iGRP: Square Peg in Round Hole or Online Metrics Savior
Ed.There are those who believe applying old media metrics to new media is like trying to measure water volume with a ruler. Others, such as Adrants guest contributor Lisa Marino, Sr. Director of Sales at RockYou, think standardization across all media is the way to go.
MindShare got it right: GRP is the way to go
Last month, Mindshare announced a move toward measuring online video under a Gross Ratings Points system. Upon reading the announcement, the clear benefits of such a practice resonated, however the concept repeated itself in my mind for the next several days and I couldn't shake it. When this happens there is a more subtle and meaningful "aha" moment coming - it just hadn't hit me yet. Then, the light went on and I realized why this is such an important move - and why I'm such a fan of the decision.
As someone who lives breathes and dies social video distribution, I frequently consume myself with how we as an industry can make the notion of 3 screen convergence a reality. It's is a step in that direction for both obvious and not so obvious reasons.
The "no brainer" benefits
* Compare apples to apples, or at least apples to pears. While there remain many TBD elements, we as an advertising industry owe to brand clients comparable and consistent video measurement across all media. It just makes sense and life easier for ourselves and our clients.
* Flight to Traditional media channels. In this down ad economy, we in social media have witnessed experimental budgets evaporate. I can't tell you how many recent deals we've lost because the advertiser chose proven media partners and television is certainly one of those channels. The online video world would do itself a favor by more aggressively positioning itself as a measurable complement to the proven TV media outlet.
* Online video consumption is growing....rapidly. Many of us have read the recent ComScore report on video consumption. For those who haven't, I'll quote some impressive stats from the study. The bottom line message: online video has gone mainstream
o 146M people, or 77% of U.S. Internet audience, viewed online videos, +34% from last year
o Average online viewer watched 273 minutes of video, up +40% from last year
o Users view an AVG of 87 videos per month, 18 more videos per month than last year
The less obvious benefits
* Performance is proven and measurable. While we have all read stats touting the enhanced performance of online video, I will state specific data I observed from the Rockyou experience. I don't care whether we are talking "Blah Girls", GM, Axe or "Hannah Montana", the difference between video engagement vs. display ads is staggering. User initiated videos receive a play rate between 2%-12% vs., a CTR on a top performing banner campaign of .5%. Further, when this video is in SuperWall, the forward rate of these videos to friends is between 2x and 4x the video view count. We will see anywhere from 2-7% of those people receiving the forwarded video watching the sent clip. Now that social media can layer on age, gender and other targeting techniques this performance gets even more compelling because an advertiser can display video to their target audience.
* Anyone Can Play. While some brands don't know how to engage an online video program but want to, the advent of production companies focused on digital programming, especially short form, have evened the playing field. There are content companies specializing in any genre from sports to comedy to green. Video focused publishers have multiple relationships that can bring sponsored video opportunities to those brands lacking their own video assets. Last, video ad units, especially in social, are now much more controlled and safe environments because advertisers can completely avoid placement next to UGC
* Just because you build it does not mean they will come - we're not in the Field of Dreams. Would a brand make a TV commercial and NOT make a corresponding TV buy to promote it? Why would online video advertising be different? RY uses 15% of its impressions to promote its own apps, the largest of which is a video sharing app, SuperWall. We spend large resources on our own video assets so we can share 5.5M videos/day and can distribute 10M video views/ day. Without promotion behind an online video strategy, brand assets enter a black hole.
The knock-out punch - how online and mobile change the TV dynamic
* Interactive Video. Online and mobile finally give advertisers an opportunity to migrate from shouting a one way message to their target consumers to engaging in a two way communication. Interactive video gives the consumer the very valuable element of choice. Now your target audience can select how they would like to engage your brand.
* Video View Guarantees. Unlike TV, online and mobile are the two media channels where brands can demand performance - and they should. Every online publisher can guarantee video views. We haven't won video business in 2009 without it.
Kudos to MindShare for putting a stake in the ground at the agency level. As a major social media publisher you have our support and commitment to developing an iGRP system