NAB 2014

Taking Stock Of Changing Local Measurement

Participants weighed in on everything from the benefits of pooling audience data from different media — and changing the nature of the data that’s collected.

As broadcasters wrestle with how best to measure — and leverage — their multiplatform reach industry leaders say it’s still incumbent upon local media to present the information in ways advertisers understand.

“You have to have simple metrics that people can digest and understand,” said Nielsen EVP-Managing Director Matt O’Grady. “We go to great lengths at measurement companies to capture the highest quality data and the best data that in the end can confuse people.”

O’Grady’s comments were part of an NAB Show panel discussion on local measurements Tuesday, during which participants weighed in on everything from the benefits of pooling audience data from different media — and changing the nature of the data that’s collected.

David Poltrack, CBS’s chief research officer, said a CBS/Nielsen study released Monday showed that combining TV and radio advertising could as much as double a campaign’s reach. The study involved CBS radio and TV stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston.

Poltrack said the study is just a starting point, as digital properties — and data on the consumers who use them — should be included in cross-media strategies as well, he said.

The study, he said, also proved the value of measuring audiences based on “buyergraphics” — purchasing habits and the like — versus demographics for local ad campaigns. Under such analytics, audiences could be broken down into people who shop and Dunkin Donuts and who don’t, he said.

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Steve Walsh, Rentrak EVP of local market television, lauded that idea. “I love the fact that we have increasingly good data for measurement as local broadcasters,” he said. “I love that we can verify what we’ve all known in our gut.”

However, Walsh said success in local ad sales still boils down to providing advertisers the avenues to reach consumers. “I’d rather have a happy client than a lot of data,” he said.

Patti Cohen, CBS Television Stations SVP of research, said part of achieving that is helping advertisers reach the consumers they want — regardless of their preferred platform.

“If you have someone 18-30 watching NCIS, [advertisers] don’t differentiate how they are watching NCIS,” she said. “They want every eyeball they can get.”

“Everyone understands content. Everyone understands your product,” Cohen said. “It doesn’t matter where they’re watching our news. If you’re a salesman, you want to be able to sell it.”


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