Archive for February, 2012

Buzzing About Measurement Standards

There is definitely something to be said for the industry blogosphere, the trade publications and the thinkers out there contributing ideas. Recently, there have been a number of pieces about ad impressions and changes in the works including IAB’s involvement in creating new standards and comScore’s introduction of verifiable impressions.

A perspective that is extraordinarily consistent with Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) appears to be developing. 3MS is the ecosystem wide partnership among IAB, ANA and the 4A’s that seeks to define standard metrics for planning, buying and evaluating digital advertising in a cross platform media world. 3MS aims to make digital advertising more brand hospitable and to facilitate the right brand media allocations by providing tools that marketers, agencies and sellers need to improve workflow and transact more easily.


Larry Allen of 24/7 Real Media, published a piece in Business Insider, We Need A New Way to Define Ad Impressions. Much of what he puts forth was and is under consideration throughout the 3MS process. The notion of capturing duration of impression in view is one example and is part of the first phase of pilot testing currently underway. That is, the ecosystem recognized that duration is an important metric. Moreover, if display advertising impressions are going to be comparable to television, we need a solution for measuring duration in view.

Larry writes about the imperative of developing metrics that capture what is uniquely interactive about display ads and how those metrics can contribute to assessing the value of an ad. All of these, too, are part of 3MS. There are five guiding principles that are at the heart of 3MS and five solutions that are the soul of 3MS. We believe in the principles and we believe in the testing and sequencing of the solutions.

For now, we are testing the definition of a viewable impression and the inputs for calculating GRP’s and reach and frequency. We are also testing an ad classification and taxonomy that will create standard constructs and dimensions of ad units. This will facilitate both transactions and developing evaluation metrics.

The fourth and fifth solutions, standardizing interactivity metrics that matter for brand building and improving the measurement of online ad effectiveness for brands, will be the focus of the next stage of Making Measurement Make Sense. We need the foundation of an accepted definition of a viewable ad impression that can be accurately counted and assessed for its impacts on inventory, site optimization, consumer experiences, etc.

Larry and everyone else in the ecosystem just need to hold tight a little longer. We’re getting there. But until then, please keep on thinking and writing — and please feel free to check in with us!