Comscore Announces Introduction of AdEffx Smart Control™ Ground-Breaking Methodology for Measuring Digital Advertising Effectiveness
Innovative Model-Based Approach Uses Validated Marketing Mix Modeling Methods, Eliminates Need for Control Group Impressions, Improves Accuracy and Statistical Reliability
Reston, VA, May 25, 2010 - Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today announced the introduction of AdEffx Smart Control™, an innovative methodological approach representing the next generation in measuring digital advertising effectiveness. The Smart Control methodology, based on validated and time-tested marketing mix modeling techniques, enables improved measurement of emerging segments of the rapidly changing digital advertising landscape, including homepage takeovers, integrated placements, and specific audience buys.
“The Comscore AdEffx Smart Control methodology truly represents the next generation of digital ad effectiveness measurement,” said Anne Hunter, Comscore vice president of Ad Effectiveness Solutions. “This new approach is superior to the traditional test-and-control methodology for most digital campaigns run today. Not only does it improve the accuracy and reliability in measurement of existing campaigns, but it allows us to measure the impact of advertising buys that were previously impossible to measure accurately. As the premier provider of digital marketing measurement solutions, Comscore is delighted to introduce the innovative Smart Control methodology to the lasting benefit of publisher, advertisers and their advertising agencies.”
Current Challenges in Digital Ad Effectiveness Measurement
Digital ad effectiveness measurement is a fast-growing market that is improving media accountability in the digital environment. While current techniques, which are predicated on comparing a group of campaign-exposed individuals to a control group of non-exposed individuals, have significantly enhanced the ability to demonstrate the value of digital advertising campaigns, they have also had certain limitations.
Traditionally, the test-control methodology has required publishers to “burn” available inventory to use for the control groups (which do not receive the campaign ads). Consequently, publishers may have had to provide less desirable inventory for these control groups, resulting in a test which can cause substantial swings in data accuracy from publisher to publisher depending on how they are allocating inventory for the control groups. The test-and-control methodology also requires larger samples to be able to generate statistically significant results and does not measure the holistic impact of the campaign but only the impact to the point in time when the survey research was conducted. Finally, test-and-control is not feasible for new types of advertising formats such as homepage takeovers, audience targeted impressions and integrated placements, where using true control cells is cost prohibitive and usually not technologically feasible.
How Smart Control Works
Smart Control determines advertising impact without the traditional test-and-control methodology, yielding more comprehensive and accurate results. The methodology looks at the change in consumer response (either attitudinal or behavioral) by varying frequency of advertising exposure using a Bayesian regression model, from which the “control” response (i.e. frequency = 0) is derived. This approach is similar to marketing mix modeling techniques, which have been used in traditional media measurement for decades.
The Smart Control methodology has several clear benefits versus the traditional test-and-control methodology. It is more sensitive and therefore more likely to produce a statistically significant result, with an average lift variance 91 percent lower and average confidence interval 68 percent narrower than test-and-control. This means that campaigns can achieve the same statistical significance with substantially smaller sample sizes than traditional test-and-control designs.
“The Smart Control methodology will take digital ad effectiveness measurement light years into the future,” added Harvir Bansal PhD, SVP of research at Comscore and inventor of the Smart Control methodology. “It can provide more accurate and granular measurement for a wider range of ad campaigns, with less operational complexity based on the way that digital advertising is being bought and sold today. We are confident that this solution truly has no peer in the industry.”
Clients and Industry Leaders Voice Support for Smart Control
“This is a welcome innovation from Comscore. Smart Control aims to solve key industry challenges involved with implementing tests to measure impact of digital campaigns. We are looking forward to exploring and testing the product. Smart Control has strong potential for complementing traditional test vs. control and providing more accurate and granular survey results, greater efficiencies and a timelier reporting of advertising campaign effectiveness.” -- Terry Cohen, SVP of Strategy & Analysis, Digitas
“Smart Control is potentially an exciting innovation for the agency and advertiser community. This model-based approach may offer the ability to overcome some of the inherent challenges in measuring the effectiveness of digital ad campaigns. Anything that could do this with accuracy and reliability would be a welcome solution in this industry.” -- Andy Fisher, EVP, Global Data & Analytics Director, Starcom MediaVest Group
“A year ago, the Journal of Advertising Research published findings by Comscore that proved ‘the click’ is only a small part of the impact that digital advertising creates. If not the click, then what? Comscore should be applauded for attempting to more completely address the ROI of digital advertising in the context of fully integrated marketing campaigns.” -- Joel Rubinson, Chief Research Officer of the ARF
“Comscore’s Smart Control Methodology delivers an exciting solution that caters to today’s digital advertising landscape and fills a growing research need resulting from new forms of media buying.” -- Hernan Lopez, President of .Fox Networks and COO of Fox International Channels
“Yahoo!’s innovative advertising opportunities for marketers are often difficult to measure accurately using traditional methodologies. Comscore’s Smart Control methodology delivers a solution that enables more accurate measurement of the specific value that Yahoo! brings to advertisers. This new methodology helps address a number of publishers’ research challenges: it reduces wasted impressions, simplifies campaign implementation, and aligns more closely with offline research techniques.” -- Radha Subramanyam, VP, Head of Corporate and Media Research, Yahoo!
“Smart Control represents an important step forward in the field of online ad effectiveness research. Finding adequate and representative control sample has been a persistent issue for the industry. By applying research theory long validated by offline marketers, Smart Control will help Disney Online more efficiently and effectively measure large integrated campaigns and demonstrate our value to advertisers.” -- Kristi Manclow, Ad Sales Research, Disney Online
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including, but not limited to, expectations regarding the impact and benefits to Comscore of the AdEffx Smart Control product, financial or otherwise. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to: the features and characteristics of our methodology or our the products, the rate of development of the digital marketing intelligence, Internet advertising and e-Commerce markets; the growth of the Internet as a medium for commerce, content, advertising and communications; and the acceptance of new products and methodologies by the industry, including existing and prospective clients.
For a detailed discussion of these and other risk factors, please refer to Comscore’s most recent respective Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Annual Reports on Form 10-K and from time to time other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), which are available on the SEC’s Web site ( http://www.sec.gov).
Stockholders of Comscore are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date such statements are made. Comscore does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or new information after the date of this press release, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.
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