Monday, June 20, 2011

Digital Audience Measurement Principles Proposed

I've had a few posts recently ( herehere, and here ) dealing with audience measurement issues, particularly those arising from a competitive, converged, and convoluted media environment.  The issues are well known, and you can point to a number of attempts to address them.  Last week, three key ad industry associations (4As, Ass. of National Advertisers, and the Interactive Ad Bureau) released a set of Guiding Principles they hope that those developing measures take to heart.
  1. Count real "viewable impressions" online. (some online measures count ads sent, and with screening software, they may or may not actually be seen)
  2. Count audiences, not eyeballs.  (as advertisers increasingly target, measurement should be able to measure target audiences, not just screens)
  3. Create transparent classification systems (online ads come in myriad forms and sizes - need a system that allows comparisons)
  4. Develop "metrics that matter" for interactivity.  (Brand marketers want measure of involvement, not viewing).
  5. Digital media measurements should be comparable to, and integrated with, other media.  (would improve comparability with other media, and facilitate cross-media marketing)
These are good basic principles, and clearly address two of the fundamental underlying problems with current audience measurement systems.  First, the principles focus on measuring "effective impressions"; that is, the focus is on measuring the audience reached, rather than on the gross number exposed to the content the ad is attached to.  Second, the principles recognize that as media systems continue to converge, and content (including ads) delivered through myriad systems, audience measurement needs to be able to not only allow comparisons, but to be able to develop single measures for integrated cross-media marketing.  The old media audience metrics were developed for distinct media and markets, where relative reach was arguably more important that actual reach.  Competition is driving a need for better and more effective numbers, and convergence is driving a need for comparability.  These Principles are good guidelines to work for, and the online world is one that may be able to provide sufficient information on audiences that the goals are approachable, if privacy concerns don't override.

Source: "ANA, 4As, IAB Release Digital Measurement Principles.Online Media Daily

1 comment:

  1. I've begun noticing that a few newer platforms now provide deeper audience measurement and targeting through more robust analytics and survey technology. Great tips on the current state of online publishing.