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Cross-platform measurement needs work

News, 22 December 2016

MENLO PARK, CA: Attempts to improve cross-platform measurement will require progress in a variety of areas, ranging from developing new data strategies to pursuing third-party validation and establishing a "common language".

Jane Clarke, CEO/Managing Director of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), discussed this subject at the Advertising Research Foundation's 2016 ARF West conference.

More specifically, she suggested most marketers currently rely on "deterministic", or first-party, data, as well as probabilistic data, which draws together insights from different sources.

CIMM's research found that brands, at present, usually blend these two approaches. Clarke, however, asserted that new models are needed.

"We'll need to get to a deeper level of sophistication," she said. (For more details, read Warc's exclusive report: Four ways to advance cross-platform measurement.)

"This deterministic/probabilistic hybrid is not going to be enough going forward. We're going to need a lot more granular ways of talking about this."

Alongside formulating new approaches to using data, marketers will require a common language to bring greater clarity to their attempts to assess the huge slate of solutions offered by an ever-increasing amount of vendors.

"Although it will be a while until definitions for accuracy and precision are standardised and uniformly deployed, it is important that marketers who engage in cross-device/cross-platform targeting understand the vocabulary used by vendors in the space," said Clarke.

Obtaining clarity in this area can also help brand custodians move towards third-party validation of the information provided by their measurement partners – a vital shift in spreading trust across the marketing ecosystem.

Even as marketers develop greater technical capabilities, they must ensure consumer privacy is protected, or they risk facing heightened scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the government watchdog.

"They're kind of watching the industry, letting the industry try things out, because they don't want to discourage innovation. But they clearly need to see the consumer benefit and they need to understand that there isn't this 'ick factor,'" Clarke said.

"We do have to be careful that, if we start linking together too many sources of data, they might start to create a little more regulation and change these definitions."

Readers can learn more about cross-platform campaigns in Warc's recent webinar with ESPN.

Data sourced from Warc