LAS VEGAS/NEW YORK: Measurement companies Nielsen and Millward Brown are taking steps to improve the ability of marketers to make sense of the metrics and analytics they have to assess.

"Metrics are often misunderstood" according to Lynda Clarizio, Nielsen's president of US media.

"We need to create a common language for measuring viewing, whether it's on television or some other device," she told the Financial Times.

To illustrate her point she cited the example of an NFL game from last October which had been streamed online on Yahoo, and for which the tech company claimed 15.2m unique visitors.

While this might appear to compare favourably with games on television which pull in an average audience of around 19m, Clarizio said two different metrics were operating and when put on the same basis of average audience per minute, as used by TV ratings, then the audience for the Yahoo NFL game fell to 1.6m.

She was speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show where Nielsen released its Q3 Comparable Metrics Report, which found that traditional media, such as television and radio, still have the biggest footprints in the US in terms of reach.

AM/FM radio reaches over 90% of all adults in a given week, with TV close behind on 85%. And consumers are connecting to radio and TV frequently, as they typically tune in to each more than five days a week.

Millward Brown, meanwhile, has turned its sights to digital, launching a new solution that claims to give businesses near real-time access to actionable insights on brand health and marketing campaign performance, using data from search patterns and social media conversations.

"While most companies monitor social and search data today, many do not have the confidence to use it in decision making," said Sarah Walker, Global Lead for Digital Behaviour Analytics at Millward Brown.

She said the application of cutting-edge modelling and econometric approaches meant they could now "identify the meaningful signals in carefully chosen social and search sources".

Data sourced from Financial Times, Millward Brown; additional content by Warc staff