ComScore Media Metrix Debuts Reach/Frequency Tool

Online research firm comScore Media Metrix Tuesday released Campaign Reach/Frequency, a media planning tool that estimates reach, frequency and gross ratings points (GRP) delivery by using the Media Metrix panel-based audience measurement service.

The company is tapping into the popular conception that online media will only command its fair share of ad spending when media planners are able to use traditional metrics in the planning process. Reach, frequency and GRPs are measurements commonly used in planning television.

“We believe that an R/F tool that allows planners to build an interactive campaign using the same metrics as their counterparts in traditional media will help level the playing field for online media outlets, and further accelerate growth in online media spending,” said Lynn Bolger, executive vice president of agency development at comScore Media Metrix.

ComScore is the latest in a string of companies to jump on the reach and frequency bandwagon. Its main competitor, Nielsen//NetRatings, offers a reach/frequency tool called WebRF, in conjunction with VNU’s IMS. That tool is built into DoubleClick’s MediaVisor campaign management software. Additionally, aQuantive’s Atlas DMT has long offered the Atlas GRP and Reach Forecaster, which uses demographic information from comScore, along with its third-party ad server data, to come up with its numbers.

ComScore’s product differs from Atlas DMT’s in that it uses the full range of Media Metrix panel data as the basis for its reach and frequency numbers, rather than using cookie-based third-party ad server data. The comScore system will, however, let users enter ad server data into the interface, and use it to contribute to the calculations. The Advertising Research Foundation, in looking at potential models for Internet reach and frequency, has advocated systems that use both panel and server data.

ComScore is making the tool available through the MyMetrix client interface. With Campaign Reach/Frequency, planners can get estimates of overall campaign reach, frequency and GRP delivery based on user-defined values for campaign duration, impression goals, and CPMs. Unlike with competing tools, the company says, the Campaign Reach/Frequency tool allows planners to predict the results of campaigns of any length, including those that run for longer than 30 days.

Potential buys can be measured at the property, media title, channel, and sub-channel level, and users can look at home, school, or work audiences, or any combination of the three.

“The big key differentiator,” said Peter Daboll, president of comScore Media Metrix, “is that we work on all location data rather than on home only or work only…. We believe, like with the TV world, being able to plan against a system, and buy against the system, and eventually post against a system, is really the way to go.”

Interestingly, Media Metrix, before it was acquired by comScore, had introduced a reach and frequency tool of its own, but the marketing and development of that product was halted after the merger. ComScore Media Metrix has since offered a reach and frequency tool, but it measured only at the site level, rather than at the campaign level. Company officials said the new tool was built from scratch to integrate with the MyMetrix interface, though some of the employees brought over from Media Metrix contributed to the effort.

ComScore has lately been stepping up its efforts to appeal to agencies, hiring Bolger as EVP of agency development, and beefing up its tool set. It counts among its clients aQuantive’s Avenue A, digital@jwt, Digitas, Mediaedge:cia, OMD Digital, Starcom IP, and Universal McCann.

The beta version of the Campaign Reach/Frequency tool was rolled out to all of comScore Media Metrix’ clients a couple of months ago. Though company officials won’t say how many clients have agreed to pay for the new service, they say they expect 80 percent to eventually adopt it.

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