Season 1 | Episode 7

Measurement in a Media Converged World

Join us as we wrap up Season 1 of Paid Media Coffee, The Digital Future of Traditional Media Buying, with a conversation about measurement. 

Kelly Mancuso, VP of Paid Media, welcomes SVP of Strategy Jenn Vickery, Senior Analytics Manager Boyd Jardaneh and Paid Media Strategist Oliver Brantley to Episode 7. 

Pour yourself a latte and listen as they answer the question: how can you measure your marketing initiatives given the vast range of advertising platforms available at your disposal?

Kelly: Welcome to Paid Media Coffee. I'm Kelly Mancuso, your host and today we're talking about measurement. I have three guests with me today first. We have Jenn Vickery SVP of digital strategy at Nebo. Welcome back Jenn. 

Jenn: Thanks happy to be here. 

Kelly: We also have Oliver Brantley paid media strategist at Nebo.

Oliver: Thanks for having me again. 

Kelly: Yep, and we have a new face. Or new voice, I guess I should say today. We also have Boyd Jardaneh. He is senior manager analytics here at Nebo. 

Boyd: Happy to be here as well. 

Kelly: Awesome. I'm excited because today we are wrapping up our conversation around the convergence of traditional and digital advertising, and we're going to be focusing on measurement tracking an attribution.

Probably the most challenging aspect of this entire industry right now in all of these these shifting paradigms. So, obviously there's a lot of confusion around how to measure things like connected TV, programmatic out of home, online audio and there are a lot of misconceptions as well that go along with that.

So I would love for the three of you to help us understand how this convergence is shifting the mindset of measurement in general. 

Oliver: I think the first thing is that we talked about this in previous episodes, but when traditional and digital kind of merge and become this kind of conglomerate of advertising you see that digital strategies and tactics are getting applied to different media.

A lot of the previous attribution is based on unique identifiers. So tracking numbers and promo codes and things like that, but obviously with digital the emphasis is on pixel based approaches UTM tracking and direct attribution for conversions. So I think a lot of what we're seeing is that mindset getting applied to channels that don't really have the capabilities to do that. I mean, I think it's a huge Challenge and it's something that advertisers and ad tech companies are working on. But, yeah, with specific targeting that we have with things like OTT and audio the expectation is that full attribution is going to be there, but obviously that's you know, not the case quite yet.

PMC Episode 7

Jenn: That's a huge misconception is that because it's digital and online it's completely trackable. And I think we all wish that were the case, but the tracking and Tech stack is so fragmented and there are so many different systems that marketers are using whether it's to serve ads or site tracking or CRM that a lot of these systems don't talk to each other in the way that we want them to. And so data integration is really challenging and while we can get good data, we don't yet have that perfect data. 

Boyd: I think this also calls into question cross-device tracking a lot of the times. And although it sounds great there needs to be sort of a common denominator between all the devices.

And so typically what that means is there needs to be some sort of login validator, for example or user ID in order to connect what users are doing across these devices, which is a lot more difficult than perceived.  That is something that has sort of come across my experiences with clients.

They brought it to the table, but it's really hard to execute because it's either their client base is so large that is really difficult to kind of get everyone on the same page to say, "okay, how do we funnel these users into some sort of validation? So that we can then track them across all these devices and sort of tailor their experiences based on which device they're on?" So that's kind of a step in the right direction.

It's just it's not really executed how it should be I would say. 

Oliver: The main challenge there. I mean when you look at devices, they're not all used in the same way. So everyone has a phone but not every family of four doesn't have four Amazon Fire Sticks, So we're not looking at individual users using individual devices on a one-to-one basis, they're kind of fragmented across different things.

So there's maybe a family iPad that people are using and there's four different logins signed on to it. And then there's a fire stick with One login for Netflix and One login for Hulu that the entire family is using and then there's individual logins on each phone. 

Boyd: I also think that kind of the touch Point models that some companies put in place.

They kind of try to understand or have this preconceived notion of this is how people are operating across these devices. They'll go their computer first and their phone their TV, although it doesn't really happen in that sequence because it could happen completely 180 from that. It could be TV phone laptop.

Like Oliver mentioned One login. So how do you even know who to tailor your experience to? 

Kelly: Or all at the same time? 

Boyd: Exactly? Yeah, right. 

Jenn: I think that mentality though that we're talking about is definitely a digital marketer issue because Oliver to your point. We're talking about traditional marketing like TV buy- linear TV buys. They're thinking household.

They're not thinking the individual person. So I definitely think that our mentality of "hey, we're targeting that single person" is definitely like a digital marketer mentality versus a traditional marketer mentality. 

Kelly: That thought leads us into our next topic where Boyd you made a really good point about that cross-device aspect of it.

And you know, we aren't living in a world where people just go and use one single source for information. It's a multi-screen multi-channel world and that makes things even more complex. So what do you think advertisers need to do in order to adjust attribution models and how can we measure that incremental impact when we're incorporating some of these new channels into our media mix?

Boyd: That's that's a great question. And I think who do advertisers are lean on to kind of figure these things out? It's the platforms they utilize. So with that being said, I think that the big commercial marketing platforms that we're all aware of Google analytics. For example, they're really starting to lay the groundwork for measuring cross-channel impact, although it's not perfect and it does require some manual lift.

For example, Google analytics now has tracking store visits and cross-device engagement in beta. So they're starting to understand the importance of this and I think that is something that advertisers can probably leverage when they're kind of utilizing and analyzing things in these data platforms apps flyer which we kind of discussed before we started they have emphasized that we do live in an omni-channel world and kind of omni device world.

And that you can practically download an app anywhere at any time and they kind of advertise their platform as being able to account for out of app influence. So also I think kind of shifting away from the platform itself from a methodology standpoint. We also talked about footfall attribution, which is something I read about.

It's a methodology that allows you to relate mobile Impressions and conversions to store visits. I'm not really sure how this algorithm works although it sounds pretty promising magic. Yes, it's just magic but 

Kelly: That's what the providers tell us. 

Boyd: So I think obviously that helps sort of drive and shift the mindset towards, this is what we need to do in order to track engagement across channels.  I think regardless whether it's methodology platforms that advertisers lean on it is pretty apparent that omni-channel is on the minds of those in the digital marketing realm. It's just how do we execute it? But the importance is obviously it's of great importance and obviously as marketing mix has become more complex.

It's starting to become more apparent with the tools we use. 

Oliver: The first thing, when moving into this space for OTT connected TV, digital out of home is tempering expectations. Especially for digital marketers, it's easy to just assume that there's one to one tracking and really easy conversion attribution, and you can just apply last click model, but obviously that's not really the case.

So I think for the time being, Boyd you mentioned appsflyer. Appsflyer has cross-device attribution and you can look at app downloads across, mobile and OTT but what the caveat there is having worked with appsflyer for one of our clients. It's incredibly difficult.

And so the SDK is required to get appsflyer working are not the easiest thing to implement. And then getting those two interact across devices and channels is is very very tricky.  So I think that's kind of the first thing is just making sure that you understand that it's maybe not a hundred percent attributable to moment.

But there are ways that you can get there. 

Kelly: And you mentioned last click, how can you measure last click or any click when there isn't a click involved, with video platforms that aren't streaming video on social or other platforms for looking at TT or linear TV or out of home?

Oliver: And things like Spotify ads has clicks and so you can use UTM tagging or whatever third-party URL structure you need. So, in that way you can but that's one channel. So, looking at OTT awareness focused 30-second spots with no click through capability. There's really very few methodologies that you can use to track that.

Kelly: I know. I mean incrementality is a big. A big thing when just if we're looking at the TV advertising landscape specifically combining a linear strategy with a connected TV strategy is a really important thing that advertisers should be looking at now if they want to get that incrementality because connected TV allows you to tap into audiences that yare under indexing in linear.

So measuring that can be really hard but I think there are some Partners out there that are enabling advertisers and brands to ingest the linear TV data and the media plans that they have there and then execute digitally so that they can reach people who they might not be reaching through traditional.

So we talked a little bit about some tools and platforms and technologies that are out there. Is there anything else that we didn't mention that you think is important to bring up for advertisers to look into if they're trying to solve some of these measurement and tracking issues and challenges.

Boyd: As a person who is pretty immersed in this world, but obviously we as an agency we have some limitations as far as you know this entire problem, but I think staying in tune with what these large commercial marketing platforms update or start to provide I think is important because three years ago Google analytics didn't have any of these things and beta. Even Adobe analytics has come with a more integrated marketing solution to sort of try to tie, cross-channel cross-device.

We need to kind of stay on top of the updates that these platforms provide to sort of help us kind of tie loose ends as far as cross-channel cross-device goes. 

Jenn: Hmm. So yeah, I think one thing that we haven't yet discussed is the whole issue around privacy, so. With GDPR and CCPA, we're increasingly having to think about what does it look like and a future where we can't rely on cookies to track?

Kelly: Hmm. 

Oliver: You know, kind of suffer that point a lot of conversion tracking especially for this OTT space and these kind of pseudo digital channels is that they're- especially for measuring, let's say purchases in stores. They're relying on matching CRM data to add data exposure and what that means is that they're combining two very sensitive sources of information.

So not only at exposure which is one source of pii but CRM data, which is an even more sensitive source of pii. 

Boyd: For sure. And to kind of piggyback off that even with global clients that becomes an issue because if we're dealing with clients who have a clientele in Europe for example, and because we operate as an agency with these clients, we may never get access to records from European clientele.

So that poses another issue. So privacy is definitely a problem there. 

Kelly: So privacy is definitely a challenge and it's something that advertisers are going to need to stay on top of with all the new laws and everything and I think a lot of the tools and technology that are out there are or they should be on top of it and they should be planning accordingly, especially with CCPA coming into effect in the next few months.

So segueing outside of big platforms and these big tools and things that might be very costly that advertisers are trying to use to solve the measurement trap challenges. What other methodologies are there out there for brands or advertisers who might not have huge budgets to invest in these large tools?

Oliver: I mean the first thing is you can use simple and sort of traditional measurement methods in the Ott or the digital out of home or the radio or our audio space. So, tracking phone numbers, a Call Rail subscription is not very expensive. So using that platform and getting, let's say 30 different numbers to track different ads and maybe Geo segmenting them or something like that. Promo codes are obviously always a great thing for, any sort of digital sign up or purchase .So unique identifiers like that are really easy and there's really no barrier to entry for that. But yeah, I mean there's a few other interesting ways that people are measuring and Boyd you mentioned foot traffic attribution earlier. So simplify actually has foot traffic attribution at the household level.

So mobile devices that go to a store makes us or visit our able to be tied back to a household IP address. it's still probabilistic and it's not, a Surefire way to measure that. But that's one way that they're able to measure purchases and foot traffic in stores from exposure to Ott ads.

Boyd: I would also add although this might sound over simplified or maybe even primitive: vanity URLs. You can simply showcase the URL with unique query that's appended to it on a billboard on a commercial.  And you can kind of just use your website as the ultimate or be-all end-all of funneling your traffic and that way that kind of query that you're appending whether it be some sort of UTM parameter will kind of carry through your digital conversion funnel. So that is definitely a budget conscious way to kind of reach full funnel attribution. But in a limited capacity.

Kelly: Also I know something else that we've done with some clients when they've run OTT tests is, you know measure performance of other channels during that campaign run compared to time period before it. So looking at how the path to conversion may have been shortened during that campaign run or how branded search organic traffic to the homepage even direct traffic have seen an uplift in conversion rates. And those can all be telltale signs that what you're doing outside of the website is helping to increase brand awareness. And then a lot of the partners that you can work with for some of these buys can also execute brand lift studies during baton and usually those come with a certain minimum of investment, but that's a great way right there to see whether that you've driven any kind of increase in consideration for your brand.

Oliver: And as somebody that works in paid search and display every day, it's frustrating to think that incrementality is how we're attributing things. That goes back to the shifting mindset of the digital marketers are trying to apply this mindset to things that it doesn't apply to. So for me, it's definitely frustrating but hopefully that starts to change soon.

There's a lot of really interesting technology. So ninth decimal is a company. It's a location company Mobile location company and they have technology that actually uses microphone data from apps that they purchase to determine exposure to video ads so they can link a commercial shown to a mobile device ID.

And then from there they can attribute store visits orlocations or purchases back to that. So, back to the privacy concerns, it's creepy. But yeah creepy but wow, that is that's impressive. 

Boyd: That's Advanced. 

Kelly: That's why you need to clear your phone of all apps.

Jenn: Just get rid of your phone. 

Boyd: Yeah, it's just the phone now. 

Oliver: Easy Solution.

Kelly: Now, I mean as marketers the advice is to download all the apps so we can get the data but as a consumer, gotta find that, that happy medium. 

All right. Well awesome. So to wrap this up I want to talk about the future.

We know that in order for some of these newer channels to be more widely adopted and for advertisers to shift their budgets their way, some of these challenges need to be addressed. So looking forward, what are your predictions for how measurement and attribution and tracking will evolve in the future?

Boyd: So kind of piggybacking off Oliver and sort of the privacy concerns and potential creepiness of the advanced measurement tactics. I think this is not at all far-fetched but Biometrics.  I think Biometrics is going to be a key part of digital marketing or Marketing in general moving forward.

So to a certain extent we are already doing this. We have face ID. We have fingerprint ID. Although I hope you don't fingerprint ID. Hope you got the new iPhone. Even the Amazon go store, which I know isn't technically Biometrics, but you literally just walk in and walk out and you don't pay.

It's going to reach a point where you can just conduct yourself, you normally throughout the day and advertisers will leverage your actions based on where  your biological parts are going. 

Please don't put that part. Oh, maybe keep it. 

So I mean obviously there's privacy pitfalls that apply there.

I mean there was outrage with Cambridge Analytica's tactics. So what imagine what it would be with Biometrics? Yeah. So yeah piracy is definitely going to be a concern but I really think that Biometrics is going to be a key part. We might even have chips implanted at some point. I honestly don't see how that could be out of the realm of possibility.

So I definitely think there are some interesting things that could probably happen in the future. 

Kelly:  Very Black Mirror-esque. 

Oliver: You are I think describing the plot of the season five there. 

Boyd: Absolutely. 

Oliver: So I mean, I definitely agree with Boyd. I think Biometrics and facial recognition technology are getting to the point, music festivals have started testing facial recognition technology. Which to me is a music festival attendee, don't know how I feel about it.

I totally agree. I mean, I think that's where it's gonna have to go. I mean, I think at a certain point people's data is essentially gold at this point, especially for advertisers and for ad tech companies that are buying and selling it. And so, to me I think the future is multi-touch attribution that's not reliant on behavior or digital Behavior, like Jenn said earlier, cookie based approaches, but more reliant on you know other means. And what those are? I'm not sure that's a question for Boyd and smarter people than me, but I think in the future it's multi-touch attribution across platforms across channels across devices that shows a really clear path to conversion for all users.

And I think that's my that's my Dreamscape in maybe 5 or 10 years. 

Boyd: Isn't it? All of ours I would also add that you can kind of see the onset of big Brands sort of Shifting away from cookie-ing especially with apple and Safari. They're expiring cookies now. So you can kind of see the shift of cookies aren't going to work anymore because it's just a privacy concern although obviously like I mentioned before these and potential advancements are also privacy concerns, but I think the fact that we have adopted cookies thus far doesn't- I don't know how we wouldn't be able to adopt to Biometrics. 

Oliver: I mean ITP and ITP 2.0 were theoretically the apocalypse when they were announced and I mean, I've noticed maybe a slight impact but I mean in the grand scheme of things, it's 

Boyd: Marginal.

Oliver: It's very marginal. 

Jenn: I completely agree. I think we're going to start to see less Reliance on device tracking and more Reliance on person tracking 

Oliver: Biological Parts. . 

Boyd: Biological Parts. 

Jenn: Parts. Thank you.

And what excites me about that is that we're going to have completely one-to-one tracking and personalized data, but also as we've seen marketers aren't going to be the only people who have access to this data. And so I think when consumers think about the potential uses of their private data, they think of marketers but as we have seen there are other people who are using this data.  I mean there's been some backlash with Amazon working with police departments and other organizations like that with facial recognition.

So as a marketer, I'm really excited about the potential but I'm also a little weary because I know that we will have access to it, but other organizations will too. 

Oliver: I mean to Boyd's point earlier. We're talking about Biometrics and like you said facial recognition technology and I think that just begs the question.

Where is that data coming from?Not every- you know on in the digital landscape, we're relying on cookies and UTM tracking from websites and that's owned media and these properties that we own. But when we're talking about, in public spaces and facial recognition technology and things like that.

I mean is this coming from security cameras is this coming from store security cameras, city-owned security cameras? It just starts to create these this really weird landscape where you're tracked everywhere and it's used for like you said a combination of law enforcement and ads. And I think for a lot of people that's creepy. It's very Minority Report esque, but at the end of the day, I think that's kind of with technological developments, that's unfortunately, kind of an eventuality for us. 

Boyd: I agree. There's definitely Big Brother implications here, but. To that end. I still am a little excited about the fact that we'll be able to see at sort of the individual user level how many times they interacted with a certain ad on a certain device. Impressions of ads products they're interested in, kind of all in one database and and just imagine the the implications of that as far as remarketing as far as being able to understand overall Behavior. Things that we just can't do right now with the cookie-ing approach. It would obviously tie a lot of loose ends, but wishful thinking at this moment.

Oliver: I think just kind of to tie it all together. I mean that is kind of what we try to do here at Nebo is add value to people's lives and not just think about conversion rates. But without, like Boyd is saying without all this data and without being able to tie all these things together, we don't really have a way to do that. And so I think these enhancements in attribution enhancements and tracking just allow us to add more value to, not users but humans. And really make sure that advertising is personalized and it's not annoying and it brings something to the table that's not just a banner ad that has been spammed to the same user 13 times since they visited a website. 

Kelly: All right. Well wonderful. Thank you all for joining us. This was really insightful and I'm excited to see where the future of measurement takes. And a little bit scared. I'm not gonna lie. 

All right.  Well, I hope that you all enjoyed season 1.  We are going to be taking a little bit of a break to brainstorm and execute on season two, but we'll be back soon. And if you have any comments or questions or recommendations on things that you would like for us to talk about in the future episodes, feel free to email us at Paid Media Coffee at

And also, please like subscribe rate review the podcast. And thank you. See you later.


Posted by Paid Media Coffee on November 8, 2019


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