TV is moving to digital - and fast. Today, billions of digital ads are seen everyday by millions of online viewers, yet 99% of those ads are repurposed from television and often measured by traditional TV metrics of reach or gross ratings points (GRP). Not only is this inefficient, but it also only scratches the surface of measurement’s potential for digital video.
Last week, our company hosted a panel discussion in New York City with top industry leaders and agency executives to discuss the evolution of measurement beyond the current standard of impressions and GRP. We agreed that using the same success metrics as TV measurement for digital video is insufficient and the true potential of what digital video can accomplish for brands will only be reached when we look at factors such as post-impression activity, increased website visitation, lead generation, and even offline sales. These metrics looked at the broader effectiveness of digital video ads beyond simply reach.
Some of the questions addressed by the panel included: is the industry ready to add more customized measurements what should they be? What challenges do they bring? How can we balance between the need for a standardized measurement unit and customization (the specific needs each brand advertiser)?
It was a great night and I wanted to share some of the key perspectives from the panelists during the discussion:
Measuring Beyond Reach
A particularly important insight was the growing need to shift from broadly measuring impressions to measuring the reaction that a particular ad elicited from consumers. "We all want the simplicity of brand advertising - the ability to buy advertising on a brand basis, the ability to buy audience on a GRP basis; we want it to be just like television. Because all of the data is available, it's tough to resist the temptation to simply want ROI, to know if an ad had a purchasing impact, but what we're doing now is all three: we're doing reach, we're doing resonance [or effectiveness,] and we're doing reaction; all depending on the client's needs.”
Bruce Haymes - SVP Corporate Development & Venture Investing, The Nielsen Company
New and Different Standards of Measurement Are Needed
"We need to understand where the consumer is consuming the content, and then serve them an asset that's relevant for that environment and device. If I'm consuming on a smartphone, it's a different experience than if I'm consuming it on a tablet or a desktop. We need to evolve - and the technology needs to evolve - to where we can be reactive to those environments, and then serve an asset that fits in that stream. When we get there, we'll all be in a much better place. But it starts with the need to be able to measure across those channels. After all, we're all just trying to reach the consumer with a message that is tactically relevant for them."
Julian Zilberbrand - EVP, Activation Standards, Insights & Technology, Zenith Optimedia
Measuring targeted engagement
"The ability to measure digital video effectiveness in a more personalized, targeted way was a particularly important insight for the retail industry. When asked what metrics made the most sense for digital video. Moving forward in the future, beyond GRP, you're going to be looking at TRPs [Targeted Rating Points]. It's not just about targeting the GRP; it's going to be going a layer deeper to see what percentage of the GRP is actually in your target market. It's about looking at the effective impressions."
Nicolle Pangis - Chief Revenue Officer, Xaxis Global
Measuring Specific Results
At the end of the day, while some panelists were talking about GRPs, other expressed concerns with the current focus on broadly measuring impressions in digital video rather than tangible campaign results, such as driving in-store traffic.
"For the automotive vertical, driving traffic to the showrooms is the ultimate indicator of whether a campaign was successful," Brandon Baldassari said. "We've gone beyond click-through-rate to cost-per-action. We're able to surpass the standard metrics that the dealers are used to seeing, all the way to knowing how much it is costing them for each customer interaction. Dealers understand that through online video, it's about getting more customers into the top of the funnel, because they can already predict what will happen once a customer gets to their website."
Brandon Baldassari - National Regional Marketing Manager, Jaguar Land Rover