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comScore Looks at Multi-Channel Media Consumption to Reveal Real Value

June 12, 2014 | By Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director – DCN @michellemanafy

While the proliferation of digital media devices and its effect on consumption patterns presents challenges for media and marketers, it also creates opportunities for increased reach, according to a new comScore White Paper, “From TV to Total Video: How Integrated Video Planning Can Transition Advertising from Upfronts to Allfronts.” While comScore finds that “rampant digital media proliferation is a value-creating event” the research also shows that there is “considerable value currently being left on the table.”

“We’re all very familiar with the way the consumer is transitioning to more and more platforms,” says comScore Vice President of Marketing & Insights Andrew Lipsman. “Fortunately, much of this activity has been incremental so far; one platform is not taking away from each other.” However he also points out that in younger demographics, new habits are developing that may indicate bigger shifts to come. “Particularly among millennials, there is a shift away from TV to online, set top boxes and mobile. Sooner or later, it will hit a point of no return, where video is not just the domain of what is happening on TV.”

The good news is that there’s time to prepare for the shift so that everyone within the media ecosystem can maximize the full range of content delivery channels. “Right now we’re at a point of transition and we have a period of time here where everyone can manage this transition before we have to worry about any possible cannibalization crisis.”

In the meantime, Lipsman says that it is important to continue to develop cross-platform measurement so that media companies “get credit for the full audience they reach” but also so that marketers can more effectively address those audiences. Currently, much advertising buying and selling remains channel focused—desktop, mobile, television, print. However many believe that the most effective initiatives are user-centric, finding the right audience wherever they are with the appropriate message.

“One of the most important, critical points in this whole debate is that, to optimize GRPs, you need to be able to look at all of the channels together to optimize for reach and frequency goals,” says Lipsman.

comScore Incremental Reach ChartcomScore’s study examined the incremental reach by channel for the duration of a given campaign. In a frozen vegetable brand example, the campaign’s cumulative reach via TV hit a plateau halfway through the campaign, providing no significant additional reach despite continued spend. However, the incremental reach provided by digital platforms (in this case, web and online video) continued to increase even after TV reach had flattened, resulting in a 12.2% increase over the course of the 14-week campaign. As Lipsman points out, this level of multichannel awareness will provide a way for marketers to address audiences more efficiently and to spend more effectively given limited budgets.

Large shifts such as these take time, though. And while comScore has already invested five years of R&D into the issue of cross-platform measurement (with new Video Metrics 3.0 and a Total Media Planning System offerings rolling out this Fall), Lipsman foresees a period of transition akin to the shift from click-through to view-through metrics. “Maybe I’m a bit biased being part of a measurement company, but one of the things we’ve seen is that the big paradigm shifts have happened when there’s been measurement to support the changes. We need to be able to provide the data and insights to help make these decisions more effectively so that media can do better monetizing and marketers can work more efficiently. If we can bring buy and sell side along at the same time, that will change the industry.”

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