Should Online Brand Metrics Go Traditional?

What are the fundamental problems with online brand measurement today? eMarketer posed that question to a few dozen experts and the responses were, predictably, all over the map. And that fact alone — that the players can’t agree on where to begin — is the overarching problem. The lack of standardized metrics is keeping online advertising from reaching its full potential.

While 56.8 percent of respondents did not agree that brand measurement was the single biggest problem holding back online advertising, their answers for alternative obstacles varied. They generally centered around three broad themes: too much focus on direct response, lack of creativity and lack of understanding about how digital works.

Fortunately, though, a closer analysis reveals several common themes that indicate the problems are so highly interrelated that solving one can solve others at the same time.

The solution could be to adopt tried-and-trusted methods used for measuring traditional media like reach and frequency; showing how many people have seen an ad and how many times they have seen it. These GRP metrics used by television, radio and newspapers could be the last piece of the puzzle that online needs in order for the biggest advertisers to pour more money into the digital pot.

Nielsen Business Media