Experiate does great thought piece on measurement

April 14, 2009 by Dave Haynes

Paul Flanigan is a relative newcomer to the digital signage blogging community, but almost immediately started writing one of the more interesting ones, called Experiate.

He runs the in-store screen network for Best Buy and spends his time thinking (and some spare time writing) about content and the impact of screens. Flanigan has a lengthy post this morning raising questions about the timing and merits of audience measurement, combining his own thoughts with quotes cherry-picked from a bunch of industry smarty-pants.

At a time when technology and content are finally developing a synergy that enhances the experience, is it truly imperative that we start measuring right away? This industry is growing so fast that any statistical measurement done today could be obsolete within a few years, if not a few months.

Network operators and venues are in no hurry to become metric compliant; media planners and buyers don’t fully understand the medium yet; agencies are still working toward a full understanding of creative and compelling communication techniques for OOH; OVAB is trying to enforce compliance with only a few dozen members; and there are other companies out there with different and perhaps stronger methods for measurement and definition.

This feels like I should grade my daughter on calculus while she’s still learning to count to 10. 

Good stuff, and very relevant, compelling questions. I agree with Paul that the argument for audience measurement as it is now done is flawed,  particularly as it relates to retail networks that are more about sales impact and shopper experience. But for full-on ad networks, SOMETHING, ANYTHING is needed to at least start herding the cats and creating some commonality in how networks sell themselves.

The elephant in the room, though, when measurement results come in is the discussion around how many people are actually watching versus the raw numbers that have been used to tout audience size. 

Well worth a read … 

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