The IAB-proposed guidelines would enable advertisers to compare media options based on the level of human interaction with publishers' content. Here are a few more factors to consider.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently released its audience reach measurement guidelines, which are open for public comment until January 20, 2009. The 35-page document provides the basis for a common methodology to assess online media.
At the core, these IAB guidelines focus on the reach and frequency factors most important to advertisers when assessing media options:
These guidelines may cause online media entities concern in terms of the expense to change their internal tracking and the potential impact on sales. Dick Bennett, CEO and cofounder of Interactive Media Services Group, thinks that adhering to the guidelines is important for publishers since they need to know how their media entity is performing, they need consistent tools to pitch agencies and marketers with, and they need a means to reduce the inaccuracies between the rating companies' results and their own.
Five Other Audience-Related Factors
While these measurements enable advertisers to compare media options based on the level of human interaction with publishers' content, further information and analysis are needed to make an effective media choice. Consider these five major categories of metrics, which aren't part of the IAB's proposed guidelines:
While all traffic isn't created equal, it's important to understand the attributes that matter most to attracting prospects who will convert most cost-effectively to buyers.
Three Bottom-Line Measures
From an advertiser's perspective, audience measurements are assessed based on the financial results they deliver. Here are the three significant metrics:
Depending on your advertising goals, additional, more sophisticated analysis may be important to understanding the media impact.
As online advertising continues to mature, more standardized metrics will evolve, enabling advertisers and publishers to assess more than reach and frequency factors. This will allow online advertising to become more accepted relative to older media formats like television and print.
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Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
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