and consortia such as OpenAP, Ampersand and Xandr, all have different proprietary approaches to creating a unified and standardized platform to plan, activate, measure and conduct attribution against all their TV/premium video inventory. They need to come together around one solution before they can collaborate additionally with the walled gardens to deliver the solution that marketers seek.
Charlene, even if the "industry" comes up with a single metric---I love that term, it's so futuristic-----for cross media---TV versus digital video-----comparisons, media planners will have to make subjective adjustments based on many factors. Here's a list of the main issues requiring such adjustments:
Commercial clutter in break
Whether the ad is the only image on the screen
Type of program content
length of message
Time of day
Type of device
Involving or not involving program content
Audience interest in product/service advertised
New ad campaign or old one
Location of exposure
Worse, many of these issues overlap, requiring additional guesswork. So, even if a single metric is recommended, that's only the beginning-----not the end. And, to save Tony the trouble, let's not forget that whatever metric is developed, it will be based on the fact that an ad message played out on a user's screen---not that it was watched.
Thanks Ed for cutting Tony off at the pass! These are all good questions, and definitely would be (and are being) addressed by marketers and their agencies. I don’t think anyone is advocating for only one metric. However there does need to be a way to deduplicate reach across all media touchpoints with some kind of measure that can be agreed upon and that is common across media, that signifies an ad was delivered and had the opportunity to be seen.