The Fundamental Questions in Marketing and Media

By In Terms of ROI Archives
Cover image for  article: The Fundamental Questions in Marketing and Media

In anything I study, I’m always fascinated with the game of trying to unearth the most fundamental questions that remain unanswered in that field. I’ve been lucky lately in having had opportunities to try to publicly confront some of the enduring big picture issues.

On June 14, at the Cynopsis 2023 Measurement and Data Conference, I was inducted into their Hall of Fame, along with Jane Clarke who ran CIMM from its inception until her retirement, and Kelly Abcarian, who has done so much to create the present collaborative atmosphere. Bill Daddi asked me to keep my acceptance speech to three minutes. I realized that this would be an opportunity to address the big issues of the day.

Here’s what I said (because of my preference for speaking extemporaneously this is a paraphrasing):

"Thank you Cynopsis for this great honor. It’s gratifying to receive such an award, especially in such august company with Jane and Kelly. It’s also gratifying to see so much progress being made all across the industry, as we’ve all seen here at this conference. I’m feeling very optimistic about our future as an industry, and I’ll share with you the reasons why.

"This new collaborative spirit that we have is a wonderful thing, and contributes to my optimism. Going forward, I’d like that collaboration to concentrate a bit more on being inclusive, rather than exclusionary, as I feel that we will accomplish a lot more with inclusive collaboration.

"CIMM right now has a project that could lead to better more accurate smart TV data for all of us, and that’s a perfect example of inclusivity in collaborativeness.

"At this conference there has been discussion of how privacy is shutting down some of our targeting and analysis capabilities. I had the thought yesterday at this conference that one of the ways inclusive collaboration could help us is in making IP addresses more stable. Right now it’s we ourselves, mostly the MVPDs who are doing such great work as we’ve seen here in the last two days, who are purposely rotating IP addresses, and that we could all get together and think together, and perhaps the MVPDs would decide to stop doing that.

"Another thing that contributes to my optimism is the attention movement and how it’s expanding into the impression quality movement. All my career I’ve tried to push us in the direction of media impact weights, indices of the probability of ROI lift, and now that we are doing that with attention as the focus, it’s only a matter of time before we shift that focus to brand equity growth and incremental sales. In fact some of the players are already moving in that direction.

"You know, I love this industry, and all the great people I’ve met in this business. I’m lucky to have landed in it, and I don’t plan on going anywhere. There’s still too much fun work to do, new things to create.

"It is so gratifying for me to see evidence that work I’ve done has influenced others to improve upon things I’ve started. Next Century Media and TRA started connecting big ad exposure data with big purchase data, and now as I look around I see many TRA-like companies out there with high aspirations and customers willing to help them refine themselves.

"It's also very satisfying to see things I predicted coming true. In 1980, when I had a physical newsletter, I predicted that someday there would be a wrist device that would passively measure audience, and subsequently had the privilege to be involved with the birth of the PPM. Now more than 40 years later Nielsen is deploying wearable PPMs -- including wrist wearables -- in its national panel.

"These next few years are going to continue our shift from CPM to ROI and Consumer Lifetime Value, and will optimize with AI the scientific integration of all types of measurement data for maximum accuracy. By focusing on the ultimate business outcomes and on proven and accredited scientific precision, every dollar invested will have the greatest chance of the largest payback. I look forward to working with all of you on this.

"Thank you all again for this honor."

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

Click the social buttons to share this story with colleagues and friends.
The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of

Copyright ©2023 MediaVillage, Inc. All rights reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.