Scott McDonald, Ph.D. — CEO and President, ARF
Collaborating on Research and Solutions for Private Measurement
Dennis Buchheim — VP, Advertising Ecosystem, Facebook
Dennis Buchheim has a unique perspective from “two sides” of the ad industry. He leads Facebook’s Ads Ecosystem team after serving as CEO of IAB Tech Lab. Dennis shared a view on how the industry is grappling with the shifting regulatory, platform, and technology landscape. Only together can the industry understand these changes and create paths forward. As opportunities are evaluated to evolve how data is used, research will be critical in refining the industry’s foundational knowledge and providing tactical guidance.
Facebook and IAB Tech Lab missions are similar in that both stress collaboration, engagement in the digital media community, and development of foundational solutions and standards. Common challenges include regulations, privacy, safety, integrity, misinformation, and disinformation. Solutions must be holistic and will impact targeting and optimization, effectiveness measurement, marketing best practices, and budget allocation.
Dennis also showcased a recent Facebook-academic collaboration that compared over 1,000 randomized ad experiments to non-experimental proxy metrics and machine learning models, to provide insights into when and how to apply non-experimental measurement to evaluate the success of an ad campaign. This research reveals that lack of data does not mean lack of measurement since proxy methods can be used. Simpler last-click metrics can work well for advertisers in the absence of experiments. Click-based proxies can guide similar go/no-go decisions based on cost per incremental conversion. With just one experiment, an advertiser can calibrate last-click and last-view metrics to achieve better estimates.
- The challenges represent shared issues that are critical, but historically, each player has operated independently. Different parties have unique pieces of the puzzle, including valuable data, insights, and tech, as well as understanding and perspectives of the issues.
- Collaboration is essential. No one company can tackle the challenges of the digital media ecosystem alone. Facebook hasn’t been a terrific collaborator with the industry to date, Dennis noted. However, it’s an opportunity for Facebook to be an industry ally going forward.
- Research/data will be a key factor in assessing paths and solutions going forward.
- Accurate measurement is vital, it drives advertising dollars. However, no single solution exists. A portfolio of solutions is needed to the existing targeting, measurement, and optimization challenges.
- Dennis provided an open invitation to the industry to collaborate to help solve these challenges together.
The Evolution of Measurement and Looking Towards a Privacy-Centric Ecosystem
Gaz Alushi — Global Head of Measurement Research and Development, Snap, Inc.
Interviewer: Paul Donato — Chief Research Officer, ARF
The ARF’s Paul Donato interviewed Snap’s Gaz Alushi about the impact of privacy-centric ecosystems on measurement and the consumer. From his perspective of working within a walled garden, Gaz speaks to how Snap puts the consumer first without conflating tracking with measurement in capturing the impact of an ad campaign. Paul and Gaz also discussed the industry’s response to privacy regulations, working with first- and third-party data, the MRC’s cross-platform standards, and how Snap works with partners across the spectrum to measure its audiences.
- The MRC standards work for Snap as it makes it more fair across the spectrum. Gaz believes there will be a natural evolution where the industry will start translating time spent to actual attention, and how much time is required for attention based on audience, demographic, or product that’s being advertised.
- Biggest question Snap has been getting is making sure there’s efficiency across the spectrum, but the biggest demand is for cross-platform measurement, to measure at parity with other platforms.
- Most likely the industry will see aggregation across multiple sources to ensure that there is a fair broker of objective measurement and data consolidation and aggregation. Gaz predicted that the concept of tracking an individual user is going to fall away and the industry will re-pivot to looking at their audience as a whole in making their decisions.
A Holistic Measurement Journey
Ashley Eckerlin — SVP of Commercial Strategy, Planning & Analytics, SharkNinja
Mike Menkes — SVP, Analytic Partners
Change has been the only constant of the past 18 months, but for brands that know how to adapt, this change represents opportunity. Holistic measurement – from understanding incremental impact across channels to building in considerations for macro factors like consumer behavior shifts and the pandemic – is key to sustained growth.
SharkNinja and Analytic Partners shared how they honed their advertising investment strategy as media mix has become more diversified and how they are measuring impact now. Mike Menkes and Ashley Eckerlin presented the journey and evolution of analytics at SharkNinja, a company focused on kitchen appliances, cleaning, and home care products.
Ashley stated that the firm has come a long way from their pre-analytic measurement. Previously the company measured their infomercial DTC business via direct response sales (phone and web). Using retail POS trends to evaluate TV sales was a simplistic measurement.
SharkNinja needs commercial marketing mix modeling to understand the increasing complexities of the total business. As a result, the company’s measurement analytics have evolved significantly, and its media mix has expanded tremendously.
Marketing mix modeling lets the company know where to put their next dollar. The data can be parsed to uncover what’s working, not working, account for halo effects, as well as understanding how product and portfolio messaging work together.
Ashley spoke about Amazon’s complicated ecosystem. Using direct response analytics was insufficient. Commercial marketing mix modeling enabled SharkNinja to see Amazon’s impact on the business.
- According to Ashley, commercial marketing mix model represents a beacon, allows for the use of external data sources, and provides ideas for new investments. This model enables SharkNinja to answer its main question: Is marketing driving ROI at retail? Incremental analysis informs the marketing mix and health of the brand.
- Getting leadership on board with the modelling represented a full 180-degree change from a direct response to a complex model. The approach, methodology, and proof points had to be reiterated. It is not a black box. Drive change management and commit to whatever achieves the highest ROI.
- Knowing the role of COVID vs. the impact of marketing on sales of SharkNinja was critical. Analytic Partners examined the role of non-marketing factors driving business performance and measured their impact. Using the model helped parse data and allowed for accurate forecasts.
- Marketers should seek growth and new ways of analyzing and measuring business. Test and learn is critical to moving forward.
Understanding Consumer Sentiment Towards Data & Privacy in Advertising
Bridget Bidlack — SVP of Product, Lucid
Lucid is a research technology platform that delivers programmatic access to first-party survey data that can be used to drive business initiatives. Using survey-based methodologies to help clients understand the accuracy and effectiveness of their advertising efforts.
In her presentation, Bridget Bidlack shared recent research Lucid conducted on consumer sentiment on data privacy as it relates to the concept of a “free Internet” and sharing of data. Although the Internet is “free” to users, there is an inherent quid pro quo requirement: users must view ads and share data to use the Internet, and this “contract” isn’t always transparent.
Accordingly, Lucid wanted to explore consumer sentiment to determine how different user groups feel about sharing their data (i.e., do they know how their data is shared?). Lucid marketplace surveyed users across 10 countries and reported the findings below.
- The majority of users want more transparency about why their data is being collected but, on average, feel they have a good sense of how their data is used to provide personalized experiences.
- Users want to be incentivized for sharing their data, a practice already in place in the Lucid marketplace.
- The reputation of a company is important when deciding whether or not to provide information.
- Women reported being more concerned with privacy issues, however, men are more likely to report using software to block collection of their online data.
- American respondents cared least about data collection compared to the other nine countries surveyed.
Infrastructure Evolution for Next Generation Market Research
Raj Mann – Sr. Data Scientist, Microsoft
Microsoft’s goal was to create a solution to bring independent data sources together. Their database contains 2+ years of data on millions of Microsoft’s identified customers, usage across 10+ core consumer products, and revenue (both direct and indirect, across these products). This database is also GDPR compliant. Protecting this data is a priority.
Raj Mann reviewed the evolution of Microsoft’s infrastructure. In the past, research was slower due the need for a lot of data manipulation and quality control challenges. The investments have increased extensibility of data and removed obstacles that prevented data access for researchers and improves collaboration. Microsoft’s infrastructure investments resulted in a 70% reduction in time for data analysis on the 600 studies Microsoft conducts annually.
In addition, the investment:
- Makes it possible to see connections between customer sentiment and revenue generation.
- Continues to deliver on some of the critical consumer-focused market leading research without additional resources.
- Maintains security, privacy, and customer trust around the data.
- Allows uncovering actionable insights from machine learning.
Post-Pandemic Trends: Agility & Adaptability
The Future Goes Viral: Brand Challenges and Opportunities Triggered by the Pandemic
David Tice — Senior Consultant, HUB Entertainment Research
Jon Giegengack — Founder & Principal, HUB Entertainment Research
The presenters summarized insights from HUB’s on-going series of surveys on viewers’ ownership, behaviors, and opinions about all aspects of TV and video. Since they have data going back to 2018, they are able to analyze long-term trends, including the impact of the pandemic.
The presentation focused on how the pandemic affected trends and what the data indicate about the future. For example, the adoption smart TVs and of streaming services has led to consumers “stacking” subscription services. Growth exploded during the pandemic. However, the data show that growth is slowing and there are no indications that a majority of viewers is replacing “traditional” TV with streaming. In other words, the pandemic accelerated this trend, and that trend is likely to persist, but not at the accelerated rate.
- Surveys on trends in viewing and viewing sources used by consumers show that the pandemic has accelerated trends that were evident prior to the pandemic: the growth of viewing sources used in general and especially of streaming services.
- The data indicate that exclusive content (such as first-run movies on HBO Max) is a strong driver of viewers’ adoption of and continuing subscription to streaming services.
- The researchers conclude that their findings suggest some likely permanent changes: the continuation of relatively high viewing levels, less linear TV and more streaming. The data also indicate that, while some are eager to return to movie theaters, watching (and paying for) first-run movies on TV will also remain high.
How High-Frequency Data Offers Consumer Insights
Joanna Piacenza — Head of Industry Intelligence, Morning Consult
When will things return to normal and what will our new normal look like? To answer these questions, Morning Consult is tracking how consumer attitudes are shifting across a wide range of categories to gain greater insight into not only when consumers are ready to return to their normal activities but how their habits have changed. This presentation provides a case study on travel and hospitality with insights drawn from their Tracking the Return to Normal project.
- There was a rise in consumer comfort in vacationing in 2021, but progress has flattened with the rising Delta variant – over half of U.S. consumers are very concerned.
- Currently, 70% of U.S. consumers feel comfortable taking a road trip, but comfort in shared mobility, although doubled since the beginning of the year, never crossed the 50% mark.
- Although leisure travel has rebounded more quickly than business travel, there are higher levels of comfort in traveling among business travelers. Share of comfort in international travel is around 40%, which is closer to early January levels.
- Morning Consult predicts that most consumers would feel more comfortable traveling by Q2 2022, but travel and hospitality brands should focus on marketing more locally.
The Performance (Media) Must Go On
Tess Erickson — Director of Research & Strategy, Broadbeam Media
Broadbeam Media found past assumptions of consumer behavior being upended by the pandemic. To better understand the transformation happening in the American home, they conducted proprietary research to focus on the respondent’s perceptions of the last year, through sight, taste, hearing, smell, touch, and feel, to influence respondents to think about their last year in a fresh way. The following includes what they learned through the research.
- Segment behaviors, not people. Mutually exclusive consumer segments were not providing the full picture as anyone that fell between the extremes were getting lost. Broadbeam Media found it more useful to cluster the data by behaviors and how they were interacting.
- Platforms are differentiated by content, not devices. Linear was still dominant for time-sensitive content and legacy reality shows. One type of unscripted content more popular on streaming were documentaries and investigative reporting. Streaming is taking over high-budgeted scripted space (e.g., recent movie releases, high budget action and fantasy, family content).
- Remote work changed not just people’s schedules but also their media schedules. For instance, overall media consumption was up, but remote workers watched significantly more linear TV, streaming, and social video later at night. Also, even without commutes, 65% of remote workers were listening to audio.
Cross-Platform: Measurement & Identity
Extending the Audience Scope: Brand in a Multisource Data Context
Stephanie Grassa — Head of Research and Operations TGI France, Kantar
Gilles Santini — Consultant, Vintco
This presentation describes a project to enhance analytics on print and digital audiences in France. The main sources of data for print and digital audiences in France are:
- ACPM/One Next: References audience measures for magazines and newspapers.
- Mediametrie: Reference for broadcast and web media audiences.
- Kantar Media Division/TGI: Established to analyze consumer behaviors, brand preference, and market trends for advanced segmentation, planning, and activation.
The goal of the project was the integration of the media brand inside the French TGI system in order to enable analysis of media brand consumption combined with product and brand usage.
A probabilistic approach was decided upon, and the methodology involved matching, ascription, calibration, and brands. This methodology resulted in candidate probabilities to which a final calibration algorithm was applied.
Once this process was completed, the brands were integrated for use in TGI.
A limitation of this methodology exists because the probability of the brand is constructed from the print and web probabilities. This methodology accepts, at an individual level, the independence of behavior between print and web. According to the presenters, this is clearly not true, but to do any better is very challenging.
Have We Been Mis-Measuring Basic Demographic and Media Consumption?
Jon Puleston — VP, Innovation, Profiles Division, Kantar
Inaccurate responses to basic demographic and media consumption questions asked in surveys are very problematic, since these responses form the bedrock data points for all demographic research and media consumption measurement.
Jon Puleston analyzed some of the reasons why respondents are not truthful in surveys and the challenges raised. As a result of inaccurate respondent responses, the industry has been mis-measuring basic demographics and media consumption for decades.
Additionally, each company and country has its own methods of measuring basic demographics and media consumption. Growing levels of international cross-market research require accurate and consistent data.
Fifty cross-market experiments and desk research provided a framework to address some of these fundamental flaws and formed the basis for Jon’s proposals:
- Adopt more inclusive and precise approaches to how demographic and media questions are asked to improve the accuracy of responses. Establish an ESOMAR committee to develop best practice methods made up of representations from the key panel supply companies, leading market research firms, and key buyers of international market research.
- Upgrade how basic demographics and media consumption questions in surveys are measured. Pledges are needed from key players in the research industry to work to adopt and implement the use of these best practices.
- Create an international measurement standard. Support is needed from advertising professionals and ARF members.
The Digital Divide: Inclusion of a Mobile Population (To Have & Have not: Part 2)
David Kingsbury — Analytics Consultant III, IRI
David Kingsbury reviewed data from his 2019 ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE presentation, and IRI’s subsequent advances to improve accessibility, targeting, and measurement of the digital invisible. This research has helped uncover a sliver of those invisible, i.e., households that move and are lost (either temporarily or permanently).
Research during the summer of 2021 revealed that the demographics of the digital invisible remained the same. Digital invisible consumers are more likely to skew low income, no kids, and under 34 years of age. They are part of the 13% of the population who move annually. Additionally, some consumers don’t want to be tracked. This population is not receiving targeted advertising and their purchases are not being measured.
- Approximately 20% of all shoppers exist outside normal PII coverage, and 17% of frequent shoppers (shoppers who regularly use loyalty cards) are invisible.
- IRI found that there were opportunities to recover or claw back 9% of these frequent shoppers via deterministic matching using virtual consumer identifiers. Mapping these households gives advertisers an opportunity to include them in digital messages and measurement in a privacy safe environment.
- Ad effectiveness measurement indicated that the digitally invisible had the highest sales lift. Inclusion of the digital invisible consumer in ad targeting, activation, and measurement improved the brand’s sales outcomes and ROAS.
Data Deprecation & Rising Privacy Concerns
IAB State of Data Initiative 2020
Chris Bruderle — Sr. Director Research & Analytics, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
The IAB Programmatic & Data Center examined the impact of the loss of third-party cookies and identifiers on the digital advertising ecosystem, particularly on brands and publishers. This report measures the industry’s sense of preparedness, expectations for revenue and data-driven tasks, and progress into leveraging first-party data. Two studies were executed, conducted by Ipsos and McKinsey, surveying and interviewing key data leaders across categories.
- Overall, 67% of the industry reported being prepared but there’s disparity by company type with most prepared being ad tech and data companies (86%) and least prepared being brands (48%).
- However, their concerns about executing essential tasks in the post cookie ecosystem (“table stakes” tasks such as targeting, measurement, and user tracking) suggest that their belief in preparedness isn’t justified.
- There is a large blind spot about the financial impact caused by the post-cookie ecosystem: 76% expect that their revenue will not be impacted. However, McKinsey estimates that publishers can look at up to $10 billion loss in ad revenue.
- A lot of works needs to be done on the first-party data front: there’s currently minimal amount of first-party data being collected, and most are not being leveraged for advertising and marketing.
- There needs to be more and highly focused collaboration to implement privacy centric addressability solutions for targeting and measurement.
Understanding & Using Ethical Data Attitudes to Improve Consumer Relationships
Mark Truss — Chief Research Officer, Wunderman Thompson
Tom Corey — VP, Consulting Services NA, Wunderman Thompson
Brad Audet — CMO, Mazda North American Operations
A Wunderman Thompson survey of 1,000 consumers each in the U.S. and U.K. found that concerns about data privacy rank 4th—behind only the economy, the COVID pandemic and healthcare. Most consumers see the collection and use of their personal data as an opaque process, creating a “negative halo” for companies they associate with this. Consumers generally do not perceive the benefits to them of sharing personal data and desire greater control—without necessarily knowing how this could be done. Mazda’s Brad Audet said that best practice in communicating about data privacy must start with a focus on the consumer, not the company’s data needs. Citing the example of Amazon, he urged that companies “co-create opportunities with customers” to use data for personalization that creates real value for them. Otherwise, their concerns will add to the current “cascade of distrust” in government and other large institutions.
- Consumers’ lack of understanding about how personal data is collected and used exacerbates their fear of the unknown.
- While a company’s use of such data to personalize offers (e.g., Amazon) can create value that is perceived and appreciated by consumers, use by third parties crosses a threshold.
- Companies must rely on their general reputation for integrity to overcome these concerns.
- Managing personal information is just one aspect of a company’s CRM.
- As Brad Audet says, “How a brand behaves is its entrée to the data.”
Finding Mountain Dew’s Sweet Spot
Joe Conte — VP, Sales, Media Center of Excellence
Carlos Cruz — AVP, East Coast Sales, LoopMe
LoopMe’s Carlos Cruz and IRI’s Joe Conte review a case study for Pepsi’s Mt Dew using IRI’s real-time deterministic sales data and LoopMe’s in-flight optimization. Highlighting the precision of IRI’s retailer loyalty card data from 117M households (HH), Joe provided background on and execution of the campaign that increased dollars per HH sales lift by 40%. Aligning the right ads at the right time by leveraging IRI’s actual purchase data, Carlos outlined the attributes that drove brand lift and Pepsi’s sales goals to attract new buyers.
The campaign results from this data and optimization partnership drove effective sales lift, efficiency/ROAS, and a 20% lift in new buyer acquisition.
Leveraging A/B Testing to Understand Consumer Behavior
Vidyotham Reddi — Director, Mkt. Intel & Analytics, Mars, Inc.
Vidyotham Reddi shared insights from Mars’ approach to A/B testing as their gold standard of learning. Framing it within the timely “virus” context, Vidyotham reinforced A/B testing’s dependability, versatility, and precision for marketing and understanding consumer behavior as part of Mars’ overall strategy.
Applying these learnings in eComm channels to predict overall sales, Mars created an ecosystem with intent to measure stimulus and response with A/B testing. Featuring a case study that included creating a digital A/B testing capability that informed overall multi-media pre-campaign and in-flight investment decisions, the presentation underscored how Mars’ collaborative success resulted in a new standard tool that measures multiple creative and content in cost-efficient ways.
- A/B Tests are the “Gold Standard” and the cleanest way of measuring ‘stimulus’ on sales.
- Access to a platform tying stimulus to actual purchase behavior affords tremendous flexibility and accelerates reaction time to trends.
- Leverage a platform like this, no matter which part of the globe, no matter how big or how small. Start with building for purpose, test it, try it out, and then scale it.
The Power of Big Data
Kimberly Gilberti — SVP, Product Management, Nielsen
Big data’s power can only go so far, as cautioned in this presentation from Nielsen. Envisioning a future where big data’s integration in measurement is calibrated with panel assets, Nielsen’s Kimberly Gilberti addressed big data’s gaps in TV sources and usage, like CTV, video games, and smart TV’s native apps. This brief overview of how Nielsen uses big data detailed the enrichment needs for MVPDs and ACR in addition to the power of people-based panels that fill in the missing pieces.
- Granularity of big data provides added stability and ability to detect linear addressable ads.
- Big data in isolation is not census.
- Representative panels account for bias, enrich the data, and address gaps.
- Machine learning models trained on representative data deliver reliable and accurate demographics
Building a Cross-Device, Multi-Source, & Verified Behavioral Data Exchange Tool
Increasing transparency in cross-platform SVOD/AVOD/Ad measurement for the benefit of content creation and industry-wide tracking.
Dana Budzyn — Head of Strategic Projects, YouGov
Alie Cirgenski — Head of Growth, YouGov
Post-Pandemic Trends: Agility & Adaptability
Session Chair: Steven Millman — SVP, Research & Operations, Dynata
This discussion addressed three presentations that described insights from surveys on how the pandemic affected consumer behavior during the pandemic and to what extent observed changes will persist. The presentations addressed trends in behaviors and attitudes regarding media (such as linear TV vs. streaming), travel, and also shopping, cooking, and education.
- Panelists agreed that the pandemic had changed behaviors and lifestyles, but most of those changes represented acceleration of existing trends and shifts in time spent, rather than completely new behaviors.
- Among the many changes, these stand out: the rapid adoption of streaming services, watching first-run movies at home (often for an extra charge) and online grocery shopping. At least to some extent, those changes will probably persist.
- Were there surprises? Despite the growth of smart TVs and streaming, most consumers have not abandoned linear TV, cable, etc.
- Finally, frequent surveys are a great way to track changes and discover trends, but we have to be careful not to “over-survey” consumers. Also, researchers should anticipate possible disruptions that could affect the methods they use for data collection.
Data Deprecation & Rising Privacy Concerns
Session Chair: Ryan Boh — Head of Activation & Identity, Product Strategy, Oracle
All agreed that just because something is technically feasible does not mean that it should be done—or will be understood and appreciated by consumers. (Example: Concerns that Amazon’s Echo is always listening in the background.) As alternatives to the current practice of behavioral tracking (with or without consumer awareness and understanding), ask: What are replacement forms of data? How can these be collected? At what cost? How will you activate such data? YouGov’s surveys point to the need to compensate consumers in exchange for their personal data. Next year’s IAB survey can be a “report card” on how well companies are managing this transition.
- 70% of companies surveyed do not expect the loss of behavioral tracking data (aka “cookies”) to have a financial impact. (This seems naïve.)
- What are alternatives to today’s behavioral tracking and other personal data—and how will you collect, pay for and use such data?
- The advertising ecosystem needs interoperability across data sources and standard taxonomies for identification to allow recommendations across platforms (walled gardens).
- Companies need customer data platforms (CDPs) and machine learning/AI to take advantage of external data matched to their own first-party data.
- Data from streaming media can not only increase cost efficiencies but also help create better content.
Cross-Platform: Measurement & Identity
Session Chair: Sue Hogan — SVP, Research & Analytics, IAB
In this moderated discussion for the track, Cross-Platform: Measurement & Identity, the speakers answered questions from the attendees about their respective presentations and discussed cross-platform challenges.
- Finding good data on minority audiences is difficult (Sue, IAB).
- Ethnic audiences skew a little more towards the invisibles segment. Possible reasons include more relocation by these consumers or changing devices frequently. (David, IRI)
- Audience targeting needs accurate measurement. Challenges exist due to GDPR, CCPA, cookie deprecation, etc. What solutions should be focused on in a test and learn environment? (Sue)
- There is a need to lean on opt-in identifiers and combining different onboarders to boost deterministic audiences. IRI has a few clients set up with clean rooms and plans to beef them up. (David)
- Jon Puleston from Kantar is spearheading changes in screening questions for global media consumption data, as presented during this Track. Is global standardization on our horizon? (Sue)
- Standardized global data would make it easier and more accurate to compare studies across countries. Studies would be repeatable. Standardization would enable a single measurement policy. (David)
- The number of times print issues are read and when they are read over time has been included in French print statistics since last year. It is the standard. For print audiences, MPX and velocity are being combined to generate actual “eyes-on” on multiple occasions and to produce “real” target audience impressions over time. (Gilles, Vintco)
- After years of discussion, we are seeing some industry consensus and forward movement. (Sue)
Session Chair: Peter Sedlarcik — Managing Partner, Data & Analytics, HMG Health Practice, Havas Media
In a follow-up discussion for the “Understanding Audiences” track, Havas Media’s Peter Sedlarcik delves deeper into the ways the panelists are measuring for their clients, from the challenges of creating custom platforms and how technology’s rapid advances are affecting how they reconcile data, to balancing rigorous methodology with dynamic measurement approaches.
- From an adoption standpoint, more and more CPG brands are catching up to connecting brand and media metrics in real-time to purchase data as it is more readily available. (Joe, IRI)
- In applying learnings from A/B testing to predicting overall sales, Mars found one of its big challenges was the differences in brands’ penetration online and offline. Pay close attention to conversions offline. Leverage the upper funnel metrics with A/B testing—it’s cheaper and highly reliable. (Vidyotham, Mars)
- Nielsen looks at balancing rigorous methodology and dynamic measurement in three different contexts: resiliency, coverage, and comparability. Resiliency in the confidence that it will work now and, in the future, and be privacy-centric. Coverage in streamlining and onboarding as many data sources as possible for responsible measurement, while understanding strengths and weaknesses. And comparability in that the metric is apples-to-apples, enables speed, and is painless as possible (Kimberly, Nielsen).
Identity Resolution Solution – How Close Are We?
Moderator: Alice Sylvester — Partner, Sequent Partners
Travis Clinger — Addressability and Ecosystem, LiveRamp
Jason Manningham — CEO, Blockgraph
Matt Spiegel — EVP Marketing Solutions, Head of Media Vertical, TransUnion
Few would argue that a solution for identity resolution is needed to effect cross-platform video measurement. However, connecting different digital devices to unique users and households is fraught with legal, technical, and organizational barriers. How likely are we to see some kind of interoperable ID system that all industry participants can and will adopt?
Identity resolution is a difficult and organizational barrier for the industry. Alice (Sequent Partners) presented the following POV and asked for reaction from the panelists: We are not close to an identity resolution solution. We are not going to get there. Lots of data is needed for household targeting, such as third-party data and PII addresses. We cannot connect across every single consumer.
- Jason (Blockgraph) responded that he believes the industry will get to an identity resolution solution. The availability of signals (IP addresses, emails) may change, the scope will change.
- We will get close to the desired end state. The challenge is not building an ID scale or connection, but how it will be applied. The functionality and business applications are challenging, according to Matt (TransUnion).
- We will get there, according to Travis (LiveRamp). It is going to get much more complex with display, CTV, mobile, etc., plus the world is changing. It is not a tech problem, but a privacy problem. Regaining consumer trust is critical.
- Jason stated that as the media industry has fragmented, there are more players in audience targeting and measurement and different interpretations of privacy. It is complex. Unlikely there will be a global strategy and standards across the ecosystem. It’s a tech meets business challenge. There is a need to work across different constructs.
Will we be able to identify targets, optimize marketing plans, and measure against targeted audiences? (Alice)
- We are going to do all those things., according to Matt. The holy grail is for every impression to be measured and 1:1 targeting and measurement. We should not chase that goal. Micro-segmenting of small cohorts will be enough. Micro-segmenting is better than broad age and gender targeting. Manage limitations and make trust possible.
The appeal to do identity resolution is very strong. Opt-in subscribers are crucial. How many providers can provide scale? (Alice)
- It depends on the media platform. In the TV arena, there are a small number of vendors who can provide scale in terms of apps, linear, and addressable. (Jason)
- We will get to 1:1 personalization. Consumers will opt in and share ids. Not at 100%, but around 30%, which will be sufficient. More measurable than it is today, and a much better experience. (Travis)
Will that 30% be a biased sample of people who don’t understand their privacy rights and opt in? (Alice)
- Not a big risk, according to Matt. There will be three to five identity graphs in any market. Key tools will be interoperable. Plenty of consumers will be reached on a targeted basis.
- Jason agreed that the number will not be 100% for addressability, but accurate impression-based data is critical. A panel may be part of the solution, but not sufficient. Accurate identity resolution at the household level is critical.
- Marketers will pay more for that targeted impression. Media planning will change (Travis).
How do we develop best practices to measure accuracy? (Alice)
- Travis noted that best practices will be different for each marketer, for each brand.
- Matt noted that marketers should data test and to ask a lot of questions of partners about signals, sources, matching technology, and data science capabilities. Marketers must look under the vendor’s hood.
Licensing data from multiple sources makes it difficult to know about the identity of those sources. (Alice)
- Jason (Blockgraph) added that there is a scale vs. accuracy challenge. Need 3rd party services in certain circumstances.
- Even email matching can present challenges, Travis (LiveRamp) pointed out. Using identity graphs may help in many situations.
- Jason (Blockgraph) commented that the industry needs trusted organizations to provide 3rd party studies.
What does the Converged TV Ecosystem Need From a “Calibration” Panel?
Moderator: Howard Shimmel — President, Janus Strategy & Insights, LLC
Caroline Horner — Chief Product Officer, 605
Molly Poppie — SVP, Data Science, Nielsen
Michael Vinson — Chief Research Officer, Comscore, Inc.
Howard Shimmel of Janus Strategy & Insights, LLC. guided this expert panel through the critical questions surrounding the importance of calibration panels to the measurement industry. Howard asked why calibration panels are needed, what they bring to measurement, and what is sacrificed if the industry does not support them moving forward.
- Calibration panels fill in behavioral gaps and observe the whole relationship between persons, devices, and homes. Marketers want to see the overlap to understand how families use devices, concurrent usage, and co-viewing. The panels help solidify the full view of the consumer as an individual but also the total consumer UE – they retain the connections to the people within the household. (Caroline, 605)
- Marketers need something that measures across all behaviors—there are going to be populations that are not represented in big datasets that are unique – calibration panels increase accuracy and minimize bias. (Molly, Nielsen)
- Calibration panels go further to get brand effects and attitudinal metrics that are hard to extract from big data. For outcome measurement, panel surveys are indispensable. (Michael, Comscore)
- Not having calibration panels would mean a loss of control of forecasting, according to Caroline. There is also a risk of losing an understanding of people and how they interact – that will go away if you think you can depend on machine learning and large datasets by themselves. Michael states that we would lose the ability to see the underrepresented populations and do a better job of representing them.
THE LAST WORD
Josh Chasin — Chief Measurability Officer, VideoAmp
Jane Clarke — CEO, Managing Director, CIMM
Seth Duncan — Chief Data Officer, Real Chemistry
Mike Menkes — SVP, Analytic Partners
There was a combination of both upbeat and downbeat takeaways from the anchor commentators on the last day of the conference. The following are edited highlights from the conversation:
- There’s dissonance between marketing and advertising and consumer expectations on privacy and identity, and Josh (VideoAmp) wondered if there will be a day of reckoning. He noted the paradox between tracking consumer behavior more granularly while protecting privacy. He argued that just because technology is evolving shouldn’t necessarily mean it should be inevitable, especially in regard to big data and its capabilities. He was pleased at seeing the consensus around taking individual data and aggregating it.
- It’s up to brands to make marketing and advertising a better experience for the consumer, stated Seth (Real Chemistry). He expressed some skepticism in the belief that increasing consumer literacy around their data will encourage them to opt-in. Jane (CIMM) agreed about better literacy being a lofty goal, but noted YouGov presenting that they were able get people to share all kinds of data in their panel, not only through incentives but a value exchange of providing customized viewing recommendations.
- We may never reach the holy grail of advertising measurement, but it will be good enough. Seth was struck by number of today’s speakers noting that measurement will never be perfect but it’s good enough where we will land. He also observed the increasing acceptance of combination of panel based insights projected onto large data sets. Jane agreed that all data has error in them – we need to figure out how to put them together.
- There are differences of opinions on the optimism for an interoperable ID system, observed Mike (Analytic Partners). He noted that while it’s reasonable that walled gardens can do this within their gardens, it’s unlikely to think that this valuable information will be shared broadly across digital ecosystems and offline environments. There are still a number of challenges that are being glossed over, but he thinks that there are different parts of the industry that are starting to really understand those watch-outs and the limitations. Mike concluded that we need to better understand why we want to have an identity (e.g., is it for targeting and ad-serving or is it for measurement?) and what those dynamics bring to the table.
Scott McDonald, Ph.D. — CEO and President, ARF