With the advertising and media industries wrestling with “crossmedia measurement,” the second day of the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) annual Audience x Science Conference Tuesday opened with Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard recommending cornerstones needed to address this Gordian Knot -- and other advertising concerns -- with a call-to-action for constructive disruption.
Pritchard said he expects the industry leaders to be bold and step up with innovations to essentially reinvent media and advertising measurement.
Those of us who have been fortunate to have worked closely with P&G immediately recognized the unequivocal consumer-centric approach around which Pritchard built his remarks. This includes ensuring consumers have the privacy, content/programming, and brand information they need and expect.
In other words, whatever the issue that needs to be addressed, treat it in a way that ultimately serves the consumer. For the media and their evolving measurement, this means driving a superior communication experience.
As a doyen of our business, Pritchard underscores that advertising is still about reach and frequency, how many, how often, how effective, and how efficient? He stated that understanding these dimensions for all its brand target groups requires independent, third party, certified, accredited, measurement that produces accurate, objective, and transparent metrics across all platforms.
And of course, these approaches and data must be oriented to driving a complete experience for the consumer. Not really asking too much? But so on point.
P&G has consistently led the charge on media measurement and is continuing to do so via the World Federation of Advertisers’ (WFA) so-called “Cross-Media Measurement” initiative. So-called, because this ARF conference appears to have concluded that outcomes -- including attention measures -- are not media measurements, per se, due to the relatively stronger influences of the brand, the creative and the target audience on these measures.
Pritchard did indicate that marketers must lead the way with funding (Ed Papazian will be delighted!) and that the WFA initiative will be best served by collaboration across all industry sectors led by the major industry associations, notably the Association of National Advertisers ANA and ISBA(Incorporated Society of British Advertisers) in the U.K.
The vital importance of this initiative is its potential to accurately de-duplicate target audiences across diverse media platforms. This will not only help understand overall multimedia campaign reach, but also to understand and meaningfully remove excess frequency -- which he called the “annoying part” of advertising for the majority of consumers.
Anticipating the commingling of different datasets to fulfill the objectives of the WFA’s initiative, Pritchard recognizes the importance of anonymous interoperable consumer IDs and suggested that a cohort’s approach maybe a means to ensuring consumer privacy and providing the basis for de-duplication.
Karthik Rao, COO of Nielsen Global Media, reiterated the critical importance of tracking the consumer’s media journey to de-duplicate an audience for reach and frequency estimates. In addition, he noted that dealing with privacy “restraints” required by consumers -- and inclusive measurement of both content and ads across all platforms -- were paramount.
Overcoming these issues with diverse, integrated databases and approaches -- which likely include high quality panels -- is an undeniable challenge. However, Nielsen’s “impact” data via a complex integrated approach will represent consumer video behavior across channels in the U.S. early next year. This release will be eagerly awaited. Perhaps the industry should be judicious with any judgements on its validity. This is “hairy” stuff and will inevitably need ongoing refinements.
Based on extensive research underpinning, “Unlocking the New Currency of Attention,” Joanne Leong, vice president-global media partnerships at Dentsu, offered a fundamental reminder to the industry: “Human attention is not the same as viewability – being ‘MRC viewable’ does not mean eyes-on ads.”
She also echoed that creative is the primary driver of the effects of attention and outcomes from the previous day. Ed Papazian, John Grono, and I have stressed this numerous times. So, has everyone got that?