Digital Audience Measurement: IAB Measurement Landscape & Positioning

Digital media planning and campaign analysis is changing rapidly as the industry evolves, consumer habits change and the planning industry moves to an integrated media channel approach. The world of disparate pieces of unrelated data (e.g. ratings information and ad-serving data) is no longer sufficient or sophisticated enough for the industry to base their investment decisions. Australia has historically been a world leader in digital audience measurement and the IAB through its Measurement Council, comprising members from seventeen different media organisations, intends to continue to drive the industry to look for new solutions to suit the changing media landscape.

Without taking away from the benefits of digital media including incredible targeting options and a myriad of environment and creative options, the IAB aims to make buying and assessing digital media easier, accountable and more transparent. Technical solutions may differ per digital channel (e.g. desktop, smartphone, tablet) but this paper focuses on the key priorities for digital audience measurement regardless of the delivery device. Although this paper concentrates on paid media many of the concepts can also be applied to owned and earned media.

IAB Australia breaks the measurement landscape into two main components:

1. Exposure - reach & frequency and targeting – how many people saw my message, across which devices, who were they (e.g. age, gender, etc.) and how many times did they see my message? As with all media channels the chief job of a media environment is to effectively deliver a message to the target audience whether that be content or advertising. The IAB in the US are labelling this as the "push" component of a campaign. This will be reviewed in more detail below.

2. Effectiveness (ROI) – reviews the engagement and effectiveness of a medium, message &/or campaign. The methods and metrics for this component are more varied than point 1. The IAB in the US is labelling this as the "pull" component of a campaign. This area is still being reviewed by the IAB Australia Measurement Council and the latest US document for the IAB/3MS titled "Defining and Measuring Digital Ad Engagement in a Cross-Platform World" is currently under review locally.


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