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CIMM: Attribution Suffers From Inconsistent TV Exposure Data

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(Image credit: zf L via Getty Images)

While measuring the impact of advertising campaigns has become more important to the television business, the outcomes of attribution studies vary widely because of inconsistent data on commercial exposure, a new report found.

The report, issued by the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement in conjunction with the 4As’ Media Measurement Task Force, looked at 11 TV attribution providers. It found that the accuracy of spot detection, GRPs, reach and frequency measures different from provider to provider. 

“How providers then connect the dots from exposures to outcomes should be their points of difference. If they are all identifying different occurrence levels and evaluating different exposures, then they may as well be evaluating different campaigns,” the report said.

(Image credit: CIMM)

The study calls for better standards when it comes to exposure and reach.

“In order to bring more transparency to attribution and move the industry toward new forms of measurement, we need to understand more about the sources of TV data, how accurate they are and what needs to be worked on,” said Jane Clarke, managing director and CEO, CIMM. “The industry will not be ready for true ad measurement until we have a better way to verify ad logs and can get fully accurate, representative samples.”

The study, conducted by Sequent Partners and Janus Strategy and Insights found that data impacts lift results more than occurrence data and that methodology, rather than underlying technology (set-top boxes versus automated content recognition), drives results. 

In addition to establishing standards, the report recommends that users make sure their occurrence data is validated and that providers test their procedures and be prepared to adopt industry standards as they are developed.

“The importance of attribution to media companies, advertisers and their agencies grow each day,” said Howard Shimmel, president of Janus Strategy and Insights. “The industry is blessed by having so many high quality providers. Our hope is that this report provides a roadmap for providers to improve their offerings and at the same time reduce the dramatic differences between providers.”

The report was presented Wednesday as part of The ARF's AudiencexScience virtual event.