What is Making Measurement Make Sense?
Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) is an ecosystem-wide initiative to propose standards for metrics and advertising “currency” that will enhance evaluation of digital media and facilitate cross-platform comparison for brand marketing.
What are the key objectives of Making Measurement Make Sense?
There are three key objectives
- Determining the right metrics and solutions
- Driving industry consensus around the solutions
- Establishing a measurement governance model
Why did Making Measurement Make Sense come about? Consumers are embracing digital media in droves, but business and transactions lag behind consumers. Digital media need a consistent, transparent supply chain and they need to be part of the cross media marketing ecosystem. In addition, business leaders and functional experts need forums and mechanisms for change management. 3MS solves these problems.
Who’s involved in Making Measurement Make Sense?
3MS is a joint undertaking of the IAB, the ANA and the 4A’s. These organizations engaged Bain & Company to facilitate and manage the initiative. MediaLink LLC provided guidance in phase one. The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) and the Online Publishers Association (OPA) also joined the initiative as supporters. In total, nearly 50 industry executives were a part of the 3MS steering committee and working teams. In addition, 3MS engaged over 150+ other industry participants across the ecosystem.
How will the industry/ecosystem manage measurement change in the future?
3MS looks to the Media Rating Council (MRC) to guide the industry, with participation from across the ecosystem.
Why is MRC the right organization to lead the ecosystem in measurement policy?
MRC's mission and vision encompass standards setting and auditing activities for the media industry. Their members play a key role in shaping standards guiding the media industry, and MRC has recently established a standards committee to guide efforts.
What are 3MS’s Five Guiding Principles of Digital Measurement?
Principle #1 – Move to a “viewable impressions” standard and count real exposures online.
Today we count “served impressions” as recorded by ad servers. Often, ad units are not in a viewable space to the end-user or fail to fully load on the screen – potentially resulting in substantial over-counting of impressions. Viewable exposures are increasingly the norm across other media and better address the needs of brand marketers.
Principle #2 – Online advertising must migrate to a currency based on audience impressions, not gross ad impressions.
Brand marketers target specific audiences. Marketers need to understand the quality and number of exposures against their targets – and the respective reach and frequency of such exposures. The existing digital currency makes this extremely difficult. Moreover, the practice of selling ad impressions makes cross-media comparisons extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Principle #3 – Because all ad units are not created equal, we must create a transparent classification system.
Unlike traditional media, which have a limited number of inventory types (e.g., 30-sec spot, full-page back cover), digital has a myriad of units. Making Measurement Make Sense advocates a transparent classification system, adhered to by all publishers. Such a system will enable marketers to identify and spotlight the best offerings for brand building, and for other marketing objectives.
Principle #4 – Determine interactivity “metrics that matter” for brand marketers, so that marketers can better evaluate online’s contribution to brand building.
Currently, the industry is awash in digital interaction metrics. However, these metrics are not necessarily relevant for brand marketers. Aside from click-throughs, there are few standards for enabling reliable comparison across sites. The industry must identify and define the specific metrics most valuable to brand marketers and define and implement reliable standards for existing metrics.
Principle #5 – Digital media measurement must become increasingly comparable and integrated with other media.
Measurement solutions must facilitate cross media platform planning, buying and evaluating of marketing and media. This is a substantial issue that hampers analysis and decision making throughout the ecosystem.
How do the Five Guiding Principles of Digital Measurement translate into measurement solutions?
The Five Guiding Principles will take us to a place where we
- Make the measurement of digital impressions more consistent with other media
- Leverage the use of standard demographics used in other media
- Provide a consistent language to describe inventory
- Develop consistent, transparent and credible measures of the effect of interactivity on building brands
- Emphasize improved attitudinal measures and confidence relative to other media
What are the proposed standards for a “viewable impression?”
The tests that are currently underway examine the effects of a minimum of 50% of the ad in view for at least one second.
When is the industry expected to adopt viewable impressions?
Adoption for viewable impressions should begin in the first quarter of 2013
How will digital GRPs be calculated?
Digital GRPs will be based on viewable impressions and reflect age, gender and ethnicity demographics, with ability to add further demo and behavioral targeting. Total U.S. population will serve as the universe for digital GRPs, rather than TV households.
When are digital GRPs expected to roll out?
Digital GRPs will begin to roll out across the industry during the second quarter of 2013.
Will digital GRPs be cross-platform?
Yes, digital GRPs can be used for cross-platform comparison. Ultimately, all GRP’s will be calculated off a persons universe, as all media go digital.
What are the goals of the 3MS ad classification standards?
Digital media are blessed with many varieties of ad units and possibilities to creatively enhance the consumer experience including the capacity to use interactivity to further a brand’s goals.
Ad classification standards will aim to reduce complexity, facilitate comparison of ad inventory, and to examine effects of different ad characteristics.
Will 3MS develop brand performance metrics?
Yes, in fact 3MS is prioritizing view-through as the first standard brand ad performance metric. We expect to begin solution development on this initiative in late 2012.
Will click-through rates still be relevant?
Click-through will still be relevant and operative for transactions, but view-through is more relevant as a surrogate engagement measurement for brand marketers less interested in immediate transactions.
Are social media metrics under development?
Yes, standardized social metrics are critical and are currently under development. These metrics will be based on the value of the social activity to the advertiser and the availability of credible data.
What about mobile?
As part its role in measurement standardization, the MRC will ensure that gaps in mobile and tablet measurement are closed so that the entire media marketplace functions on a level playing field.