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Liodice: Digital Media is Least Accountable

26 Mar, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

LOS ANGELES – Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), told advertisers at a conference last week that digital media has turned out to be the least accountable of all media.

Liodice said the industry must improve media measurement significantly. Marketers need and want to buy digital media, but the return on investment has been hugely disappointing. The ANA CEO cited some sources that estimate that for every digital dollar spent by a marketer, only 50 cents is applied to the media itself.

Liodice said that’s got to change or advertisers will pull dollars off the table.

That’s one reason Liodice and the ANA are pushing for an “e-grp” measurement standard that would include digital, TV, radio and print. That’s the “holy grail,” he said. “We need to have that kind of comparison because marketing is integrated.”

He added that the cross-platform measurement standard would improve the precision of marketing mix models.

One problem, according to Gayle Fuguitt, CEO of the Advertising Research Foundation, is that measurement standards “don’t keep up with consumer behavior.” Relatively new media, like social and mobile, are rapidly growing sectors in terms of consumer consumption, she said. “But we’re still learning” how to accurately measure that consumption.

Liodice said another problem is that no single unbiased entity has been responsible for developing industry measurement standards. “There’s been a vacuum,” he added and that has allowed for-profit third-party entities like Nielsen and other vendors to develop standards over time, based on economic models that work best for them, but not necessarily for the customers that purchase their measurement services. 

The ANA says it will convene a “measurement summit” to discuss steps for change and set priorities and a game plan for instituting needed changes.

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