As people divide more of their time spent with media among a wider variety of devices, cross-screen measurement has become a key pursuit for marketers and advertising agencies. Any improvement to those metrics starts with setting some common standards that help to define how audiences are counted.

“People are hearing what advertisers are needing in terms of cross-screen and cross-media measurement. What I would love, though, is if we could really bring it down to a level and speak every openly about what these solutions do and don’t solve for,” Jennifer Gardner, senior director of media for North America at household goods giant Unilever, said in this conversation presented by Beet.TV.

Speaking to Matt Sweeney, chief investment officer at WPP-owned media agency GroupM, Gardner offered her outlook for improving cross-screen measurement. She likens the development to past efforts to measure ad viewability and to eliminate ad fraud.

“The goal of viewability was to count first so that we could then look at attribution and the tie to business. I don’t think we’ve made it there. There’s still a lot to do in the attribution space,” she said. “There’s nobody else out there who wouldn’t want to be able to buy media in an outcomes-based world, but we know there are stepping stones to get there. That’s another place where we as an industry need to hold hands and get to.”

Unilever, whose brands include Dove soap, Lipton tea and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, is working with GroupM on test cases to improve cross-screen measurement before beginning a pilot program by the end of the year.

“When I want counting, I don’t want people grading their own homework,” Gardner said. “We trust, but verify. The role of third parties is critically important.”

Brand Safety and Suitability

The growth in platforms that distribute user-generated content, such as social media and video-sharing sites, has increased the possibility that advertising appears next to objectionable content. In response, marketers have become more aware of brand safety and suitability in their ad placements. They also want to be responsible mindful of data ethics and other measures that respect consumers.

“Just because a platform, a publisher, a media seller declares a piece of content eligible for monetization doesn’t mean that we as marketers or advertisers want to be showing up in and around that content,” Gardner said. “The end goal is good experience for the consumer. It only helps all of us in the industry to continue creating good experiences for consumers because then our advertising and marketing messages have a much greater chance of breaking through.”

This video is part of the Global Forum on Responsible Media produced by Beet.TV, GroupM with the 4A’s. This track on cross-screen measurement is sponsored by Nielsen. For more videos on this topic, visit this page 

The entire Forum can be watched on-demand here, and all videos from this project can be found here.