Council for Research Excellence issues RFP on digital measurement


It’s more than just the lack of standardization of currency and metrics out there for digital measurement, it’s about merging panel-based and server-based measurement. CRE, the group of senior researchers in the media and advertising space dedicated to advancing audience measurement methodology, has issued a broad RFP to industry researchers for a project to advance digital audience measurement. CRE hopes to assess current data collection practices as well as best practices to strengthen “hybrid” (panel-based/server-based) digital audience measurement. 

The objective is to examine how various digital publishers capture and maintain user data, and to understand the role this data can play in supplementing research-panel data to augment audience measurement. No confidential or proprietary info. is being sought.

CRE’s Digital Committee (DC) is chaired by Dan Murphy, SVP of Research & Analytics at Univision Interactive Media. Over its first year of operation the DC has focused initial efforts toward education and identification of prime areas of opportunity for the community. Now it is focus is on digital audience measurement and its resulting impact on ad effectiveness measurement.

Murphy tells RBR-TVBR The CRE Digital Committee RFP seeks to address one very specific piece of the overall puzzle: “But bear in mind, currency alignment and measurement across all screens is very much our end goal. Last week while attending the MRC/Nielsen meeting, the conversation was all about TV and Digital Video.  And that’s certainly important to measure.  But the evolving cross-platform experience is so much more than the video.  Over the course of the NFL football season, avid fans were actively going online to configure their teams, sitting down in front of the TV watching the games and in many cases monitoring the performance of their teams.  So currency alignment on video across screens is important.  But it’s also important for us to accurately measure the extended experiences on behalf of marketers sponsoring the complete experience.”

“Panel-based and server-based approaches to measurement both have innate strengths and weaknesses,” said the RFP. “For example, a panel-based approach can provide representative demographics where server-based approaches typically cannot. Server–based approaches can provide a census measure of delivery volume, where existing panels cannot. We hypothesize that together they provide the means to measure persons-based audiences with validity, where individually they cannot.”

So, hybrid-panel-served methodologies are playing an important role in filling in the gaps and extending measurement to more of the digital space. DC is also  interested in studying how publisher data can play a role in supplementing panel demographic info to augment audience measurement: “In short, we would like to assess current data collection practices, commonalities, areas of opportunity and best practices to enhance hybrid Digital Audience Measurement methodologies. Through improving audience measurement the consensus is this will make it possible for agencies, advertisers and publishers to have a greater degree of confidence in exposure measurement.”

“We know panel-based approaches provide representative demographics but are lacking in complete audience coverage,” added Murphy.  “Conversely, we know server-based approaches effectively fill in the audience blind-spots but lack demographics.  Combining these approaches helps achieve the best of both worlds and helps toward the objective of giving advertisers and publishers greater confidence in exposure measurement.”

The deadline for submissions is 2/24, with an anticipated award date of 3/24.  The CRE expects to undertake the project in Q2.

RBR-TVBR observation: The effort is to standardize is industry-wide and across multiple platforms. In November, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) released “Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines” for public comment. Developed with the assistance of the Media Rating Council, the guidelines will provide a framework to govern how ad impressions are counted on the mobile Web.