Online Measurement: Taking The Debate To The Next Level

Reineke Reitsma [Posted by Reineke Reitsma]

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At the end of October I hosted a Consumer Market Research Track Session at the Forrester Consumer Forum in Chicago, and one of the speakers was Gian Fulgoni, CEO from Comscore.

For years, a debate has raged in the online space about the merits of panel-centric versus site-centric measurement, and with companies now trying to get a grip on the behavior of consumers across multiple channels, measurement complexity will only increase. Gian showed a slide that nicely summarizes the debate between site measurement (Web analytics) and audience measurement (panel based):

Online-metrics-debate

Some interesting statistics were shared about PCs in the US that affect Website measuring:

  • 30% of Internet users delete their cookies in a month
  • These deleters do so an average of 5 times a month
  • The average U.S. computer has 6 different IP addresses

Comscore recently introduced Media Metrix 360, a service that combines data with statistics taken directly from Web servers. The purpose of this hybrid measurement is to derive audience projections that reconcile to census usage counts and deliver the key metrics of unduplicated reach and audience demographics required for media research.

Some early results show that the new approach helps companies better understand where their traffic comes from, it gives insight into work vs home access, and it helps identify the effectiveness of ad campaigns. Comscore (naturally) sees a great future for this approach, and is already thinking of introducing it to TV measurement (as census counts of TV usage become readily available from digital set-top boxes).

The data shared during the presentation left quite some questions open, and I believe this product first should become more mature and the industry should develop a standard on measurement before it's being copied to the next channel.