The eighth annual CIMM Cross-Platform Video Measurement & Data Summit was held on February 7th at the Time Warner Center in New York. As always, this annual fixture in the media research industry provided an interesting discussion about the state of media measurement.
Among the recurrent themes were:
- C-3 and C-7 measures, meant to be temporary, are now 12 years old and do not seem to be going anywhere – despite not reflecting today’s viewers
- Greater transparency is still needed at all levels
- The need for “ground truth panels” seems to be making a comeback
- Attribution continues to be the hot topic in measurement
In something of a change from previous editions, no-one from Nielsen or Comscore (or any start-up measurement service for that matter) presented or was part of a panel.
The hand-outs, press releases, and deck from the summit are available on the CIMM website, as are materials from earlier summits.
This was the first CIMM Summit since CIMM was acquired by the ARF back in October. I hope that CIMM and the ARF will continue to offer this summit, and to keep it free so that all those with an interest are able to attend.
Below are notes from each of the panels/presentations. These are by necessity distilled down based on how quickly I could take notes, so they do not reflect the totality of the discussions.
After a short kick-off by CIMM CEO and Managing Director Jane Clarke, the first session featured an interview of Krishan Bhatia of NBCUniversal.
- C-3 and C-7 are outdated by today’s viewing habits
- C-Flight introduction by NBCU came with little pushback. There is some friction around the work but not about the concept
- They are working on attribution, campaign measurement, and how to prove performance across all NBCU media
- He is skeptical that there will ever again be a one-size-fits-all solution
- 34% of NBCU consumption is now on digital – expect it to be up to 50% very soon
The next session was a panel featuring Rob Master of Unilever, David Cohen of MAGNA, and Laura Nathanson of Disney to discuss business needs for cross-measurement and metrics.
- RM: There is no common solution. Industry needs to develop a common vernacular to discuss. Can’t be perfect – what is now? near? next?
- LN: Disney adjusted by moving all media sales under one group. The “plumbing” is an issue – need to plumb and test
- DC: C-3 and C-7 are no longer sufficient. Need to move to exact commercial minute measurement. In the mid-/long-term, need to look at audible and visual measures across all platforms.
- RM: Unilever doesn’t care so much about addressability – they have broad markets
- LN: But then Unilever should use addressability to send different creative to various segments within a broad demo
- One key thought to close:
- RM: Transparency and dialog around counting
- DC: Let’s “start by starting” – need to get moving
- LN: Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it – it’s the reason we should do it
Next, an overview of this year’s update of the CIMM TV attribution whitepaper was presented by Jim Spaeth and Alice Sylvester of Sequent Partners. Attribution then discussed by Claudio Marcus of Freewheel and Lisa Giacosa of Spark Foundry.
- What is the state of the art of attribution?
- LG: I’m excited and hungry [for more]
- CM: Like in the UK train stations, “Watch the Gap”. There are gaps in cross-platform attribution, and brand/longer-term effects
- CM: Biggest effect so far on automotive. Auto had moved money from TV to digital – but attribution showed TV drove the digital exposures. Moving back to TV. Media & Entertainment another area – TV program promotion
- LG: Need to understand content effects. Can’t just follow short-term ROI over a cliff.
- JS: Need to use baseline sales as a basis for calculating incremental effects of attribution media
Following a break, there were brief updates of the Taxi Complete (AD-ID and EIDR) and Data Label initiatives.
Another panel discussed Deduplicating Reach for Content and Ads, featuring Radha Subramanyam of CBS, Eric Cavanaugh of Publicis, Beth Rockwood of Turner, and Ed Gaffney of GroupM and moderated by Scott McDonald of the ARF.
- EC: A good quality attribution should be getting deduplication as a byproduct
- BR: how things fit together is a big issue
- RS: need both counting and outcome measures. But we need to up-level the conversation: There are lots of products and data, but are we any closer to making sense of media and marketing together? Need a commonsense playbook at a high level.
- EG: Need dedup in place before this years upfront – or 2020 upfront.
- RS: Vendors need to listen closely to needs. Their solutions are not necessarily addressing the needs.
- EC: We also need to know about content to be able to place ads in context.
- EG: Blindspots are getting smaller but there are new ones popping up every day
- EC: We are getting one-off fixes to blindspots but need integrated response
- RS: Integrating projectable and non-projectable samples is doable but needs more investment
- BR: The technical issues of integration are easier than making the theory work
- RS: In terms of privacy, one-to-many is less threatening than true one-to-one marketing
Is there One Metric to Rule Them All? Kavita Vazirani of NBCU, Brian Hughes of MAGNA, George Ivie of the MRC, and Sheryl Feldinger of Google discussed this topic.
- BH: Need exact minute commercial ratings
- SF: Need equitable (with TV) transparency at exposure and second-by-second ratings
- KV: Need to measure effort vs return. Shouldn’t we be focusing on cross-platform measures rather than arguing about TV measures?
- BH: already does second-by-second with MediaOcean, which is an old platform – so it can be done today
- GI: MRC is working on standard definitions with partners and industry, aiming for impression-based duration-weighted data by 2021. Measures to include exposure, viewability, duration-weighting, complete exposure to an ad.
- SF: Wants absolute exposure. His work shows that a 5 or 10 second exposure elicits a similar response, regardless of the total length of an ad
- KV: Disagrees. She claims the only time a 6 second ad worked was as part of a larger integrated campaign
- GI: There is a big gap in content measurement in digital. For content measurement in a cross-platform world, customer journey analysis is something that should be syndicated (eg, third party)
- All: agree audio status needs to be known (muted vs non-muted)
The last panel talked about Audience-Based Buying Platforms for TV/Video. This panel included Bryson Gordon of Viacom, Mike Law of Dentsu Aegis, Bob Ivins of NCC Media, and Mike Welch of Xandr.
- BI: Inertia is real. Need to get marketers to “cross the bridge” and not turn back halfway across. We need standards and transparency.
- MW: Can help reach low incidence/low viewing HHs
- BI: Need an automated platform like Google and Facebook. Still too much manual transfers between different applications
- BG: users on OpenAP have already created 1,872 segments
- Opportunities in 2019
- BI: More inventory and optimization
- ML: Platform, optimization, interactivity
- BG: Automated workflows, cross-platform delivery, unified posting
- MW: Platform, true cross-platform delivery
To wrap up the afternoon, Jack Smith of GroupM told us about what he saw at the 2019 CES conference.
- The three areas to pay most attention to are Assistants (Alexa, etc); Autonomy (self-driving cars); and Simulation (VR/AR).
- It is important to understand how algorithms work – what products are suggested when Alexa is asked to buy something. Should brands have an avatar to speak for themselves, rather than relying on Amazon etc.
- Most everything will still be on screens. How are these to be measured?
- Top takeaways: 1) Interface revolution. 2) Immersion environments. 3) The ethics of tech in general.
David Tice is the principal of TiceVision LLC, a media research consultancy.
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