Home  › Media › Mobile

The Year of Mobile…Measurement

  |  October 26, 2012   |  Comments

Declaring 2013 the year of mobile measurement will focus the industry's attention on ways that we can give mobile media a more breathable atmosphere for marketing and advertising.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence has gotten an early start thinking about plans and priorities for 2013. Our most recent mobile board of directors meeting last week in San Francisco included some brainstorming about big issues in Q4 2012 and into the new year.

There is still a lot to do across the board to help mobile live up to its potential as a medium for advertising and marketing. But one set of topics on the list does seem to increasingly be the priority for our members, and therefore us as well. At the risk of being premature, I will tip the IAB's hand and say that for us, 2013 will be the year of mobile measurement.

In the world of media, when we talk about "measurement" we really mean three different, but often overlapping things:

  • Planning. The metrics that help an advertiser decide where to place their ads to best reach an intended audience.
  • Currency. The metrics that determine how much the advertiser actually writes the check for.
  • Effectiveness. The metrics that prove whether an ad campaign had its intended impact on consumers' psyches or purchasing behaviors.

In the traditional media world, the planning and currency metrics are typically the same: for example, Nielsen ratings play both roles for television. In the digital world, the three kinds of metrics have generally come from distinct sources, and interaction (also known as "engagement") metrics are an increasingly important type of effectiveness measure. All three types of metrics exist for mobile, but mobile buyers and sellers need to improve, harmonize, and potentially standardize all of them.

Planning. Mobile audience metrics exist, but right now it's hard to develop a detailed picture of what the mobile audience is doing across apps, between apps and the mobile web, and most importantly between mobile and computers. Understanding the audience's size, its demographics, and behaviors is key for both media companies and marketers alike. On this front, the IAB is launching a new working group focused on mobile audience measurement, which will discuss where we are at now and how we can move the industry ahead.

Currency. The IAB, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), and the Media Rating Council (MRC) are putting the finishing touches on stronger guidelines for mobile web ad measurement, as well as new guidelines for mobile in-app ad measurement. These will be out for public comment shortly. As ad servers get aligned with and audited against these guidelines, transparency and reliability will improve.

Effectiveness. The IAB plans to establish clear definitions and best practices around interaction metrics. As people tap on, expand, shake, spin, or otherwise do things with an ad creative, advertisers need confidence that those actions are intentional and actual. For campaigns running across multiple mobile sites or apps, this work will help ensure that the resulting metrics are consistent and comparable.

In addition to these mobile-specific endeavors, the IAB has several broad initiatives underway that will improve the state of mobile measurement. For example, the IAB's joint effort with the 4A's and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS), directly impacts how we standardize mobile currency and other metrics. A new project, a joint effort between the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and IAB Ad Technology Council, is seeking to understand and define the future of the cookie. And the IAB Data Council and public policy team are continuing efforts around data collection, usage, and consumer awareness and control. These will be fundamental to making sure that the whole digital industry continues to have the ability to plan, execute, and analyze successful advertising campaigns.

Good media measurement should be like the air: life-sustaining, omnipresent, and something you don't have to think about too much - just inhale and it's there. In the early days of mobile, the air is still a little thin. Declaring 2013 the year of mobile measurement will focus the IAB's and the industry's attention on ways that we can give mobile media a more breathable atmosphere for marketing and advertising.

Mobile Measurement image on home page via Shutterstock.

This column was originally published on Oct. 26, 2012.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!*
*Early Bird Rates expire April 17.


Joe Laszlo

As the senior director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, Joe Laszlo plays a key role furthering the center's mission of growing the mobile interactive industry. Joe manages many of the IAB's mobile standardization, best practices, and research projects; advises both buyers and sellers of mobile media; and oversees the IAB's Mobile Committee and Tablet Committee.

Joe served as the IAB's director of research from 2007 through 2010, also managing the IAB's Mobile Committee for much of that time. During his IAB career, Joe has led IAB projects including: writing buyer's guides to mobile and tablet advertising; standardizing mobile rich media advertising; and working with the Mobile Marketing Association and MRC to establish guidelines for counting mobile web and in-app ad impressions.

Prior to the IAB, Joe had an eight-year tenure at Jupiter Research, where he started researching and writing about mobile interactivity in 2000.

Joe holds an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts and a BA from Columbia. He lives in Manhattan.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!



Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?


    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...