Key Takeaways From the Cynopsis Measurement & Data Conference

By Charlene Weiser, who covered the Cynopsis Measurement & Data Conference earlier this month

We are operating in an ecosystem that continuously expands and deepens. There is more data than ever before and more companies jockeying, joining together and otherwise expanding and deepening their relationships with consumers, creatives and advertisers. How can we best navigate and, if possible, better predict the future? Enter the third annual Cynopsis Measurement and Data conference, which delivered insights into the range of media industry issues – from attribution to content labeling to OTT and addressable targeting, to agency and network initiatives, to the impact of consultancies.

Roberta Caploe, Publisher, Cynopsis, sees the conference as an important connector for “a candid conversation about what’s keeping us from arriving at a solution for consistent measurement across platforms and to walk out with next steps in hand.”

Here are the takeaways from the Cynopsis Measurement & Data Conference:

➢ Advancements are happening in content labeling and in attribution… but maybe not as fast as we want. In content labeling, CIMM ‘s TAXI (Trackable Asset Cross Platform Identification) initiative focuses on standardizing ids of video ads and programming not unlike UPC codes for consumer products. Jane Clarke, CEO Managing Director, CIMM, pointed out that Kantar audio watermarks have been qualified by SMPTE, which is a big step forward for ids that are bound to assets throughout entire distribution channel. “But the industry has to step up,” Clarke noted, by applying the codes to their content. In attribution, some questioned whether full attribution is possible. Funding it is expensive and advertisers are already paying premium pricing. TV data comes from a variety of different sources and there are a lot of steps to clean and process it. It is not always nationally representative … and what about word-of-mouth and out of home?

➢ Data gaps are impeding progress and it is difficult to solve. When it comes to data gaps, one of the most challenging is “identifying the consumer journey with precision, identifying the many different data sources, the specific needs of the consumer and being consistent,” stated Kathy Grey, Managing Director, Strategic Research, Omnicom Media Group, “That is the gap we are struggling with.” Beth Rockwood SVP Portfolio Research, Turner, added, “There are challenges working with first party data.” Walled gardens are another obstacle. “The Holy Grail is to unlock all walled gardens and have true cross platform measurement. But it’s still a long way away,” noted Shereta Williams, President, Videa.

➢ More collaboration is needed between networks and agencies and also between frenemy companies to find solutions. Rockwood explained that in learning how and when to use different sets of data and the different purposes for each, “We work in collaboration with agencies to understand what clients really need and then we decide what is relevant. This didn’t happen before. We work directly with planning and research and that wasn’t typical in the past.“ Williams added, “Cooperation between vendors is important. No one can solve for everything.” Helen Katz, SVP Global Director, Publicis Spine, noted that the industry needs to come together “to vet and understand the different data sets and come up with

standards.” “Standardized transparent measurement can preserve TV value,” added Jonathan Steuer, Chief Research Officer, Omnicom.

  • ➢  But, while there is a benefit to working together, we also have to create our own solutions. They “vary by agency and client and is driven by client needs,” explained Katz, “it’s not one size fits all.” Steuer explained that there is a TV evolution going on. “No two TV households are alike anymore. It is a complex quilt of TV households.” And consumers are also fragmented. “There are generational shifts – cord cutters, cord nevers. Kids don’t know what channels and networks they are watching anymore.”

  • ➢  Consumers are in charge but there is not as much agreement in what concrete, agreed-upon steps, protocols, metrics, datasets, systems and applications are most important to solving for this marketing shift. Consumers curate their own path to purchase which makes marketing to them very individualistic and fragmented. Ideally, though, the industry should be striving “for a holistic closed loop view,” advised Dr. Maggie Zhang, SVP, Video Research and Insights, Dentsu Aegis Network.

  • ➢  Connecting with and following the consumer on a deeper, more emotional level is pivotal. Not doing so is dangerous to your brand. And because consumers are not averse to advertising that is relevant to them, data and identity will help connect the message to the consumer. But do so in a way that respects their privacy. “The elephant in the room is consumer privacy and their mistrust,” warned Marcus Ellington, Head of Industry, Media and Entertainment, Google/YouTube. Transparency is critical to building trust.

  • ➢  The difference between consultancies and agencies is that consultancies focus on the long term and the broad landscape rather than meeting quarter to quarter goals. Andrea Boone, Executive Director, EY and Dan Calpin, Partner GM, Bain explained that the role of consultancies were broader and more long term with a focus on working with the full range of senior executives with both depth and vertical integration and advising on such things as collapsing entire departments.

  • ➢  The industry is compressing and transforming. “TV is now full funnel,” stated Steuer. It used to be top of the funnel but because TV is becoming more digital, it is focusing on the full funnel. In addition, “The planning side is getting closer to execution side,” stated Williams. “Planning and executions are compressing a bit.” It is possible to see how a campaign is performing, what was missed and change in mid-flight. “We leverage old school data in new ways,” she added. Kristyn Clement, VP Insights and Measurement, NBCU, sees TV as relevant as ever, but evolving. “It’s not like TV is disappearing. It is still a huge portion of consumption. But a significant portion is digital now and it impacts our business.”

  • ➢  Data, Data, Data. “Data is driving everything, noted Tom Xenos, Director Advanced TV, Omnicom. “Data has to lead. It fuels it all,” concluded Tim Spengler, President, M1, Dentsu Aegis Network. But we “need to make sure we do it the right way,” stated Vikram Somaya, Chief Data Officer, Nielsen. “If we do it wrong it will impact you.”

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