CIMM Day 1: Essence Media Chief Calls For 'Wholesale' Measurement Change

While the convergence of TV and digital video audience measurement has made material strides in the past year, much more needs to be done before the advertising industry has the kind of frictionless planning and buying tools needed to understand the reach and frequency, duplication and attribution of viewers. That …

10 comments about "CIMM Day 1: Essence Media Chief Calls For 'Wholesale' Measurement Change".
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  1. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics, February 4, 2021 at 11:55 a.m.

    With regard to Adam's Wheel, the term for the problem, created and credited to Sherry Brennan (formerly at Fox) a decade ago, is Frankenmetrics.  I used the phrase many times, and clearly we are still operating the same way but with a new name. No need to invent, or reinvent, the wheel. Sad to see the same issue remains, but simply renamed.  Frankenmetrics it is. 

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 4, 2021 at 11:56 a.m.

    As long as advertisers pay basically nothing for audience measurement while agencies pay only a small part of the costs, leaving ad sellers as the primary funders, little will change. It's unrealistic to expect that a wide variety of ad sellers---each with their own revenues and profits at stake--will endorse anything that might diminish their ability to garner the highest possible ad revenues.

    Coming up with a magic metric that ignores the aspect of actual eyes-on-screen exposure yet signifies something meaningful is a difficult enough task---and probably an exercise in futility. But trying to dig in even deeper---to determine the awareness or sales results of "impressions", which involve legions of phantom viewers, is really shooting for the Moon. Why not slow down and move step by step ----making sure that each step actually involves consumers seeing/hearing ad messages---yes, this won't be easy but it is probably doable---instead of rushing down the easier path where all we really know is that the message played out on the users' screens?

  3. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, February 4, 2021 at 3 p.m.

    On point Ed, as always. 
    Based on this comprehensive CIMM Summit yesterday and today and an array of excellent industry leader panels, a good place to start could be with CIMM, ARF and MRC establishing strict standard industry terms with precise definitions referenced to their derivation and to the ARF Media Model.  Over 2 days I heard any number of clearly different interpretations of exactly the same basic media terms like audience, reach, viewing, impressions, etc.  I am reminded of Alice in Wonderland.  "Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on. “I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least—at least I mean what I say—that’s the same thing, you know.” “Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. 
    Per my article in Media Post October 13, 2019, "When is an Impression Not an Impression?"

  4. Cam Sivesind from LeadsRx, February 4, 2021 at 4:13 p.m.

    Measuring just broadcast, just OTT, or just digital will never present helpful results to marketers and advertisers looking to optimize their reach. An impartial multi-touch attribution solution provides data and insights so marketers know how ALL channels are working together to create customer journeys. That information is solid gold.

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 4, 2021 at 6:09 p.m.

    True, Cam---providing that you can really determine what caused each level of ad message awareness, brand preference and, ultimately, sales for every consumer---or even groups of consumers. However is developing such measurements---across media--- really the responsibility of media time and space sellers? Or is it a responsibility that advertisers should accept---and fund?

    It can't be that hard to determine---even employing device usage as a weak surrogate for ad viewing ---the audience duplication levels between various TV and digital video media buys. I wouldn't be surprised to see these following more or less random probability audience duplication patterns---with  adjustments to account for variations in coverage levels. The much harder part comes when you try to attribute results that advertisers really care about---namely sales----as you are lacking true ad exposure data and any information from huge numbers of people exposed to the "linear TV" component of most ad campaigns. Where do you get the required data? And, again, I ask, why is obtaining such information the responsibility of the ad sellers?

  6. Cam Sivesind from LeadsRx, February 4, 2021 at 6:23 p.m.

    Measurement should be the responsibility of everyone in the ecosystem. Advertisers want to know their buy is getting results (sales, better yet return on ad spend -- ROAS). Ad sellers should want to provide that proof of effectiveness, beyond just views and web lift. The ultimate goal is marketing performance.

  7. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 4, 2021 at 7:03 p.m.

    I agree, Cam. However why should a TV network, for example, be responsible for more than measuring its audience properly? As for going beyond that and measuring what else its viewers watch---outside of it's own platform---like YouTube---that requires a unified panel which can track its members' exposure across platforms. This, in turn, requires the leading players in each platform to fund the audience research. But what then? Why should the various networks and other ad sellers have to devise and fund measurements, perhaps linked to the audience panel, which explore ad effectiveness? Shouldn't advertisers be expected to pay for that phase?

    The basic problem is that advertisers who once subscribed to Nielsen ratings as they developed and sponsored their own TV shows have long since relegated themselves to being ad time buyers. Accordingly, none of those I am familiar with pays as much as a dime for TV audience measurement---yet they are now clamoring for the media to do the attribution job for them and fund  a service that, somehow, will provide such information on a national basis. This is exactly the kind of thinking---and pressure---that will drive the TV networks even farther away from reliance on ad dollars---as is now happening. I think it's time for advertisers to do more than pontificate and put up some real financial support behind this and similar "industry" initiatives. After all, they are part of the  ecosystem also---aren't they?

  8. Mike Bloxham from Magid replied, February 5, 2021 at 12:08 p.m.

    Couldn't agree more Ed. If advertisers want to avoid being part of the problem then they have to become a fiscally active part of the solution.
    The kind of solution that is demanded/required has real value to brands and therefore can have a cost put against it. CFOs need to allocate resource to this issue in order to see real change. As you say, it is unrealistic to expect media owners to foot the bill on their own. Indeed, if I were in a senior corporate position at a major brand owner (a profoundly unlikely sceanrio to be sure), then I'd be looking to create a coalition of brands to take leadership in developing meaningful open source solutions, acquiring providers etc. If enough advertisers got involved, the rest of the industry would follow along. The only alternative that has been seen to work (overseas) is of course some kind of JIC - buth that's a form of heresy in the US.

  9. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics, February 5, 2021 at 5:35 p.m.

    Unless a broader financial base develops there will be little progress here, but even advertisers will balk at the challenge of sharing their brand's data with competitors. There seems to be only one of two way for that to happen. Either brands will agree to pool their data, as mobile phone operators seem to have done to manage usage and loads or all pay a syndicated source like Nisland to do it. The main advantage of the latter approach is that people don't get to grade their own homework. 

  10. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics replied, February 5, 2021 at 6:35 p.m.

    Nielsen, not Nisland. Bad thumbs. 

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