ABCs For Successful Campaign Measurement In Today's World: Back To The Basics

There is no cookie-cutter solution to media measurement that all brands embrace.

Each client has a different maturity level when it comes to data, technology and measurement.

However, ultimately all brands want to see their media efforts work, and this is where good and thoughtful measurement makes a difference.

Nowadays, more than ever, agencies and brands have many complex landscapes to navigate when it comes to measurement.

Constant change driven by technological advancements and the new privacy playbook do not make it easier. There is much pressure for brands to test, innovate and adopt “the new measurement” while delivering the desired outcomes.

It is messy, and it's tough to strike the right balance between measuring what matters, measuring too little or too much and being innovative at the same time.

Brands want agencies to be their partners and help them navigate a rapidly changing landscape, to strategize, identify and adopt best practices on all things measurement.



How do we do that? By going back to the basics and reaching a simple understanding of what is being measured, why it is being measured, how it is being measured, and ultimately how outcomes are actioned upon.

What is being measured? Aligning on what is being measured is winning almost half of the measurement battle.

It is key to understand if we are measuring brand or performance or full-funnel, digital-only or cross-channel. If we define and align ahead of time on what we measure, that will provide focus.

Why do we measure? Do we measure to monitor front-end metrics, or do we measure to inform in-market optimizations?

Do we measure to understand what success looks like and to quantify how results impact the business?

Or do we want to measure to simply test hypotheses as part of the test-and-learn agenda?

Understanding the why of measurement will help structure the metrics and define their role in the measurement journey.

How do we measure and how will outcomes be actioned upon? The how is the third basic building block to deliver measurement that matters.

Determining the best way to measure something is related to what we measure and why we measure.

For example, if we want to understand whether our media efforts raise familiarity for our brand and need to optimize both media and creative in market based on performance, we might want to look into a third-party measurement partner that has the experience to help us with the how vs. looking at a proxy metric that will not provide the desired outcomes (a lift in familiarity) or actionability (optimizing media tactics, audience or creative that show the strongest outcomes for familiarity). 

Soon enough, we will be able to more easily reassemble the tech and data architecture to enable new experiences that most brands want, and ultimately test and adopt more new measurement techniques in addition to the existing ones.

In the near future, data clean rooms, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud data environments will better help set up and enable the measurement of the future. 

While learning to navigate these complex technology landscapes, simplicity is golden.

Going back to the basics and asking simple questions -- and understanding the what, why, and how of measurement -- will keep us grounded, help us guide our clients and deliver for them a measurement that matters during these times of change. 

3 comments about "ABCs For Successful Campaign Measurement In Today's World: Back To The Basics".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 18, 2023 at 9:19 a.m.

    Good thoughts, Teodora.

    Unfortunately the various types  of investigations or measurements you refer to fall under different  jurisdictions in our highly compartmentalized world. Some are media planning considerations; others take place after a campaign is exposed to consumers via the media and are the province of agency account management and market researchers---not the media department. Many involve client brand managers and CMOs but not client media directors. And few are part of the actual media buying process--which is often handled by specialists with expertise in individual media---national linear TV, local TV, CTV, radio, digital media, etc.

    In other words we live in a basically non-integrated media and advertising world which is largely a function of the desire to keep agency fees as low as possible. That requires the agencies to operate at maximum efficiently, which means lots of specialists handling large amounts of billings---but very few---if any---generalists who see the whole picture and are empowered to act on it.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 18, 2023 at 9:24 a.m.

    Make that "efficiency" not "efficiently"in the last sentance of my post. Sigh!

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, September 18, 2023 at 8:45 p.m.

    A good post Teodora.  

    You have specified the three key "what", "why" and "how" vectors.   But, thinking about it I think there is a fourth ... "when".

    "When" can relate to seasons in the year, events (e.g. Super Bowl, Black Friday, Halloween) etc.

    But IMHO the most important "when" I am referring to is the duration of the media metric.   For example, TV is based on the day.   And in fact the rating of a programme is based on its duration.   It might have a 5m audience with peaks of (say) 5.5m during content and 4.5m during ads - but we are used to using that "average audience" data.

    Radio tends to work on a 'sweep' or 'survey' which might include (say) six weekly diaries, and they report based on the "average week" of the duration ... and we are used to it.

    Pretty much, the same goes for print and press ... if they still do surveys ... or rely on print runs.

    Digital tends to be on a different basis.  Majority of the data publicly available (i.e. PR) is based on a calendar month.   It's a hangover from around 25 years ago and unlike digital content which changes rapidly, the reporting period tends to be anchored in the last century.

    I have seen data that shows that in a month a large digital publisher reaches 80% of the digital population.   They also append data like minutes per month by aggreagting the daily data.   You sometimes also see "minutes per person" reported ... but usually over the reporting month.   Divide it by 30 or 31 and you will be surprised how little it actually is on the average day - it will be way smaller than a TV episode.   Oh, and speaking of TV the minutes per person per day will be lower for video than total usage for the average digital entity.

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