CMO: The path to mobile audience measurement

Published in CMO, by Gai Le Roy, 13 December 2013

A couple of weeks ago the IAB announced an industry research initiative in partnership with Nielsen to monitor mobile media usage by creating a panel of smartphone and tablet users.

The response to this announcement from the industry has been fabulous. It would not surprise anyone that the industry wants more information on consumer's usage of mobile, but what did surprise us was the range of organisations interested in this data and their enthusiasm for the project.

Now I would be a wealthy woman if I had a bitcoin for every time someone said to me 'but everything in digital is measurable' or 'just whack on some tags on sites and voila – measurement problem solved'. Sadly, measuring the behaviour of people at a market level is not that simple – in fact digital audience measurement is complicated.

So our approach to developing this new mobile measurement pilot has been led by an incredible group of media researchers who drive our IAB Australia Measurement Council. This group of 17 people, representing both publishers and agencies, sit through hours of technical meetings and discussions every month so the rest of the industry doesn't have to. We owe them a vote of thanks.

This Council determined that our approach to mobile should be similar to our industry currency for desktop audience measurement – that is combining the best of analytics to give granular accurate volume information and layering on a high quality media panel to flesh out the "people" data. This last component is particularly important when combining digital audience data with other media channels.

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