The ARF Asks: Is a Global Holistic Metric Possible?

Geoffrey Precourt
WARC Online

Standing in the face of a single-source holistic cross-media holistic media metric are not just competing services but also conflicting standards and practices in a global media marketplace.

At its 2009 Audience Measurement 4.0 Conference, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) assembled a panel anchored by Giovanni Fabris, principal/consultant, Fabris Media Marketing Services to discuss an evaluation by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) of the potential of a holistic program.

The 2005 WFA "blueprint," according to Fabris, was to determine "Advertisers' vision, objectives and recommended actions towards developments of customer-centric, holistic media research and measurement systems." 

To that end, the organization began conducting what it called an 'audit' of existing or planned initiatives implementing the Blueprint principles around the world. 

To date, it has studied program initiatives in 10 European nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, the U.K.), four Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, China, India, Japan) as well as Brazil, Canada, and the U.S in the Americas. You can read more about this analysis here

"Advertisers don't want to replace existing media research," Fabris contended. He did allow, however, that marketers do want additional forms of research to help them deliver their messages more effectively.

To fulfill that potential, he continued, "today's and tomorrow's media research systems need to be developed in three directions":

  • "Not only must they become multi-media, but they have to put the person-not the various media-at the center of the program.
  • "They must work harder to describe people with "more relevant criteria" such as life stages; life styles; product-consumption habits; behaviors; and values.
  • "The new research needs to "go beyond the exposure and provide relevant behavioral and attitudinal measures-or at least 'predictors' of effectiveness, engagement, and ROI."