As I sit with my interactive peers this week at OMMA and the Wild Fire seminars,
I realize that there are many new young and inexperienced entrants into our
digital universe who are clouding up the simplicity of online reporting and
If you haven't been on a "measurement
task force" or been to at least 10 panel discussions on the subject, then
you just haven't earned your stripes. For those of us who have served as interactive account directors or
strategist and were beaten down in the early days due to the confusion that our
offline agency counterparts caused by not understanding the power of
interactivity or a simple way to measure traffic, clicks and behavioral data -
rest assured that same confusion has now found itself at the forefront of every
online video discussion I have had today.
I'm not a video skeptic. In fact just the opposite -I am an interactive video evangelist
and early adopter. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) have done wonders
and shown tremendous patience on many of the OLA fronts. It's just outrageous to me, as I
spearhead online video opportunities in my new position that the debate on
measuring video ads has surfaced.
The digital equivalent to sliced bread called online video
advertising is here to stay, and traditional media buyers as well as online
buyers have to take a serious look at how much of it to include in their media
plans. Here is the most common question I heard today
Do we measure online video advertising like an online ad or like a TV ad?
Many advertisers who are still steeped in the offline world just
don't trust or understand online metrics, and they need to be assured that they
can decipher our language.
Ironically, creating ratings points as a form of online
measurement is simpler now than ever. Given the feasibility of taking an online
video unit, in the form of pre/mid or post roll, and doing the math to come up
with rating points would be the great equalizer. (An interesting equation would
be : users viewing divided by users in the universe)
Wouldn't buying video advertising be so much simpler if indeed
it were measured by GRPs (Gross Rating Points) or TRPs (Targeted Rating Point)?
OLA media sisters, GRP is a term used in buying time for TV ads. If an ad is
shown twice, and seen by 10% of people the first time and 8% the second time,
it achieves 18 GRPs. A more specific version of GRPs. In a broadcast media Gross
Rating Points (GRP's) are used in media buying and media effectiveness
analysis. They represent the reach or audience share of your spots or
placements (a function of what stations you buy and when the ads run) times the
Frequency or number of spots (advertisements) run. Each GRP represents 1%.
period of time and with multiple impressions, the GRP can be 200, 500 or more.
For example a GRP of 100 could mean that you bought a hundred spots with a 1%
reach or that you bought 2 spots with a 50% reach.
Targeted Rating Points are a refinement of GRP's to express the reach time
frequency of only your most likely prospects. For example, if you buy 150 GRP's
for a television spot, but you know that only half of that audience is actually
your market, then you would state your TRP as 75 to calculate your net
As for modeling, you will probably want to use the net effective buy figure or
TRP, particularly if you are including costs to calculate return and sales.
Many networks, publishers and vendors now provide the tools that
make these measurements possible, with one significant difference:
Unlike offline GRPs, online numbers are not based on sample
data. Online numbers are based on actual traffic, and they are even richer when
combined with behavioral data and subscriber data.
Audience accountability is a significant advantage for marketers
when they consider online video advertising. For instance, advertisers can
count actual viewers of video when they are actively watching--not getting up
for a snack. The other advantages are the ability to track completion rates and
geographic data, frequency cap and targeting based on historical behavior,
optimization of spots based on real-time effectiveness--where there's no need
to wait for the focus group; also, with companion units, online video
advertising can offer immediate user interaction.
The holy grail of media measurement has a lot of buzz,
and I welcome the idea of ratings that are universally understood so we can get
on with what we do best: articulating the value of our audience and helping
marketers achieve their communication goals.