Brad Smallwood is head of measurement and insights at Facebook. At the ARF conference earlier this month, he offered a challenge to the measurement industry: How can we as an industry tie social marketing back to business metrics in ways that allow for cross-platform comparability? Read more and learn how to submit your proposal below.
Social measurement depends on being able to tie social activities back to the business results you are trying to achieve – be it reach, brand impact, or sales. Understanding what you are getting from your marketing spend also depends on being able to compare impact across platforms – TV, online display, social, etc. – and across publishers.
As I discussed at the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) Audience Measurement 7.0 conference, marketing platforms have advanced exponentially, but measurement methodologies have not kept pace. Most measurement tools and techniques are constrained to certain publishers or single media channels, instead of measuring across them all. It is time for the industry to evolve.
Just as other industries have been transformed by creating open systems that multiple parties can plug into, measurement can benefit from a platform approach. There is not a single measurement company in the world that has a truly 360-degree view of the consumer, not a single one that understands all elements of ad effectiveness or the path to purchase. By creating research platforms with which multiple research companies, data providers and publishers can integrate, we can create a more holistic view of how advertising works.
We believe the solution must come from third party, independent measurement companies who are able to look across platforms for innovative solutions. One example of this type of solution is Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, which combines Nielsen’s consumer panel assets with demographic data from online publishers.
But there is more work to be done – particularly when it comes to ad effectiveness. Other platform ideas must emerge for the measurement industry to advance as a whole - platform ideas that truly allow for multiple research companies and publishers to participate, integrate and benefit.
Facebook and ARF have issued a challenge to the measurement community: We want to hear your innovative ideas for tying social marketing back to business metrics in ways that allow for cross-platform comparability around the world. Facebook and ARF will review the ideas and contact those with the highest potential. Facebook will consider providing funding, access to data assets and collaboration on pilot studies.
If you represent a measurement, research or analytics company, or research practitioner and have an idea, please click here to complete the submission form. We look forward to hearing from you and moving the industry forward together.
Brad Smallwood is head of measurement and insights at Facebook. The deadline for submissions has been extended to August 3, 2012, and finalists will be contacted by September 7, 2012. Additional information can be found in the submission form.