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The days of one measurement metric are over… Long live measurement!

The days of one measurement metric are over… Long live measurement!

HERE was invited to be a sponsor at this year’s Acxiom LiveRamp annual conference, RampUp. During the event, we noticed a common theme on the topic of modern audience measurements.

Two weeks ago, several thousand attendees from the areas of media, marketing, tech and data all gathered in the heart of San Francisco. At the event, the world’s brightest marketing minds and the most innovative brands were given center stage to share and discuss points of view on the future of marketing.

Among this host of subject matter experts, it was my great privilege to have been invited to speak, joined by industry colleagues from Oracle Data Cloud, VISA, and 20th Century Fox.

Our panel, titled “The Road to Validation is Paved by Measurement”, showed how the same business problem (how to measure marketing and campaign spend efficiency) begets varying approaches, data sources, data science strategies. 

When it comes to measurement; brands, agencies, media buyers and media sellers all cope with the same set of limitations, and try to understand the same thing: does the dollar I spend produce results?

But the days of one measurement metric (the Nielsen Gross Rating Point) point are over.

Indeed, we now live in an age of connected everything, with devices, sensors, captors and real-life (offline) behavior measurements – all of which create an exponentially increasing amount of measurement data. Reducing all of this information into a single number no longer produces any true insight or enlightenment.

The panel observed that the pace of innovating measurements standards has fallen well behind the pace of technology innovation. For example, the “viewability” standards are close to ten years old and have not been revisited in all that time. But, we have a host of new data points, procured over digital, that could add to that insight. The need to revise and update is prominent.

Privacy rules and the impending arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will remodel the relationship and access to data, as it changes hands between data controllers and data processors.

Behind the privacy issue lies the question of the trust relationship between a content/service consumer and the content/service provider. With that trust, a proper balance has to be found (and maintained) to compel consumers to opt-in or accept, even welcome, the providers’ collection and use of their data.

Expect a strengthening of the position of the publisher in the value chain as the industry helps bring more context and value to that relationship.

Location data, information and technologies are thus at the same time:

  • a tool to help the actors of the media & advertising value chain bring more context to the experience and
  • one of the key tools in the measure of success, or attribution, of a campaign performance (did the audience of consumers take-action, go to the store).

Because the data science will continue to improve, and because also the consumers – each one of us - will continue to be human, hence unpredictable, and emotional, Marketers, and CMOs are now faced with the complex job of reconciling right and left brain, data science and application of human judgement.

Correctly framing the right business questions, applying a critical eye towards, yet building and relying on solid data algorithmic and processing, that is the future of the art and science of measurement.

Hervé Utheza

Hervé Utheza

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