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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
expert analysis MEGAN CLARKEN Managing Director, Nielsen Online What sort of notable developments have there been in online measurement over the last 12 months? There are a few areas that are exciting right now. One is the work that we have been doing around using both census and panel based numbers and bringing them together to provide a much more pure number to the market. Panel numbers reflect what people are doing while census numbers are browser numbers which count what machines are doing. So there are two sets of numbers in the marketplace, but the ability to fuse those numbers and get the best out of both is something that has seen a lot of work put in over the last 12 months. The second area is around ad-eff ectiveness measurement and the ability to report back to advertisers the eff ectiveness of the campaign through both post-campaign surveying and through the buzz factor and the BuzzMetrics product launched in May. The other piece is redefi ning or continuing to work with how we measure Web 2.0 technology. What constitutes a page view or a page impression in an environment where there are new technologies that mean a user engaged on a site isn’t necessarily doing an action or clicking a mouse to change a page – things are happening dynamically in front of the user. So those areas are all very new and exciting for us, and are what we have been working on over the last 12 months. Can you tell us about BuzzMetrics? It is a wonderful service that will provide a measure of user sentiment and brand awareness through logs and discussion boards or consumer generated media (CGM) It has been in the market in the States for a few years now, and we have rolled it out in the UK and Germany, and it has now come down to Australia. What sort of information are agencies asking for at the moment? I think the burning question for ad agencies at the moment is ad- eff ectiveness and the ability to understand brand awareness on the back of a campaign. It is one thing to report that somebody has seen something in terms of a page view and impression but it is another to report whether or not that campaign was successful. That is the most burning question around agencies at the moment – the proof that brand awareness is real and alive on the internet. We do have proof that shows that it absolutely is and getting it out to advertisers to promote their advertising spend online is the thing that agencies are most hungry for right now. Typically we will look at a single brand and through our technologies we are able to supply post-campaign metrics on brand awareness, on recall, whether or not the message got through to the user and so on. 26 MEDIA Trends + Strategy “ The biggest issue is the problem of plenty.” – Megan Clarken, Managing Director, Nielsen Online What is the biggest challenge facing online measurement in the next 6-12 months? I think the biggest challenge for online measurement is that it is a medium that should be very measurable. And it is measurable, In fact it is so measurable that the biggest issue is the problem of plenty. There are so many diff erent measures you can use and there is so much data out there, that trying to find consistency across the markets is probably one of the biggest issues right now. The other issue, of course, is keeping up with that because the online space is where all traditional media come together. You have radio streaming, television and press content online and increasingly they are on diff erent technologies, so you are measuring on diff erent platforms and diff erent devices, and it becomes very complicated. As we move forward with Web 2.0 and diff erent kinds of consumer-generated content, it is becoming more of a challenge to make sure that a. you are able to measure, and b. that there is consistency. I think that those two are the biggest challenges going forward.