One more piece of the overall standardization puzzle has been found. It’s the mobile industry’s commitment to marketers and advertisers to create a transparent and consistent business environment for buying and selling ads. So, for the first time, standardized key metrics for measuring ads have been established for the mobile interactive industry. Developed in a joint effort by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and with the assistance of the Media Rating Council (MRC), the “Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines” provide a framework to govern how ad impressions are counted on the mobile Web. Note that the guidelines are applicable to mobile marketers, wireless operators, mobile publishers and ad serving organizations, and is intended as a guide to accepted practice.
The guidelines cover measurement of WAP/mobile web advertising activity. Measurement of other forms of mobile advertising activity, including messaging applications (SMS and MMS), mobile applications, and various forms of mobile audio and video (including streamed, downloaded, broadcast and progressive audio and/or video), is not within the scope of these guidelines.
A joint task force, comprised of members of the IAB’s Mobile Advertising Committee and the MMA’s Measurement Committee, met for more than a year to develop these guidelines, which specifically cover WAP/Mobile Web advertising.
Applicability of these guidelines, as opposed to the original IAB Advertising Measurement Guidelines, generally should be based on the type of ad served. For instance, ads served from a mobile version of a web site, or versions of ads specifically designed to be served to a mobile device or in a mobile web environment, should apply these Mobile Web Measurement Guidelines for counting purposes.
“The ‘Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines’ will help marketers accurately assess the delivery of ads within mobile websites and offer a clear way to count ad impressions, assuring them that their advertising messages are reaching mobile consumers,” said Anna Bager, VP/GM of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence.
“The IAB and MMA are to be applauded for recognizing that the creation of measurement guidelines for all marketing platforms eliminates a huge barrier to entry for advertisers and opens the market for enormous opportunity and innovation,” said George Ivie, CEO, MRC. “We were pleased to facilitate writing this new set of guidelines.”
The objectives of the “Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines” include:
•Defining the mobile web ad impression
•Creating a common methodology that will be widely adopted in the U.S. and globally for counting mobile web ad impressions
•Encouraging U.S. mobile web ad servers to have their impression counts audited by an independent third party
•Providing marketers and agencies with greater clarity and certainty (via the auditing process) that key metrics used for buying mobile web ads are methodologically sound and meet the highest standards available to the media industry
•Reducing levels of discrepancies and spurring the industry’s growth by offering Internet publishers and ad servers a consistent, rigorous way to count the delivery of ad impressions
The IAB’s Mobile Advertising Committee is comprised of over 140 member companies. This committee now sits under the newly created IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, a new unit within the organization that will serve as an industry-wide resource for innovation in mobile advertising.
RBR-TVBR observation: It’s one of a number of missions out there to standardize the currency and metrics out there for digital measurement, including 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, recently issued an RFP to industry researchers for a project to advance digital audience measurement. As well, the IAB, ANA, 4A’s joined to launch “Make Measurement Make Sense,” a major initiative to lead the industry in developing digital metrics and cross platform measurement solutions, with the goal of enhancing marketing and media management decision-making. There are many pieces to this puzzle, but there a lot of industry groups and players working hard to get it done.