Standardizing the metrics and currency used in the advertising industry is a hot topic in today’s media landscape and was a focus at Friday’s IAB Canada’s Mixx Canada 2012 Conference.
Sherrill Mane, senior vice-president, industry at IAB USA, outlined the “Making Measurement Make Sense” (3MS) initiative, which is a cross-ecosystem collaboration that will improve planning, buying and measurement of digital media.
An effort between IAB, the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) and the Association of National Advertisers, 3MS promotes standardization and transparency in the measurement used for transactions, and also wants to change digital currency, said Mane. A main objective is to “create the right digital currency and metrics,” she said.
It comes down to marketers, agencies and publishers working collaboratively to ensure brands have the tools to “move into digital media with confidence,” said Mane. The goal is to create a “comfort zone” for brands to move smoothly into the cross-media world. A big part of 3MS revolves around cross-platform comparisons across both digital and “legacy” media such as TV and print.
Mane outlined three key ideas on which 3MS is most strongly focused:
1) Shift from a “served” to a “viewable” impression standard. Mane said viewable exposures (i.e. an ad unit rendered on a screen) are a better measurement because ad units don’t always properly load on users’ screen. Moving to a “viewable impression” standard means real online exposures would be counted.
2) Introduce an online GRP metric providing reach and frequency reporting of viewable impressions.
3) Implement a classification system and taxonomy for banner, rich media and streaming video ads.
During her address, Mane also spoke of “The Rising Stars Program,” an IAB program in the U.S. that focuses on the creative aspects of online adverting. Mane admitted that the interactive advertising industry hasn’t hit the mark when it comes to creating beautiful ads that captivate and entertain. Whether it be for display, mobile or digital video, she said the creativity has to improve.