As audiences continue to fragment, they become more specific and targetable, but marketers have more difficulty assembling them to build reach and to understand exactly what they are buying across the complex landscape. Complexity has other costs.
Despite claimed advances in marketing attribution and ROI assessment, marketers still struggle to shine light into black-box solutions. While some marketers question the continued value of advertising, others argue that audience targeting has gone too far at the expense of fundamental brand building.
Audience measurement and attribution is enabled by increasing volumes of behavioral data, but the future of that data ecosystem is challenged by consumer and political backlash and an uncertain regulatory future. At every turn, there are fundamental tensions between past and present and fundamental questions about the best way forward for audience analytics.
Help frame and illuminate these critical audience measurement issues by submitting your best research into one or more of the nine categories below by October 22, 2019. You will see that some categories have multiple sub-topics.
Submissions are rigorously reviewed through a member jury process. If selected, you will be invited to present your findings at AUDIENCExSCIENCE 2020 on April 20 or 21 at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City.
CALL FOR CONTENT CATEGORIES
TV Audience: Viewing, Assembling & AVOD
Consumer Trends in Video Viewing Behavior
Even as we moved from 20 channels to 500 channels, people tended to pay attention to a limited number of channels on a regular basis. Is fragmentation finally leading to more diverse content being watched? How is the mix shifting between ad-supported and paid? Between linear live, linear delayed and VOD? Long-form and short-form? How do patterns vary among different population groups (age, education, gender, geography, social class, ethnicity)?
Finding and Assembling an Audience
TV has always been effective at building reach, but fragmentation of distribution across platforms and devices has made it harder to build plans and control reach and frequency. How are the streaming video players—Hulu, Roku, Sling TV, and Direct TV — being combined with the traditional video distributors to permit national advertisers to manage reach and frequency?
Is AVOD the Future of Ad-Supported Cable?
There appears to be a lack of consensus among executives from TV/cable networks, tech platforms and streaming services about the right currency for ads appearing on AVOD services. There isn’t even agreement on the proper measures for SVOD services. Is it average minute, average commercial minute or individual commercial? AVOD has the content of linear TV, the targetability of digital and the engagement of viewer selected programming. How will AVOD perform within the context of the proposed MRC cross-platform standards and duration weighting?
Targeting: Strategies & Methods
Cross-Platform Targeting Strategies
How are advertisers leveraging the new tools for addressable TV, in combination with other targeting tools and other media platforms, to improve business results? What are uses of AI? Case studies from marketers are invited showing both successes and challenges.
The Evolution of Digital Ad Targeting Methods
Changes are underfoot for digital ad targeting methods. Factors include: the decline of third-party cookies, the impact of shifting from second-to-first-price auctions, the return of newer forms of contextual targeting and movement towards an ad environment that is more focused on data privacy. How are these shifts in ad targeting methods affecting different players in the ecosystem? How is segmentation being affected?
Building Brands & Attention
Building Brands vs. Activation
At AUDIENCExSCIENCE 2019, Les Binet presented evidence that excessive investment in activation inflicted long-term damage to brand equity. Are these findings corroborated or contradicted by other research? How can brands find the right balance? What are the pluses and minuses of context effects?
Paying Attention to Attention
The dearth of comparable and scalable attention data for cross-media planning and buying poses risks for brands and media owners. How do we solve for this attention disconnect? What are ongoing and new efforts to measure and monetize attention across platforms?
Attribution: Advances and Data Integration
Assigning Credit: Advances in Marketing Attribution and ROI Assessment
To date, there have been wide differences among attribution vendors analyzing the same ad campaigns. What progress has been made in identifying best practices? To what degree can randomized control trials (RCT), commonly used within the walled gardens, be used to improve attribution practices in broader and more diversified marketing campaigns?
Increasingly, ads are showing up in diverse places like apps and appliances. Campaigns may run on digital outdoor, social, linear television, digital video and radio as part of IOT. How can attribution keep up with the breadth of media in the plan? How can these data be integrated into MMM and MTA systems and who owns the data?
Cross-Platform: Standards, Identity & Mapping
Cross Platform Standards: What Have We Learned?
There are many features of the proposed MRC Video Cross Platform Standards ranging from the percentage of pixels on screen to time duration weighting. These standards cover Opportunity To See (OTS), specifically how long was the ad and the entire ad, on the viewer’s screen. The MRC expects the standards to be in place by 2020, with the exception of time duration weighting, which is scheduled for 2021. Currently the proposed standard includes linear time duration weighting. Is the impact really linear? How does OTS relate to lower funnel performance? Will attribution companies use the OTS standards as their measure of performance or some combination of KPIs? Will media planners use the MRC standards as the sole basis of currency? Will their decisions be based on empirical research?
Identity & Mapping
Differentiating reach from frequency remains challenging due to the need to link each consumer, each holding multiple devices, to unified IDs. What progress has been made on the efficacy and validation of identity graphs? On the next generation Universal ID in a cookieless world? How do you map in such complicated territory?
Revenge of the Panels
In the not-too-distant past, many people claimed that audience measurement would no longer require panels—with all of their inherent disadvantages of cost and scale. However, with rising concerns about the accuracy and privacy compliance of 3rd party data, panels based on probability selection methods have reclaimed ground in discussions of audience measurement methods. How are panels being used to calibrate estimates derived from large but non-random data sources?
Managing Privacy in an Era of Uncertainty
How have GDPR, CCPA and various state and local regulations affected audience measurement? Given the flux in the regulatory environment, what are best practices for marketers, agencies, media companies, ad tech and research vendors? On the flip side, how much value do consumers place on control of their own data? How do consumers feel about privacy vs. the benefits of being targeted correctly?
The major Ad Tech companies have been acquiring startups in spaces ranging from attribution to viewability. This is leading to a vertically integrated ecosystem. What does this mean for the future of measurement and attribution? Is there a benefit to one-stop-shopping or do advertisers prefer to select their own attribution and identity partners?
There are perennial issues in audience measurement that may not be included in the AUDIENCExSCIENCE 2020 Call for Content categories. This is your opportunity to share work that frame and address important industry challenges as well as spur on conversation and debate.
If you have questions, please contact Sara Serpe at email@example.com