Parsec is a media company that helps brand marketers discover the value of media placements. In contrast to direct marketers, who value media according to predicted likelihood to drive a conversion, brand marketers are primarily trying to change people's minds. Determining media value is harder for them. While surveys can reveal how successful their campaign was as a whole, they shed no light on how audience subsets, creative variations, publishers, formats or placements contributed to the overall campaign impact. Also, because they're backward-looking, surveys are not very useful for buyers charged with deciding which impression opportunities to prioritize each day of a campaign's flight.

Parsec addresses these challenges by modeling the relationship between brand lift as captured in survey results and trackable elements of ad exposures that indicate attention. Now we can specify how ads that get more attention drive more lift.

The key component is duration. It turns out the question of how the arrow of time maps to brand lift is a hard one. To explain how we did it, it's helpful to compare Parsec's software to a product everyone is familiar with, that also tracks duration: Google Maps.