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Digital Advertising and the Increasing Need for Better Metrics

by Fraser Woollard
September 12, 2013

As the digital advertising landscape expands and evolves, the question of measurement standards (or lack thereof) has become an increasingly pressing issue for both web-based marketing, as well as for the future of TV/digital convergence.

Between ComScore’s report that nearly half of all online ads aren’t viewed, and the troubling statistics about mobile bot traffic wasting close to a billion dollars of advertising budgets this year alone, it’s no wonder that marketers are increasingly demanding better verification that the ads they’ve paid for are actually being viewed by human eyes. And why wouldn’t they? An understanding of ‘value received’ is about as basic a need as any in the world of business, regardless of industry — payment in exchange for a quantifiable service or product.

Right now, metrics are deal-based, meaning that when a buyer and seller come together to negotiate the terms of a campaign, part of the negotiation includes settling on which measurement system and definition of “seen” will be used, as well as who’s going to be doing the measuring. Currently, there is no universal, across-the-board standard of measurement.

The problem becomes compounded when cross-channel marketing comes into play. TV uses a deep-rooted system of analytics which, while well- established, do not easily convert to something that can apply to the disparate processes and units of sale digital uses, and despite the fact that a growing number of agencies want to expand their digital spend and move dollars from TV to digital (75% of US senior executives, according to an IAB survey), without the ability to verify exactly what they’re getting for their money, they can only risk so much.

The internet isn’t going anywhere, and as more and more mobile and digital options continue to transform the way the world consumes media, devising a universal system of measurement across all channels should be high on our list of priorities.