Unilever says it has made significant progress creating a unified cross-media tool to let advertisers measure audience size, their reactions, and the impact of campaigns over the short, medium and long-term across digital, TV and social media platforms.

And the FMCG giant is now calling on brands, platforms and publishers for input to fine-tune the model.

The measurement tool currently only measures TV, digital and social media, the company says, but it wants to develop it to cover other media.

Speaking to the The Drum, senior vice president of global media for Unilever Luis di Como said that, while there were other tools on the market, the company had found nothing that was capable of truly holistic measurement.

"We wanted something that allowed us to do proper cross-media measurement across different publishers and platforms that helped to achieve unduplicated reach on each of them, but also allowed us to measure the impact [of a campaign], not just in terms of attributes but also on sales, in a private and safe way," he explained.

Unilever now says it has bundled existing measurement tools into one system, and is able to assess its reach and marketing effects across a range of publishers, platforms and screens, and do so while being mindful of privacy concerns.

The company says it worked with Facebook, Google, Twitter and Kantar Research to develop its model.

Early results are promising, di Como said, without going into details.

“At the end of the day we want this to be something that we activate when making choices on our media investment,” he added.

But Unilever is eager to share insights with other advertisers and receive their input to create a “global” measurement solution. It hopes to involve other brands through a partnership established with the World Federation of Advertisers.

“Because of our scale, we have a responsibility to drive initiatives like this that will become the norm for the whole industry,” di Como said. “The work we've been doing over the last year has been amazing and we've made significant steps and that's why we think now is the right time to engage the rest of the industry to take it to the next level.

"It's critical for driving excellence in the overall advertising ecosystem.”

Research carried out by the Internet Advertising Bureau Europe in 2017 found 90% of 700 publishers, advertisers and agencies questioned believed brands would increase spending on digital channels if cross-media measurement standards were improved.

Sourced from The Drum; additional content by WARC staff