NEW YORK: Google is encouraging brand owners to boost their internet adspend by introducing new audience metrics, a move interpreted as it seeking to lure funds away from television.
In a blog post, Neal Mohan, Google's vice president, display advertising, suggested the advent of better measurement proved a "key moment" for TV in the 1950s. Digital media, by contrast, has always been "incredibly measurable."
"The only problem is a very old and well-known one: the standardised metrics today are largely clicks, user interaction rates and conversions," he added.
"How do we make it easier for the brands, the P&Gs and those types of companies, to come on to digital at a faster rate than they have so far?"
In a bid to achieve this, Google has unveiled what it termed as "Active GRP", a web equivalent of the Gross Ratings Points employed when buying TV ads, thus promising greater commonality between the online and offline worlds.
GRPs are used to determine the likely size of an ad's potential audience, and Google's version will combine panel data and anonymised user information. Consumers may also opt out if they wish, according to Mohan.
"Active GRP will enable real-time decision making, allowing advertisers to make adjustments to their campaigns at the speed of the web," he added.
Complementing this service will be Active View, meaning advertisers only pay for impressions viewed by consumers. Google intends to submit this platform for approval to the Media Rating Council.
"We think that with brand new metrics comes a new brand moment - one that will encourage brands to invest in the web, help publishers show the value of their digital content, and stimulate digital media's own golden age," Mohan said.
Google joins Facebook, the social network, as well as comScore and Nielsen, the research firms, in supporting GRPs, a tactic argued to represent efforts to directly tackle TV advertising.
"All three companies are trying to move the big dollars that brand marketers spend on TV over to the Web, which is still primarily used by search advertisers," said Peter Kafka, of AllThingsD, owned by the Wall Street Journal.
Robert Hof, a veteran Silicon Valley journalist, added in Forbes: "Brands are accustomed over decades of TV advertising to using the Gross Rating Point, a measure of how big an audience has seen an ad."
"Online advertising to date hasn't been able, or has been unwilling, to translate its audiences into something like the GRP. So big brands still spend the bulk of their budget on TV even as people spend more and more time online."
Data sourced from Google, Ad Age, AllThingsD, Forbes; additional content by Warc staff