Cross channel measurement: Funding and collaboration required
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has released the first market communication from its newly established Cross Media Working Group on cross media measurement after two days of meetings in NY during Advertising Week. The aim is to offer guiding principles agreed by a cross industry group of stakeholders but it has initially once again identified some well known barriers.
- The WFA working group includes broad range of marketers, agency holding groups, broadcasters and tech companies looking for approaches to address cross media measurement that do not have to be completely reinvented in each geographic market.
- The areas identified by the working group for further “consideration” are privacy, infrastructure, metrics & governance which are some very big hurdles to overcome.
- Although this initiative seems to be pleasingly driven by marketers to suit their needs, interestingly the issue of funding has not been included in the barriers or points for further consideration.
- Although the next steps and details are not clear, the early talking points again seem to reference combining different planning data sets rather than focussing on campaign deliverables and marketing outcomes.
It is pleasing to see a number of global initiatives seriously reviewing cross media measurement and even more pleasing to see marketers driving these conversations. However the barriers to bring this to life are still substantial and not least is the matter of funding. Historically channel specific media owners have heavily subsidised their own media currency (for example in this country OzTAM, IAB endorsed Nielsen ratings, GfK radio ratings etc.) but the motivation to pay to extend the investment to cover infrastructure and measurement development that combines all channels is understandably low.
As well as funding challenges there is the need for new methodological approaches for measurement that can handle a myriad of channels, devices, automated buying and ad formats. As media formats historically tracked by traditional media ratings currencies are increasingly addressable, thus the market needs to be prepared for different ways of reviewing media opportunities (media environment ratings) and assessing individual advertisers or campaign activity.
Combining the reach of different media environments is still important but targeting and addressability is making it more important to measure actual advertiser specific activity. This challenge and opportunity was outlined clearly in the IAB Australia Future of Measurement project earlier this year.
Many of the media currencies locally are investing heavily in updating their methodology for a digitally-driven world - and I am hopeful that they are all being developed in a way that allows them to be used by agencies and advertisers in combination with other media data for true cross media measurement. Agencies and advertiser must insist on this, otherwise they will continue to struggle to compare different activity and assess the impact of their complete media spend.
Let’s use the momentum happening globally to get a few enthusiastic marketers, the key industry bodies and media owners to prove that cross media advertising can not only be measured accurately but is a brilliant investment strategy for businesses.