MIAMI BEACH, FL: Marketing researchers must find the right balance of new analytic techniques and more traditional forms of audience measurement, according to Artie Bulgrin, EVP/strategy & insights at MediaScience.

Bulgrin discussed this topic – including a study he conducted on behalf of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) that drew on interviews with 27 industry specialists – at KNect365’s Media Insights and Engagement Conference.

“Big data is important,” he asserted. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Bulgrin cautions marketing researchers against over-reliance on big data.)

“And the drive towards new data-driven ad models and treatments is very important – both as a revenue driver for many media companies and also as a tool for the sell-side.”

Equally, however, Bulgrin warned that over the last four or five years, the collection of bright and shiny tools have “taken their toll on traditional audience-measurement research.”

This is a problem, in part, because the new methodologies still require further refinement. The CIMM study, for instance, showed that marketers are “longing for a level of transparency, a level of quality, and a level of reliability,” said Bulgrin.

Standing in the way of such a “critical” measurement standard is a research reality: “We need it today, but we simply don’t have it. So, we can’t replicate it, and we can’t model it anymore,” he added.

Bulgrin’s desire for a marketing-research community that can both embrace the best practices of the past even as it points to a more precise future could not come at a better time.

As delegates assemble in New York for its 2018 CONSUMERxSCIENCE conference, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) has promised to address those concerns by “diving into some of today’s most contentious issues in our industry applying a scientific lens.”

As a past chair of the ARF, Bulgrin warned against moving too quickly into digital metrics that overlook tested, and successful, older tools.

More specifically, he cited “a huge blind spot in the industry right now”. Advertisers, in particular, that were interviewed are “adamant about the fact that [cross-media measurement] is probably the most critical metric we need today.

“We need to fight to keep that level of quality in audience measurement,” he continued. “I don’t know how we can grow our audiences, or inform our strategy, without that level of insights [provided by] data that’s connected to the household characteristics of real people.”

Sourced from WARC