Are you watching the Vancouver Winter Olympics on television, or via the Internet? Odds are, you are still watching on television, but this may be the last Winter Olympic Games that has more viewers on television than online. At least that is what Paul Venezia, who writes at InfoWorld, expects. That seems plausible to us. And it also seems likely that the cost of online advertising will go up in four years. But it remains uncertain just when and how that will happen.
Michael Zimbalist, VP of research and development operations for The New York Times, thinks a key step is better measurement systems for Web sites. In a short article at Ad Age, Zimbalist writes:
The web changes at lightning speed, but online advertising remains stuck with the same old metrics we've had since the beginning. "Unique visitors," or 30-day cumulative reach, holds firm as the audience measure. The currency for buying and selling continues to be "ad impressions," which are generally disconnected from any meaningful audience dimensions. Worst of all, the reigning metrics for campaign efficacy are all tied to observable outcomes, as is typified by the dreaded "click-through rate ."
Zimbalist proposes that we adopt a new measurement system for online that mirrors TV's "gross rating points" (GRPs). Here is his "blueprint,":
Name it. All industry initiatives need a name. Let's call ours the "Werp" (WRP).
Creative unit. TV uses the 30-second spot. Let's start by allowing any of three IAB approved units to count: the medium rectangle, the large rectangle, or the half page.
Time and clutter. TV's use of the 30-second spot solves two problems that have plagued us online. It gives advertisers 100% share of voice, and it (sort of) guarantees an exposure time. Let's propose that for an ad exposure to count towards a WRP, it must be the sole marketing message in focus for a minimum of five seconds.
Calculating WRP's. Works exactly the same as GRPs. Reach frequency.
Audience reporting. Eventually, we'd want to have WRPs by day part. But as a modest beginning, and so as to gracefully transition publishers from the 30-day cumulative measure, let's start with total weekly WRPs at the site level.
Read Measure the Web Like TV and Brand Advertising Will Follow here.