CANNES – A palpable sense of frustration was on display at a Carat-sponsored panel that bemoaned the slow pace of the shift to measuring television and video ads based on business outcomes. It started with a simple question from moderator Doug Ray, who is U.S. CEO for Carat: “What do we need to do that we’re not doing?”
NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino said all parties involved must get together and decide “we’re going to be brave” and stop the “this is the way we always did it” approach to measuring audiences by demographics. While she was pleased that the Upfront TV negotiating season yielded some $6 billion to $7 billion in deals, only about a billion dollars of that will be conducted in non-Nielsen guarantees.
“But the lion’s share of our business is still guaranteed or transacted on an estimate of a number of a person that you might know their age and their sex, and you have to wait for three weeks for the number that only counts off one screen,” said Yaccarino, who is the media company’s Chairman of ad sales and client partnerships. “I don’t understand that.”
One of two brand marketers on the panel, B. Bonin Bough of Mondelez, took partial responsibility for the slow pace of measurement advancement. “Right now there’s no client counsel sitting there putting pressure on the ratings system,” said Bough, who is Chief Media & Commerce Officer. “Clients have not put enough pressure on the ecosystem.”
His sentiments were echoed by Ben Jankowski, Group Head of Global Media for MasterCard. “It’s everybody’s responsibility. We definitely have to be more aggressive,” Jankowski said.
Without a common currency with which to measure ROI on ad spending—today there are various solutions individual to individual media companies—its difficult for media sellers to risk getting paid for performance. “Without a data set you’re not going to take those risks,” said Jankowski.
There certainly is no lack of information (rather, what Ray dubbed a “tsunami”) as evidenced by a recitation of deterministic data by Dan Ackerman, SVP of Programmatic TV for AOL. Parent Verizon has 70 million consumer accounts in mobile, more than 5 million in the TV space and before the companies joined force AOL had more than 100 million cross-device matches.
“Moving from a probabilistic world to a deterministic world you see the immediate benefits,” Ackerman said.
It’s just going to take longer than most people would like.