Since it launched in December, News Corp’s ad platform News IQ has gotten a workout from advertisers looking to prove that the ads News IQ hosts led to business outcomes.
News IQ has already used “dozens” of measurement vendors and methodologies, said Scott Hendrickson, SVP of sales for News IQ, adding that the pace of change in the ways advertisers measure advertising’s efficacy is “blistering.”
“We’ve come a long way from CTR [click-through rate],” Hendrickson said.
Advertisers are increasingly looking for evidence that their campaigns lead to concrete business outcomes like store visits, sales or TV tune-ins, and publishers are trying to provide that evidence. But doing so is complicated and expensive.
A cottage industry of measurement and attribution companies has sprung up that publishers have to work with. Having all those vendors to choose from makes it hard for publishers to fit onto agencies’ media plans, as agencies want to work with big blocks of publishers that all measure campaigns the same way so the agencies can more easily track the outcomes for clients.
But if an advertiser wants things measured with a different system or using a different methodology, the advertiser usually gets its way.
Proving attribution also nibbles into publisher margins in the form of measurement costs.
“Publishers are in a really tough position, normally, to demonstrate their value,” said Oscar Garza, EVP of media activation at Essence. “Publishers have to deal with every kind of client and agency combination, which can lead to different measurement methodologies, different attribution models, and in a lot of cases, not even measuring the right thing. They don’t get to influence what they’re being measured on, and in a lot of case they don’t get feedback on what they’re being measured on.”
Some publishers are used to proving they can deliver results for advertisers. Meredith has offered a sales guarantee to big-spending advertisers since 2011, and this past spring, it extended the guarantee to video sales.
“There is, increasingly, a demand for ROI for these big deals,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO of Mediaradar. “More folks are going to be forced to participate to retain bigger ad programs. It’s going to become a cost of doing business.”