4A’s Panel: It’s the Data, Stupid

ORLANDO, FLA. Data offers key challenges and opportunities in the evolving digital landscape, according to Konrad Feldman, co-founder and CEO of Quantcast, an open Internet ratings service, who was one of four panelists  discussing impact and measurement within new media at the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ 2008 Media Conference in Orlando, Fla. today.

Data mining has been fraught with difficulty due to the amount of information that has become available in the marketplace. One of the main challenges, which today’s panelists agreed upon, is understanding who an advertiser’s audience is in an environment where how an individual describes himself, when asked, may not be accurate. “When the who is being defined by the individual, his profile may not match the categories of the network’s. This creates a mismatch [between the advertiser and the audience],” said Robert Davidman, chairman and CEO of EarthQuake Media, a company that specializes in marketing strategy development, media planning and buying.

Judy Vogel, svp and director of research for media agency PHD U.S. (owned by Omnicom), pointed to a need for greater standardization of collecting information on the target market and who is actually buying an advertiser’s product or opting into its services. “[The] who is so important. Knowing who that person is, and measuring correctly in a full and rich way [is critical],” she said. 

EarthQuake Media’s Davidman added that his company is expanding into natural language tools where the questions asked don’t allow for too much scope to answer in vague terms.

QuantCast’s Feldman also added that measuring on a census basis may be more viable than on a sample basis.

Jeremy Lockhorn, director of emerging media and video innovation at digital agency Avenue A/Razorfish, raised the privacy issue, underscoring that the industry must solve these issues before it can get to a greater level of understanding of who an advertiser’s audience is.