ORLANDO, FL: Marketers should treat the Media Rating Council's (MRC) viewability standards as a valuable base rate – but not an endpoint – for their digital measurement efforts, a leading executive from HP has suggested.

John Marshall, HP's Manager/Media and Advertising Technology, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2017 Media Conference.

And he argued the MRC's standards – which cover how much of an ad is viewable, and for how long – represent "just enough" from the advertiser perspective.

"The MRC standard is advancing. And I think we're all grateful for advancement," he said. (For more details, read Warc's exclusive report: HP: "Just enough" not enough in digital metrics.)

But while these measures are an important step forward, they do not constitute the culmination of the work required by brand stewards in this space. "I'm not happy with this 'just enough'," Marshall said.

As a member of HP's global media and data-sciences team, Marshall oversees the organisation's ad-tech strategy and capability enablement.

One integral component of that assignment involves building out HP's programmatic and media-measurement stack around the world.

"If we're trying to reach our customers and get their attention, I want to be able to optimise for that. I want to be able to transact on that," he said.

As HP has pursued progress in ensuring the veracity of measurement data, it deliberately leveraged the objectivity of third-party verification. "It's really been validated as we've been on this journey. It has to be there," said Marshall.

"It's really bad when you're working and someone's creating their own homework. It's really hard to trust."

Reinforcing the point that improving interactive measurement is "a marathon", Marshall recommended that brand custodians proceed with due consideration.

"Pace yourself. Don't over-engineer what you do. Be progressive, but be realistic. Set achievable goals [and] have a test-and-learn [approach]. That's the core to the success of digital evolution: It's test, learn, test learn," he said.

Data sourced from Warc