Agencies welcome UKOM and ComScore's cross-platform media planning metric

The UK Online Measurement company (UKOM) and ComScore are preparing to launch a digital ad planning tool designed to give a unified view of media consumption across the web, mobile and video.

The companies have collaborated to offer marketers a single data set from which they can track and plan display advertising across all three platforms, providing them with an unduplicated overview of reach and frequency.

Agencies have welcomed the news with some saying it could help refine marketing budget allocation, define how big a role digital should have in the media mix, and even help crack cross-channel attribution.

The companies will launch individual planning tools for web, mobile and video by the end of February, with the combined version to follow a month after.

The tool will combine mobile data from mobile operator trade body the GSMA, along with server data and panel data.

One of the biggest challenges in the online world is finding quality data that can measure people’s activities rather than what is happening on a computer or device - something this tool is designed to rectify.

MPG Media Contacts head of insight Bill Doris said it is a “fantastic” move and one which could help lend more meaning and insight to campaign data.

“Technology has always been ahead of measurement but this shows we are catching up, it can help increase human understanding behind digital data.

“Until now ComScore has had an incomplete view of digital data therefore you can’t see mobile, for example, in one place. This gives us a much better view and given we live in a device-agnostic world it is vital to have something like this,” he said.

Doris said planners will be very interested in using it as it could help reduce reliance on last-click attribution. “It will help our display team significantly and will take us another step away from last-click attribution which is an outdated method of measurement," he said.

Mediacom managing partner Jem Loyd-Williams said planning tools like this can help provide greater clarity on what role digital should have in the overall media mix so they can optimise budgets accordingly. It can help planners understand the synergies across multiplatform campaigns and could even help boost understanding of how creative should be tailored to different platforms to receive the best results, according to Lloyd-Williams.

“The promise of a unified view of media consumption across intertwined but distinct media platforms from a single set of data is very attractive for planners, and ours will want a crack at using it,” he said.

Although there are alternative, robust multiplatform data planning tools available from the likes of companies including MSN, there has not been one that can run across multiple publishers such as this one will, he added.

Scott Thompson, digital research manager at Starcom MediaVest Group, who also sits on the UKOM Technical Group, said the aim of the tool is to provide a “people-centric” view of data which could help refine campaign decisions.

“Currently we are limited to following a cookie around rather than people so this could definitely shine some light on some of the assumptions we have to make regarding what people are consuming media on,” he said.

The planning does not currently stretch to tablets, which is something that may need to be included in future, according to Thompson. “It is very hard for publishers to see who is visiting their pages [on tablets] compared to desktop computers. That’s a very hard technical challenge and tablets are also shared devices so it is hard to provide UKOM’s people-centric view,” he said.

The news marks the first joint initiative the companies have made since UKOM replaced its former partner Nielsen with ComScore last April. UKOM and ComScore data will also be incorporated into industry planning tool IPA TouchPoint and will also be available for integration with other industry-owned surveys and planning tools.

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