The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement is most likely the closest entity that the United States will ever see to other countries’ Joint Industry Committee approach to bringing media buyers and sellers together. With its latest research, CIMM finds conflicting and oft-times confusing approaches to real-time cross-platform attribution and ROI analysis.

“The industry wants to understand how consumers are moving across all these platforms and they want to try to do it less expensively than a huge, expensive panel,” CIMM CEO & Managing Director Jane Clarke says in an interview with Beet.TV at the organization’s recent 6th Annual Cross-Platform Media Measurement & Data Summit in Manhattan. “The key thing is that this area of ROI, attribution analysis and media mix modeling is extremely important to advertisers.”

In conjunction with the American Association of Advertising Agencies, CIMM commissioned an analysis by Sequent Partners that concluded while some integrated approaches are promising, both marketing mix and attribution modeling are still needed for ROI analysis.

“But with differing approaches now emerging for an integrated cross-platform solution, the findings conclude that confusion among users is common and available options are falling short of delivering on promises,” CIMM said in a statement.

Among other things, Sequent said users are confused by conflicting terminology and skeptical of over-promising by vendors. “The media partners don’t always understand how the advertisers are doing all that kind of research,” Clarke observes. “I think a lot of it is just bringing transparency to all those methods and giving the buyers, the people who use it, the right questions to ask the vendors and how to be a good customer of that.”

Founded in 2009, CIMM pulls together media buyers, sellers and everyone in between in an effort to advance industry initiatives that will benefit everyone. “The biggest thing for the CIMM members is just education and getting everybody to understand how these things work,” says Clarke.

Moving forward on cross-platform measurement, she zeroes in on consumer identity as a particularly difficult challenge.

“When we get into the mobile environment with apps, we don’t really have a way of remembering someone from app to app except for the device ID,” Clarke says. “You start adding all this together IP addresses, device ID’s and location, pretty soon what you thought was kind of non-PII data is becoming PII or II, indirectly identifiable.”

Linking particular consumers or households across devices is “a really tricky challenge because you don’t want to annoy people,” Clarke says. “You want have it improve their experience.”