B&T: Exposing the real time impact of online ads

A new platform that measures the effectiveness of online ads in real time is set to change the digital marketplace for advertisers and media buyers.

Launching in Australia this week, the Nielsen Online Brand Effect platform provides real time brand lift metrics for online campaigns – and measures much more than click-through rates.

The launch follows Nielsen’s acquisition of Vizu, a technology company specialising in online ad effectiveness measurement, in July. The platform is already in use in the US, where the majority of the top 50 advertising networks use it.

The platform provides real time data on the reach and resonance of online advertising, enabling campaigns to be adjusted and adapted whilst they are still running – rather than providing results once the campaign has ended.

Jeff Smith (pictured), US-based senior vice president of marketing and client services for Nielsen’s ad effectiveness practice, told B&T: “You no longer have to wait until a campaign is over to do something about it. It shows what advertising is working and what is not, so brands can see which aspects of their campaign are working best and optimise their exposure. Your click-through rate might be good, but it doesn’t mean anything for a brand.”

“It’s the difference between crossing your fingers and hoping, and being able to see how your campaign is performing and do something about it before it’s out of the market. It’s changing the way people think about effective advertising – it’s shifting to a more relevant metric.”

Making small changes to creative or placements can make a big difference to the result of an online campaign.

“People are realising they can take some pretty simple actions during a campaign to impact the outcome,” explained Smith. “Really small things, like re-allocating impressions or changing creative, can make a big difference.”

The platform is also set to change the way media sellers and buyers work. “It provides a currency they can transact around,” said Smith.” For media sellers, it’s providing guarantee around what they do. And media buyers want these guarantees.”

He added: “Another unique aspect of the system is the collaborative nature of the platform. It allows both those selling and those buying the media to monitor performance in real time and work together to optimise the performance. Historically, it’s been more of an adversarial type of relationship.

“The fact we are providing a technology platform that allows them to co-ordinate their efforts to produce best results is a major shift.”

Sydney-based video production company Boom Video already uses the platform. Tim Cooper, the company’s strategy and operations director, said: “In the social video and advertising space, it’s sometimes difficult to qualify the value of what we do to advertisers. You can talk about impressions, views and click-through-rates, but this platform gives you much more meaningful statistics about brand awareness.

“Being able to tell a client that, for example, we are seeing double digit lift in purchase intent from someone who has seen our video advert is of real value.”

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