4 Truths and No Lies about Digital Media Measurement

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Measuring Digital Media without Digital Data

Today’s shifting media landscape with changing privacy rules and data availability means it’s not always possible to acquire log-level media exposure data from publishers or third parties such as ad servers or networks. Without this data, it is impossible to get the cleanest view of media performance and its impact on your bottom line. But don’t despair.  There are ways to develop insights of sufficient clarity to understand performance and optimize media activity.

What Is Media Impact?

Measurement of digital campaigns at the distributed audience level is synonymous with direct marketing — you are able to develop audience segmentation inclusive of test and control audiences. Test segments are those that will receive marketing, while the control audiences are excluded from the media campaign. You can then measure media effects and calculate incremental performance at this level because the only variance in populations should be (when segmented with proper randomization of test/control) that the test group was selected for media exposure while the control group was not. The difference between the sales performance of the test and control groups defines your media impact.

Lift Analysis at the Distributed Level

While distributed audience-level analysis does not measure only those individuals in the test group who were exposed to media at this level, we are looking at populations that could have been exposed given that the distribution process generally includes the selection of audience members who are known to the publisher at the time of distribution.

Distributed level audience analysis provides simplified operations: the potential for faster and more frequent analysis of campaign performance and the ability to measure campaigns that are otherwise not measurable due to the availability of exposure assets.

Best Practices to Achieve the Best Measurement Results

A decade ago, Acxiom began measuring the impact of digital media campaigns on sales by joining campaign audience and exposure assets with client CRM datasets.  This means Acxiom analysts have conducted hundreds of campaign analyses across nearly all business sectors for clients of all sizes. This wealth of experience has helped us create best practice recommendations to improve media performance via campaign design. It also provides clients with a plan to accelerate their own advancement toward improved performance. These best practices include:

  • A measurement solution should be publisher and client agnostic and provide insights into media impacts without a desire or benefit to tip the scale or otherwise skew the analysis of media impacts.
  • A measurement partner should have trusted connections with publishers and walled gardens. Acxiom’s development of data privacy, anonymization and safe haven practices have enabled us to create an analysis for client campaigns that agencies and advertisers otherwise may not be able to measure.
  • Measurement should include a consistent approach that yields analysis that is comparable across campaigns, audiences, publishers and time. This consistency allows for ongoing optimizations to drive improved performance of media.
  • Clear and complete results and analysis to enable your brand to develop optimizations for audiences, media designs, publisher selection, and operational processes.

Brands need clear and unbiased analysis with consistently applied operational processes to truly measure campaigns via closed=loop analysis and determine the true impact of media on your bottom line.

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