emarketer online brand measurement report

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June 2009

Online Brand Measurement:Geoffrey Ramsey, CEO & Co-Founder geoff@emarketer.com

Connecting the Dots

Special Report

IntroductionIn 2009, US advertisers will spend $4.7 billion on display ads, and another $3.1 billion on other branding-oriented ads, including rich media and video. But are they getting their moneys worth? Does online brand measurement even work? Do marketers have the metrics they need to connect the dotsboth within online platforms and between online and offline media?Authored by eMarketer CEO and co-founder Geoff Ramsey, this special report addresses these questions and many more. A Look Inside Total Access: This report gives you a sample of the premium content that is exclusive to eMarketer Total Access subscribers. For more information on what Total Access can do for your business, day after day, visit www.emarketer.com, or contact us at 212-763-6010 or 800-405-0844 (toll-free).

More Available OnlineWe encourage you to view this special report online at www.emarketer.com/brandmeasurement for access to videos, in-depth interviews and full survey results (courtesy of InsightExpress). On the report Website, you can also join the conversation on this important topic by contributing comments.

Digital Intelligence

Copyright 2009 eMarketer, Inc. All rights reserved.

Geoff Ramsey: Why This Report?Measurement means different things to different peoplebut most can agree that in business, measurement is vital to long-term success.Ill never forget my first experience with measurement. When I was 12 years old, my family moved to the UK, exposing me to a new school system and a decidedly different way of measuring student performance. Instead of the generalized feedback I was used to in Michigan, such as needs to try harder, the UK students were ranked from 1 through n (where n = however-manystudents-were-in-the-class). Granted, it was a blunt measure. And at the end of the first marking period, I was ranked last in every single subject, from Latin to mathematics. Ouch. Remarkably, though, this measurement system had a profound effect on me. I started paying attention in class and generally worked like a dog. By the end of the last marking period, my rank had elevated to No. 1 or No. 2 in each class. Could the online advertising industry benefit from a similar transformation if better brand measurement systems were put in place? Does the industry have the right metrics to be able to connect the dotsboth within online platforms and between online and offline media? Thats what this report was designed to uncover. Online brand measurement has been on my mind for some time now. After moderating industry panels with session titles such as Fixing the Measurement Mess or Is Data Friend or Enemy? it became clear that we had some major challenges to overcome. That feeling was confirmed when eMarketer commissioned InsightExpress to conduct a poll of industry stakeholders. On a scale of 1 (were still in the Dark Ages) to 10 (weve got this all figured out), a majority (51%) rated the current state of online brand measurement at 5 or below. Ouch again. This report was made possible by contributions from many individuals, who offered their time, expertise and razor-sharp thinking on an incredibly complicated topic, including many of my hard-working colleagues at eMarketer. In particular, I want to thank senior analyst David Hallerman, who shored up my original draft with much-needed improvements; writer/editor Tobi Elkin, who conducted more than two dozen high-level interviews; and Evelyn Majewski, who analyzed and provided a contextual summary of the InsightExpress poll of industry professionals. I am also grateful for the commitment and friendship of the industry leaders who agreed to be interviewed or come into our offices for video sessions. I offer special thanks to David Smith of Mediasmith, a legend in online measurement, who acted as a sounding board and sanity check for many of my points and conclusions. The process of writing this report was like absorbing the collective consciousness of the online ad industry, and it convinced me to change my views on a number of key issues. I hope it opens your mind to some new ideas and provides a forum for the industry to move forward on this important subject of online brand measurement. Please take the time to share your comments and thoughts. Collectively, we can begin to connect the dotsand maybe we can move to an 8 or 9 out of 10 sooner rather than later.

Geoffrey Ramsey CEO, Co-Founder, eMarketer

Online Brand Measurement: Special Report

2

Letter from Our Sponsor, Datran MediaWhen I first heard that eMarketer was publishing a study dedicated to online measurement, I got excited, because I felt that the timing couldnt be any better.We are witnessing a very interesting period in the industry where advertisers are no longer simply buying media on Web sites to reach a particular audience, but instead are actually targeting users. The explosion of exchanges and behavioral data targeting has suddenly made the term remnant important and sexy. Lets face it, this is not a just a trend, but rather a clear movement towards leveraging the plethora of data that differentiates the Internet from any other form of media. Even when advertisers buy from an individual site, they are now expecting to target specific users with relevant demographics or behavior. Although this appears to be a subtle switch, it actually has a profound effect on the industry, especially when it comes to measurement. Think about it. The measurement tools that exist on the Web today were created to address the desire to determine the most popular sites by attempting to count the number of unique visits to individual sites on a monthly basis. These tools were not really developed to provide valid insights into the user behind the browser. Perhaps in the early days of the Internet when people were focused on buying homepages or sponsorships, knowing the most popular sports-related Web site was actually relevant. But let me ask you a question, if you are only buying four million unique impressions, does it really matter whether the site reaches 20 or 30 million visitors a month? Although instinctively most of us want to say yes, chances are the answer is no. Advertisers should be shifting from asking what site is the most popular to wondering who specifically am I reaching?, is this who I am intending to reach? and what is the impact on my brand? Unfortunately the industry is still stuck in a rut over counting methodologies. Yet at the end of the day, the only figures that typically matter come from an advertisers third party ad server, as this is what determines the money actually spent on advertising. Until the debate switches from unique user counting to the accuracy and quality of data about the individuals exposed to and interacting with the ad campaign, we will be holding back the potential of the industry. Not to say that the number of monthly visitors isnt at all relevant to publishers or advertisers, but lets put that challenge into perspective and focus resources on moving the market forward with the type of audience measurement that todays marketer truly needs. I trust that this timely report will give us all a lot of food for thought and we are delighted to be sponsoring it. No one knows exactly what measurement will consist of in five years, but I guarantee it will evolve greatly from what exists today. This study should provide us with not only the current challenges, but also a hint of things to come. Enjoy the report and let the debates begin! Sincerely,

Scott C. Knoll SVP Display and GM Aperture Product Group, Datran Media

Online Brand Measurement: Special Report

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Verified consumer data is the key to accurate reporting Current methodologies are outdated Most research sample sizes are statistically insignificant Audiences need to be measured at the campaign and creative level, not just site level

Advertisers and marketers have long searched, with mixed results, for proof that their campaigns are e ective. For the interactive industry, integrity in audience measurement is a fundamental necessity. After all, accurate reporting and transparency is critical when planning future media buys, segmenting audiences, and optimizing marketing mixes.How crucial do you feel analytics can be in dictating future ad campaigns? (% of respondents)

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Not at All .8%Source: Datran Media, Third Annual Marketing & Media Survey, January 2009Adult Age (all) Sampling Percent 62%

The methodologies that most media is measured by today are over 70 years old! Panel-based research was initially developed to help radio advertisers understand how many listeners were exposed to their campaign. Ironically, not much has changed in the world of media measurement. Although in recent years, ISP-based measurement has made some attempts to improve the way audiences are quanti ed. Clearly, online advertisers need deeper insights into who they're reaching. In todays competitive atmosphere, where targeting very speci c audiences is increasingly important, the old-world methodologies are becoming less relevant.Do you currently leverage audience analytics? (% of respondents)Aperture measures household- level demographics across the entire media chain from impressions to clicks to conversions.

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