CIMM's Jane Clarke on Industrywide Media Measurement Collaboration

By Media Insights Archives
Cover image for  article: CIMM's Jane Clarke on Industrywide Media Measurement Collaboration

On February 3 and 4, CIMM, as part of the ARF, presents its 10th Annual Cross-Platform Video Measurement & Data Summit. CIMM has been focusing on attribution for a few years and has helped spearhead efforts to get the industry to work together. Where are we with attribution and cross media measurement? Jane Clarke, CEO and managing director of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), explains.

Charlene Weisler: How close are we to true attribution?

Jane Clarke: The challenge with complete multi-touch attribution is identity resolution, and particularly cross-channel identity resolution. Most of the ID resolution solutions can't incorporate impressions from the walled gardens with identity attached since the walled gardens see this as a data security challenge. Their POV is that they are protecting the identity of their customers within their platform. The WFA initiative was created primarily to address this challenge: how to get impressions linked with an identity out of the walled gardens. The initial approach is called Virtual ID (VID), which is a probabilistic model that also groups customers into segments. They're also working on a Secure Media Identifier (SUMID), which should be announced soon. There are also many commercial approaches to linking identity across TV and digital media, but only a few of them have managed to incorporate secure ad impression data from the walled gardens.

Currently, attribution is being conducted only for digital media, but increasingly for TV, using Smart TV or STB data or commingled datasets. These approaches create exposed and unexposed groups of customers and measure outcomes against them to see if those exposed have a lift in the outcome metric. In 2020, CIMM completed a study on Unpacking Data Inputs into TV Attribution, which pinpointed some of the challenges with getting consistent results across providers and suggested best practices, such as standardizing ad measurement and combining Smart TV and STB data.

Weisler: What are the best practices for cross media measurement and who is doing it correctly?

Clarke: There aren't enough successful solutions to cross-media measurement for best practices to have emerged yet. However, vendors can be evaluated by how far along they are with the four building blocks for cross-media measurement, which are: 1) Standardized and scaled granular Smart TV and STB data for content and ads combined to be as nationally representative as possible; 2) Standardized digital content and ad exposure data across sites and mobile apps; 3) A single-source cross-media measurement panel, or a linked combination of single media measurement panels, to calibrate the large "census-like" datasets; and 4) a solution for ID resolution to connect all the datasets and deduplicate them.  CIMM has produced recommended best practices in some of the areas, such as combining Smart TV and STB Data and TV Attribution.

Weisler: Where do you see media measurement one year from now?

Clarke: Now that media companies and TV OEMs are "data owners," more walled gardens are being created. This means that there will be even more pressure to perfect solutions in development from the walled gardens for secure encrypted ID resolution. Additionally, more companies will try to authenticate their customers, to enable more personalized experiences and better measurement. Regulations surrounding privacy and data security will become clearer, so companies will be able to adapt their solutions. Nielsen will most likely offer "ad" measurement for TV by this time next year. This will be a big step towards comparable metrics across media. There may be some changes coming in which TV OEMs are willing to license their data for measurement purposes, since they are increasingly wanting to use the data for their own ad sales purposes. So, progress will be made by a number of the vendors working on cross-media measurement solutions, but new technical challenges will also present themselves. I don't think that the WFA/ANA solution to ID resolution will end up working for TV, as it is currently envisioned, so alternative solutions will need to be developed. The WFA/ANA solution is designed to dedupe individual devices vs. the way that Smart TV and STB data are deduplicated at the household level.

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