There is a new wave of tracking tools that help to link advanced datasets with sales information to help marketers efficiently steward their targeted buys. One is Mbuy, which offers multiplatform analytics to inform advertisers step by step through a consumer journey. Mbuy recently expanded its relationship with Nielsen by offering clients access to Nielsen’s Ad Intel spend data. I recently spoke with David Hohman, Executive Vice President, Global Managing Director for Agency Business at Nielsen. He is at the forefront of this effort and described how it will impact the advertising landscape.
Charlene Weisler: What specifically does Ad Intel provide for your clients and how is it unique in its offering?
David Hohman(pictured at right): Agencies can monitor the industry’s ad activity and differentiate their clients’ brands from their competitors. Ad Intel gives our clients access to the most comprehensive source of cross-platform advertising intelligence available today in one intuitive software program that contains over 5 million brands, 2 million parents and 2,500 product categories. This allows our clients to review and compare any industry’s ad activity across media, company, category or brand and tap into over 20 years of historical data. Ad Intel helps our clients determine how much each advertiser is spending; when, where and how many ads are placed across platforms, which creatives are being used and how well themedia plan fared in comparison to the competition. Additionally, it identifies what new advertiser campaigns launched and across what properties. Each of these insights is obtainable in the national market as well as across all 208 Nielsen DMAs.
Weisler: What is the significance and importance of real-persons-based measurement?
Hohman: Products are bought by people, not households, not devices. Reaching a home that a third-party dataset says has a pet is not the same as reaching an adult pet owner who actually does the buying. So, Nielsen measures persons and not “households with persons,” which we know results in inflated numbers and provides no understanding of actual viewership. With all of the direct targetability for advertising on various platforms including television, advertisers want to target the people that are in the market for a certain product.
The goal of an advertisement is to change a consumer's behavior to get them to buy a product for the first time or to buy more of a product they already purchase. As the industry evolves to audience-based buying based on delivery of impressions, direct measurement of persons remains critical. Industry currency for the last several decades has been based on viewing persons and no other source offers this metric. This is why Nielsen will continue to invest in our panels to measure and provide true persons measurement to our clients.
Weisler: How can marketers increase their advertising effectiveness using this methodology?
Hohman: Well, if you start off with the wrong data, inaccurate and incomplete information, that will lead to plans that are built based on an incomplete view of the market. If ratings, reach and frequency are not right, the ability to ensure that the advertiser’s target can be built based upon schedules to achieve the desired ROI result is not possible. As we’ve seen in digital, when data is not accurate or transparent on how the metrics are created it results in under-delivery of the ROI goals, and advertisers will either lose confidence in the medium (TV) or the agency, or both. The advertiser will look to move ad spend dollars out of TV or look for a new partner to help them with their market growth.
Weisler: What are the challenges in local TV advertising tracking and how can it be best addressed?
Hohman: Having good quality TV data gives us the opportunity to connect the data to marketing and advertising targets through various platforms. Buyer data for local markets such as Scarborough and Polk data can only be appended to the household data once the household characteristics are cleaned up and validated for accuracy and aligned with TV viewing data that reflects the entire marketplace, not just TV sets that return data. Without this, buyers will misread what households are in the market for a new car, for example. Bringing panels plus big data together will give advertisers the confidence they need in order to base their decisions on a complete view of the marketplace. Nielsen utilizes best-in-class panels along with set-top box measurement to deliver to the marketplace persons-level viewing estimates, which informs both buyers and sellers who viewed their content and ads.
Weisler: How can you measure actual viewership vs opportunity to view? And what is the Nielsen definition of “actual” vs “opportunity”?
Hohman: Advertisers pay for viewers who actually view their ads, not for people who live in a home and may have a chance to view their ads. Nielsen captures and reports actual viewers. Conversely, other measurement providers deliver the opportunity to view, which includes counting in the viewing estimates of all the people that live in the home, whether they were viewing or not or the TV set is off.
We know third parties can be very useful in assigning household characteristics to big data, but their data can be inaccurate as well. Determining the correct household characteristics and demographics are critical to reporting accurate ratings. Not representing the household in the market correctly impacts the ratings and introduces biases in the audience composition. Simply put, the opportunity to view would provide data on those that had a chance to view, or even worse, place people in the audience that don’t even live in the home, always grossly overstating the audience estimates.
This is not the level of accuracy advertisers should expect when trying to understand total persons viewership to local TV in a local market. In today’s multimedia, multi-platform environment, STB data alone does not work. We’re committed to delivering a currency that measures real people and the entire local market, and with full transparency and trust.
Weisler: What are the major innovations in local measurement that we can expect to see from Nielsen in 2019?
Hohman: Certainly, continuing to drive forward our transformation of local TV measurement across all metered markets. The next evolution we’re leading with our clients is how local is bought and sold in comparison to the rest of the advertising channels. As more and more media is being bought across screens, moving from ratings to impressions is key and will pave the way to advanced audiences and addressable targets.
We’ll also continue to enhance and deliver against our Local Total Ad Ratings and Nielsen Media Impact planning suite, which is our cross-media planning local TV for buyers and sellers. Being able to sell local alongside a cross media buy and post is critical for the future of local TV. More and more buyers want to build their reach plan across all platforms, content owners and distributors. This will enable local to have a seat alongside those buys either from national advertisers or local advertisers alike, and have the flexibility in the way they want to deliver their ad inventory across screens.
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