While discussing the future of measurement on Total TV, Mike Shaw – Director of International Ad Sales at Roku – called for a consortium of independent vendors to measure ad campaigns across Total TV [broadcast + streaming video]. He envisions two or three “world class” companies with MRC-style accreditation for measuring performance on specific parts of the marketing funnel.
Shaw said: “Now we’re in a world where TV is seen to be able to do more things in the funnel. Yes, it can build brands but it can also drive consideration. It can also be an activation tool now that it has more of a response mechanism. Reach and frequency alone only measure a little bit of that”.
At the Future of TV Advertising Global event, London, he discussed the importance of independence for measurement with Eleni Marouli (Head of Market Developmens, Ofcom), Joe Hayes (Sales Director UK, Audience Project), Liz Duff (Head of Media and Investment, Total Media) and Rich Astley (Global Chief Product Officer, Finecast).
Hayes argued that new measurement companies found it difficult to enter the market while retaining their independence. Partly, he believes, this is due to the challenges they face while questioning conventional wisdom in a market with established players, each having their own stake in ad revenues. He said: “The companies that have the funds to build the measurement platforms are companies that have huge revenues coming from ad spend – that’s a huge problem for the industry”.
Hayes emphasised that within the cross-platform measurement space, brands are looking for the equivalent of the “gold standard” that BARB represents for measuring reach and frequency on linear TV. Shaw also noted that broadcasters, publishers, advertisers and agencies are able to trust the measurement provided by BARB, but expressed his doubt that one body could measure for all parts of the funnel in the age of Total TV.
Astley agreed that independence of measurement is important, but distinguished between measurement used as a currency and measurement for “effectiveness purposes”. He said, “Measurement as a currency needs to be independent, needs to be third party and held to an extremely high standard because it’s the basis on which potentially billions of dollars are traded – that needs an independent approach.”
While stressing that measurement for effectiveness still requires trust, he argued that measuring responses across many metrics on TV will require platform owners, media owners and agencies working together while recognising there might not be one single answer to the questions media buyers have.
Duff reiterated the importance of paying attention to effectiveness while planning media. She said: “If you only look at short term measurements, you make the mistake of optimising rather than driving new audiences. You can look at long term measures like econometrics, that can prove the value of TV rather than just asking ‘how many people are watching’, but then sometimes that can lead you down a wrong path as well”. She called for a holistic approach to measurement that pays heed to both reach and frequency, as well as effectiveness.
Hayes warned against making artificial separations between reach and frequency on the one hand, and effectiveness on the other. “I think that measurement – I’m talking about audience reach and frequency – is the baseline by which you build effectiveness tools. We don’t know how to understand effectiveness without understanding reach and frequency – it’s endemic to TV conversation”.