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What is the future of total media measurement? A global perspective

As the future of total media measurement is always a hotly debated topic, GfK invited industry experts to a roundtable discussion on how the landscape is changing. Participants included Google, Facebook, CIM (Belgium), UKOM (UK), CIMM (US), MMS (Sweden) and PMA (Netherlands).

Here’s a taster of the four key themes that emerged.

Media Measurement today

When we look at media measurement today and imagine its future, a key question is: Does it make sense to develop increasingly complex and sophisticated methodologies?

Although modelling media measurement data alongside panels is a fact of life, we found widespread support for the methodological purity of panel measurement – albeit recognizing its limitations. In comparison, the myriad approaches available today causes confusion, and everyone needs to be clear what hybrid, cross platform or total measurement offer. This is particularly essential now as we try to make sense of changing consumer behavior and different means of measuring it.

“It is the most extensive modelling we have ever done… what we are hoping for is that the aggregate results are right. […] And that’s difficult to sell to TV people, because they’ve lived for decades now with the idea that they already have the best possible audience research”.

—Stef Peeters, CIM

GfK Media Measurement girl watching on iPad tablet

How will we measure it tomorrow?

Our second topic relates to tomorrow‘s measurement, addressable TV, programmatic, and the total customer view. While a number of panellists were fairly dismissive of the impact of addressable TV advertising, Google and Facebook saw more significance in these innovations. Now that broadcasters and publishers are generating more data that can be linked back to consumer purchasing, everyone agreed there will be a growing challenge to connect multiple data silos. Some participants felt that research panels can still provide the base-level data to link, organise and make sense of these multiple data sets.

“It does represent one more step from the traditional TV world towards the world that I represent, and it makes the politics slightly easier. It makes forging alliances, building bridges and so forth easier. We start to talk the same language.”

—Niels Marslev, Google

The future of currency and role of JICs

What constitutes a currency measure for the trading of advertising is critical. What the industry needs from a currency – or equivalent accepted measure – changes as the media ecosystem evolves. Our experts felt that the increased use of proprietary datasets in a fragmented landscape could well increase demand for a neutral third-party to critically evaluate contending methodologies. So in the future a JIC could move from currency provider to trusted auditor.

“It is really about what the currency should actually be doing and whose needs it is serving.”

—Nik Shah, Facebook

Will total media measurement grow budgets?

Although media budgets in some markets have increased, the general consensus was that unlocking additional spend through expanded media measurement is unlikely. However, new forms of cross-media measurement may result in some form of redistribution of existing revenue streams.

Advertisers are looking for more efficient ways to spend their budgets and need measurement advances to offer better ROI. Multi-platform measurement could drive down costs and make the process more efficient, with potentially more return.

“I don’t think there is a massive pot of money sitting out there that isn’t being used, that is waiting for the JICs to get their act together and as soon as it happens will flood into the market”.

—Ian Dowds, UKOM

GfK Media Measurement Technology

Conclusions

Is the industry moving towards measuring the total consumer rather than total media? Certainly at GfK, we believe that a stronger link between advertising and consumer buying behaviour is needed to create the kind of compelling evidence that will stimulate the appetite for advertisers to increase overall investment in media. Ultimately, advertisers will want high quality, GDPR compliant currencies and metrics they can trust and we continue to work closely with JICs and big data providers as we make further developments in this area.

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