June 07, 2009

Building a better yardstick.

Measurement means different things to different people—but most can agree that in business, measurement is vital to long-term success.

But, when exploring online brand measurement today, marketers need to be careful to separate out its two basic components:

* How successfully and efficiently did I reach my intended target consumer?

* Did my advertising campaign influence the consumer’s attitudes, perceptions or behaviors associated with the brand?

“One question is about ad effectiveness, and the other is the currency that is bought and sold,” said Young-Bean Song, senior director of analytics at the Atlas Institute for Microsoft Advertising.

eMarketer and InsightExpress polled 37 marketing professionals in the field of media measurement. The purpose was to gauge their opinions on the state of online brand measurement.

The respondents were asked whether they agreed with the following statement:

“Other than the economy, brand measurement is the single biggest obstacle holding back the growth of online advertising.”

Fewer than one-half of respondents, or 43.2%, agreed that measurement is the major obstacle aside from the overall economy.

Another survey, from JupiterResearch and Verse Group, found that achieving measurable ROI on marketing efforts was the No. 1 priority of US marketers for 2009. Second on their list was developing marketing programs that integrate online and traditional media.

“After conducting 24 phone interviews, five video interviews, several round-robin Q&As and an online survey among industry movers-and-shakers—not to mention poring over reams of data from studies and surveys,” said Geoff Ramsey, eMarketer CEO and author of the new report, Online Brand Measurement: Connecting the Dots, “eMarketer has identified the following five broad approaches as key to moving forward on the online brand measurement front.”

1. The first critical step for marketers when developing any measurement programs must be to identify their brand’s top marketing objectives.

2. Keep in mind that there is no single measurement system that does it all, nor will there be a silver bullet in the future.

3. A hybrid of traditional and digital approaches will be necessary, which will require a dramatic reinvention of measurement as we know it.

4. The Internet must be rolled up within existing media mix models. There is a clarion call for the traditional metrics of reach, frequency and GRPs to be integrated with the Web—but this will only be the starting point, not the end game.

5. Connecting all the dots requires collaboration. Key industry stakeholders will need to work closely together to create seamless databases that talk to each other. One top priority: continuously refining attribution models that assign mathematical weights to the various digital footprints captured along the consumer buying cycle.

For more information at http://www.emarketer.com

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