New Initiatives Point Toward More Accountable Marketing

Making Measurement Make Sense and Brand-Specific Commercial Ratings Underpin Push for Greater Accountability

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We're dubbing 2013 the "Year of Accountability."

Frankly, we're frustrated with the industry's inability to advance measurement practices. We must give marketers the data, facts and information to make better marketing decisions. There are two specific initiatives that underpin this push for greater accountability.

The first is 3MS, or Making Measurement Make Sense. In collaboration with the 4A's, IAB and other industry partners, the ANA is determined to advance digital-advertising measurement and cross-platform analytics. Collaboratively, we have made major strides over the past 18 months. One of the most important developments was the creation of the new standard, the "viewable impression." This will replace the archaic "served impression," a source of grossly misleading and overstated metrics. Viewable impressions will lead to the development of the e-GRP which will provide improved commonality across media to facilitate cross-platform measurement.

As part of the 3MS initiative, the Media Ratings Council has stepped up to become the guardian for creating and enforcing industry measurement standards. We are delighted that we finally have an objective industry body to advance the measurement profession.

The second core measurement initiative is brand-specific commercial ratings for TV. Marketers are leaving millions of dollars on the table in lost productivity and substandard business decision-making due to the lack of reliable ratings information. Syndicated brand-specific commercial ratings will tell marketers precisely how well ads are performing -- something that average commercial-pod ratings cannot do.

There are many more measurement initiatives that will be getting into the pipeline. But what will advance all of them is strong foundation. That foundation is the acceptance of a standard for coding advertising assets, be they for TV, radio, digital or any other media.

Ad-ID is that standard. The boards of directors of the ANA and the 4A's recently voted to make Ad ID the industry coding standard by January 2014. The balance of the industry must do the same.

Why? Ad-ID is the equivalent of the UPC code for advertising. Consider the enormous benefits UPC codes provided for business and industry over the years. Similarly, Ad-ID will streamline advertising workflow, improve processes and generate efficiencies, productivity and cost savings for the entire marketing community.

It's a no-brainer that 's worth $2 billion industrywide.

By improving the business of measurement, we can facilitate marketing decision-making for brands and make the overall marketing ecosystem a far more reliable place to invest our precious advertising resources.

Bob Liodice is president-CEO of the Association of National Advertisers.

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