Radha Subramanyam, Ph.D. (EVP, Chief Research and Analytics Officer, CBS Television Network)
Media measurement is at a crossroads. It has historically focused on counting people and impressions; however, media measurement of the future will involve both counting and outcomes. Factors such as the long-term health of the brand and emotional reactions are important to consider, too.
About attribution (i.e. return on investment): CBS tested the same campaign for a major retailer with four different attribution vendors. Surprisingly, results varied wildly. No consistent standards equates to no consistent outcomes. Inconsistency begins with inputs. When even basic metrics (number of impressions, reach, ad spend, cost per store visit, etc.) are so dissimilar, our concerns increase. The result: the influence of TV is undercounted.
The current state of TV measurement is a galaxy of metrics. The multiplicity of metrics makes everything overwhelming. The industry needs a call to action: simplification. Total audience should include Live TV + DVR + VOD + OOH + OTT + Digital.
Philosophy for the future: Data comes in all sizes. There is a role for both small and big data, but they must work together. We need to get over the old debates that interfere with brand building.
Consumer analytics have been historically diffused. Pulling it all together requires both sides of the brain: art and science. All science, algorithms and dashboards are important. But art is needed to make sense of the science.
Source: Subramanyam, R. (2019). Seeking a Framework for Measurement. Presented at the ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE Conference (April 15-16, 2019; Jersey City, NJ.) CBS Television Network.
Editor’s Note: Summary of an onstage presentation featured at the 2019 ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE Conference.