Online publishers and advertisers have long been touting the medium’s ability to deliver precise campaign metrics such as ad impressions, unique users and time spent.
But all some advertisers really wanted were metrics that made sense in relation to TV.
That’s finally where the digital industry may be headed, according to Nielsen, which on Monday (Sept. 27) announced plans for Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, a new set of metrics developed to mesh with TV. The new ratings, aimed at better helping brands track the effectiveness of cross-platform campaigns, will incorporate classic TV measures like Gross Ratings Points, reach and frequency.
Thus, to hear Nielsen tell it, buyers and advertisers will no longer have to struggle with how to make sense of a campaing that delivers 200 GRPs and 2 million online ad impressions. Nielsen says it has developed a patented process via which it can accurately blend data from its TV and online panels with other data providers.
Online Campaign Ratings is designed for measuring specific ad campaigns—not traffic to individual Web sites or viewership for a particular piece of video. Advertisers that elect to use the process can receive data on their campaigns within days, said Nielsen officials, who charachterized the new launch as something of a measurement landmark for the media industry.
"This is a major step forward for both Nielsen and our industry," said Steve Hasker, Nielsen’s president of media products. “This new system will provide marketers with a better understanding of their ROI, and will give media companies a much needed tool to prove the value of their audiences.”
To prove the efficacy of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, the company has signed on several partners to participate in a test during Q4 of this year, prior to the official rollout in 2011. Among the test partners are Procter & Gamble, Verizon Wireless, Facebook and the agency Starcom MediaVest.