For years brands have measured the efficiency of their advertising in isolation—one metric for TV, another for print, others for digital and radio. The result has been the creation of silos of data that provide little or no insight into a consumer’s overall journey.
Nowhere has this been felt more than in the world of creative advertising. For all the love, passion and commitment that goes into producing campaigns designed to resonate with consumers, agencies are part of an ecosystem that is attuned to gaining a holistic view of the user journey.
Performance advertising can be measured with ease and is designed to achieve specific and measurable financial results within a short amount of time. However, the question of who is watching what, where and how, and the amount of audience duplication that exists across different platforms, has mostly gone unanswered. This is a long-existing issue that has affected every region across the globe.
That’s why a new era of cross-media measurement is upon us, driven by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and brands’ desire to fully understand the impact of their advertising.
For all the love, passion and commitment that goes into producing campaigns designed to resonate with consumers, agencies are part of an ecosystem that is attuned to gaining a holistic view of the user journey.
The WFA has been seeking cross-industry consensus on key global principles for cross-media measurement. Those principles, which were first drafted in October 2019, are already being used by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers in the UK.
They include full life-cycle measurement across planning, reporting and optimization; comprehensive measurement across TV and digital; and respect for consumer privacy. Importantly, local adaptation is a priority, with the principles set to be embraced by advertiser associations across the world.
“Cross-media measurement is viewed as the ‘holy grail’ for marketers – as it optimizes marketing decision making for driving business and brand growth,” says Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers. “Cross-media measurement is a global topic that needs to be answered locally, as every region has different starting positions and demands.”
Although brands, media agencies, and media owners are the driving forces behind this initiative, cross-media measurement also promises to grow digital brand advertising – a core element of creative agencies’ work.
This can only be good news for agencies. After all, a year before the drafting of the WFA’s global principles, a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe in 2018 found that 91% of agencies and 83% of advertisers saw cross-media measurement as key to increasing investment in digital brand advertising.
A similar number (87% of agencies, 80% of advertisers) also said a better understanding of how online channels work with other media would attract more spending when it comes to brand advertising campaigns. That trend continues.
The overarching goal is to be efficient; prevent expenditure wastage, improve ROI, and attain a true understanding of reach and frequency. That means avoiding excessive consumer exposure to a brand’s advertising and generating a proper understanding of how customers travel between media and their multiple devices.
It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be immediate. Like most things, it’s going to take time to refine and implement and then roll out across the globe. As the WFA says, cross-media measurement “requires a complex infrastructure of components and data”.
Yet it is in everybody’s interest to make this work, including big digital players such as Facebook and Google, both of whom have given their support to the WFA’s initiative. Ultimately, cross-media measurement is about providing better experiences to consumers.
It will allow for brand-building advertising, where brand equity can be enhanced and the impact of brand advertising can be measured. And that should be music to the ears of agencies.
Agencies are part of an ecosystem that has so far been unable to attain a holistic view of the user journey. By putting the consumer at the heart of an ecosystem that has a single view of where consumers are, agencies will know where brands need to be present, what frequency they need to engage with consumers, and what content works best.
The end goal is to introduce efficiency in content consumption for the end-user. That’s the kind of data that we can only hope will be available sooner rather than later.
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