MIAMI – Marketers are ready to step off the “single-currency television ratings train,” but some agency buyers need to be prodded to look beyond Nielsen on the road to impression-based TV, says Jonathan Steuer, Chief Research Officer for Omnicom Media Group.

The buy side needs to understand that “questions and strategy” have to have top priority, “then you look for the appropriate research tools to answer those questions,” Steuer says in an interview with Beet.TV.

“It’s how the strategy side of agency life appears to work, but it’s certainly not how the buy side has worked because the data there has always been Nielsen,” Steuer says in response to a question from interviewer Tim Hanlon, Founder and CEO of The Vertere Group. “And since that’s the currency, people have said we’re not going to worry about anything else.”

Steuer’s views are shaped by a five-year stint at TiVo and a long career in research. “When I started in research and data in the media world, the great limiting step was availability of data. Now there’s plenty of data available. The question is how does the buy side use it,” he says.

Asked whether the continuing evolution of Nielsen’s measurement solutions will satisfy the industry’s needs, Steuer responds that those are the answers to the wrong test.

“They’re still solving the local ratings problem and the world is moving on to trying to think about impression based television,” says Steuer. “I don’t think their evolutionary path ever gets us to the new world.”

While Nielsen panels are useful calibrations for understanding individuals’ media usage across devices, other inputs are needed. Steuer mentions TVision, “which basically does attribution of who’s in front of the TV set using a camera,” and RealityMine, which did comprehensive measurement of cross-device viewing of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“If what you’re trying to do is understand that cross-device usage, that super deep data set from a sample is awesome,” Steuer says. “But what you then need to do is take that small data world…and marry that to big data datasets that measure actual delivery of impressions.”

Omnicom’s clients are indicating they’re ready to take the plunge into impression delivery, according to Steuer. “They’re not going to do it with every dollar they spend, but they’re certainly willing to experiment,” he says. “And step off the single currency train and try something else because I think they realize they’re not being well served by the existing measurement tools.”

This interview was conducted at Beet Retreat 2016: The Transformation of Television Advertising, an executive retreat presented by Videology with AT&T AdWorks and the 605. Please find more videos from the event here.