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CTV and OOH both calling for universal measurement: ‘It’s hard to compare campaigns’

Calls for unified measurement systems in CTV and OOH

Industry experts in connected TV and out-of-home have called for universal measurement systems, claiming different approaches make it hard to accurately compare campaigns. We take a look as part of The Drum’s Data Deep Dive.

CTV and OOH are often cited as two of the trickiest spaces to measure an ad campaign. Although recent tech developments have radically improved the situation, some believe a pan-industry approach to measurement would solve some key limitations.

Out-of-home measurement

“Without a universal industry-wide post-campaign measurement, it’s hard to compare campaigns and difficult for clients to incorporate OOH into their omnichannel attribution system if every time they do an OOH campaign they get a different result back,” says Ashley Moll, business director at OOH agency Quan.

This hampers trust in OOH measurement and leads to clients leaving the channel out of its campaign reporting, she says. Moll is pessimistic about the introduction of a standardized system, but says it would have huge advantages.

Another blind spot for OOH is in indoor environments, such as malls, airports and trains, where it’s tricky to use location data with irregular walking patterns.

“The attribution we get indoors is not accurate and that’s been tough for the media owners in those spaces,” says Moll.

Cameras and wifi sniffers do provide some solutions, but they aren’t available in all areas. “There is a lot of emphasis on making advancements in these areas, but so far those have been limited.”

In 2016, it became possible to measure OOH via location data, “completely changing the game for out-of-home,” explains Moll. Since then, there have been developments in capturing post-exposure behavior using anonymized device ID, which can track if an ad has led to a consumer heading into a store or visiting a webpage.

Device ID tech means OOH is now “on a par with TV and digital” in terms of behavior metrics. “It has allowed us to measure upper and lower funnel, whereas before OOH measurement was just a brand awareness tactic,” Moll says.

These tech developments have led to an increase in the number of clients requesting OOH attribution – previously, clients would just ask for survey data, now 75% rather than just 10% of Moll’s clients are asking for attribution. “They now trust the information”.

CTV measurement

A unified measurement system is also needed in CTV, according to Kristian Claxton, managing partner at addressable TV firm Finecast. Although there have been advancements in unifying the systems such as Sky/Comcast service C-Flight, Claxton explains this is currently limited to broadcasters and not extended to include other OTT video content.

“We believe the future of TV will not be solely owned and operated by broadcasters and will include other forms of OTT,” Claxton says. His role at Finecast is to create a total TV solution that “ensures advertisers can reach audiences outside of broadcasters”.

Esports and gaming is a frontier that will eventually need to be incorporated, says Claxton. This emerging space “is a black hole” when fixing the measurement problem, he says.

Marketers are finally seeing a shift into a total TV planning, buying and measurement approach, according to Claxton. Up until recently and just like OOH, surveys were used to measure VOD viewing. Now though, tech developments have allowed for plug-ins directly into home devices – Finecast, for example, uses Audience Project, which gives access to 40m UK TV devices.

This new software can be combined with linear measurement panels such as Barb and Nielson, giving brand metrics on their total TV delivery, reach and frequency. At Finecast, Claxton has overseen new advancements including a partnership with Sainsbury’s Nectar, which created audience segments using shopper transactions as well as an integration with the tech platform Live Ramp to start measuring behavior.

“We are starting to talk more about digital performance metrics through the lens of TV, bringing the precision and accuracy of digital with the power of TV content,” Claxton says.

Optimism from across the industry

“Advances in OOH measurement couldn’t come at a better time,” says Matthew O’Connor, co-founder and chief executive officer of AdQuick.com. “Today, OOH advertisers can track and isolate the impact of their campaigns, as well as attribute online and offline conversions. They can also measure the ROI of their campaigns through lift analysis and compare performance by ad unit to optimize their campaigns and improve outcomes.”

James Smith, UK managing director at The Kite Factory, says businesses are finally starting to understand the value of having a single customer view of their data. Smith says: “The future is fully integrated data between clients and agencies with machine learning overlaid. To truly understand the impact of campaigns, all data needs to be available in one place and automated collection is critical to make this happen and speed up the insights available to us.”

Justine O’Neill, senior director at Analytic Partners, says digital has given a huge range of metrics to track. She is optimistic about the strong results advertisers are “by aligning their campaigns to specific targets with the right contextual support – eg pushing ice cream sales just in time for temperatures to hit 20 degrees”.

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