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As consumers have accelerated their cross-platform behavior over the past 3 years, Comscore has been focused on building solutions that help to solve the complexity of unified measurement.
From planning, to activating, and measuring, we ensure our clients can reach and measure audiences where they are. There are Comscore innovations available in market today that are clear differentiators for publishers, brands and agencies, the most recent being the launch of person level advanced audience measurement for ad campaigns.
Looking closely at consumer behavior, the average number of devices per household has risen to 12 (from 9 pre-pandemic). It can be argued we are close to peak cross-platform consumption. The number of screens on which we as consumers can be reached have never been higher, and yet the number of hours in the day has remained the same. This makes it more complex than ever for advertisers to reach consumers and compete for attention, and more difficult than ever to make impactful decisions when it comes to planning, targeting, and measuring media effectively.
At the start of Advertising Week New York 2023, Comscore’s Melinda Gladnick released details of our Advanced Audiences at the person level on TV and CTV. We are focused on innovation that can help solve the most basic question - what is my true reach across all platforms for the audiences I care about the most? The challenge for today’s marketer is how to tell a story about data driven results for their end brand. Take a recent client example, where historically the brand was unable to measure its true consumer target. Advanced Audience reporting unlocked the ability for them to measure Moms aged 18-49 with children under the age of five. This resulted in their ability to measure 3x better reach across platforms.
Future proofed and privacy forward, our Advanced Audiences approach can work with any ID set, can work without the presence of IDs to join against an identity spine and allows advertisers to answer their cross-platform questions in terms of people rather than households. We are empowering our clients with a solution that fits within a multitude of client workflows, and that is interoperable and scalable.
Ensuring marketers have the tools at their fingertips to stay ahead of where their consumers are is especially critical today because we’ve arrived at an unprecedented point in time as a media industry. The trends in consumer engagement and the speed at which their behavior has changed including how they buy and go from awareness to consideration to purchase, are evolving dramatically.
It’s this rapid evolution in the industry that inspired the discussion on our panel at Advertising Week on October 19, 2023, ‘ Audience Intelligence for a Cross-Platform World: Where Data Meets Content’. I met with speakers from Paramount, Roku, Publicis Groupe and Bayer U.S to discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist for both marketers and platforms.
Joe Doran from Publicis Groupe’s Epsilon told AWNY that frequency matters when he said, “ The problem all the marketers face today is how am I actually reaching the consumer that I targeted? How do I know that I'm getting that consumer and how do I even know, with these fragmented channels out there, that I'm actually not over frequencing and I'm actually targeting the people I think are going to be my buyers?“
Beyond the challenge facing marketers around controlling frequency and reach, one of the major opportunities for marketers is options, as brand goals will vary greatly depending on their consumer.
Bayer’s Andrea Fischer shared, “ As an advertiser or a brand, you're always trying to do something different. We have a portfolio of brands that are so different and what I want to do one day for one brand is very different from how I want to talk to a different consumer there. I need the options, the environments and relevancy for the consumer because people are inundated with messages every single day.”
You might question at which point we will reach peak ad placement, and frequency as a KPI shifts more specifically to the right frequency in the right place for the right audience.
We've managed a balance of broad-based audiences and precision-level marketing, and my question to the panel was whether it’s time to think differently about the make-up of an audience and look at it behaviorally. If audiences are the true currency, which we believe at Comscore, is it really about captured attention and how an advertiser can maximize it regardless of the actual environment?
While measurement dominated the discussion, Paramount’s Pete Chelala provided a timely reminder about focusing solely on the science of content when he said, “ Advertising Week is amazing, to see people in real life, but it's become like a science fair. The art is missing in our conversations because the art is how you grab attention [powerful storytelling and strong brand messaging]. Then, the science is how you connect it and put clients directly and deliberately in the path of potential customers. Content is still king.”
As dollars are shifting from more traditional linear environments to streaming, there's a critical juncture and opportunity we face now. Along those lines, Comscore undertook some research with Roku to show there's significant lift as it relates to viewership attention.
Our analysis of six campaigns spanning four major verticals, including retail, automotive, CPG, and real estate, measured a total of 62 million ads delivered on Roku. Viewers on Roku saw these ads an average of 3.6 times per campaign amongst the target audience compared to 11.4 times on Linear TV. Co-viewing on Roku drove +37% lift across the 6 campaigns. It provides the full picture of incrementality with person-level measurement available from Comscore.
We are heading into an intensive year in media in 2024, between an election, the Olympic Games and other major sporting events. Roku’s John Taveras told the panel: “ A platform strategy needs to make it easier for consumers to find what they're looking for and make it easier for brands to reach consumers across multiple publishers.”
At the end of the day, for an advertiser, it's about their major reach vehicle and looking at the performance that happens within a zip code or market level, then optimizing their digital channels to get other types of efficiencies out there - in a path towards ultimately driving more products off the shelves.
I’m a strident believer that while new metrics like attention can generate buzz in the industry, ultimately the baseline of total reach needs to be precise and unified. Otherwise, the foundation on which any campaign is built is made of sand. Without that baseline accuracy, anything else you build on it is flawed. As Abraham Lincoln once remarked “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, and then stand firm.”
Complete cross-platform reach, one of the outcomes Comscore is able to deliver through its measurement solutions, is a foundation on which marketers can build with confidence.