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30 . 04 . 21

Is cross-media measurement the holy grail of advertisers?

Words by: Print Power
We know the power of print. But cross-media measurement will show its impressive multiplier effect

There’s extensive evidence to show that when used in the media mix, print is effective in boosting the success of other channels. The data shows that the more touchpoints used in an advertising campaign, the greater the ROI. In fact, the just-published IPA Databank Study 2021 shows that multi-platform news brands bolster the business of other media. And print’s impact can be considerable. For example, news brands make TV 61 per cent more effective, while they make social media almost twice as effective.

For Denise Turner, Insight Director at Newsworks, this confirms the power of print. ‘One key point from the IPA report was the fact that there is a multiplier effect from both using print and digital news brands as part of a campaign. The trusted environment that long-established print brands provide for brands that advertise within them is translated into the same effect when advertisers and brands use the digital news brand environment. And we’ve seen from this study that both print and digital news brands boost effectiveness when used in conjunction with other channels.’

If using more than one news brand platform delivers more than the sum of two parts, why then, has there been a dearth of cross-media measurement that counts print in the mix? To plan an ad campaign effectively, you first need to gather insights into a consumer’s daily life, helping planners understand behaviour around media consumption, be it in print, on the radio, smartphone or TV. And only comprehensive, across-the-board post-campaign measurement can give advertisers optimum insight for planning future campaign spend and optimising ROI.

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But media consumption surveys have traditionally been done in silos. And this compartmentalisation of research makes it difficult to plan the best channels for any given campaign as it only shows the individual consumption of media and excludes the interaction between various media.

When advertisers don’t have comparative data that shows how channels might successfully interact with others, there are some media channels that might not be included in the plan. And brands might be missing out on the amplified effectiveness that a multi-platform campaign delivers.

However there are some companies that see the value of cross-channel measurement, namely JICMAIL mail media metrics, who explore the effects that door drops and direct mail have in driving behaviours across the purchase funnel, including online journeys. And PAMCo audience measurement for publishers, who measure data across mobile, tablet, PC and print. Their integrated data shows how print can drive digital success.

And there are encouraging signs that the world’s advertising bodies are at last waking up to the need for greater insights through cross measurement. And to the fact that measuring print is crucial in understanding the customer journey and behaviour.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) is spearheading a global ‘North Star’ initiative to standardise cross-media measurement through a panel and census framework that will help the industry get a greater understanding of reach and frequency. Such valuable multi-channel insights could prevent billions of dollars being wasted and improve customer experience through avoiding excessive ad frequency.

‘Advertisers have long struggled with poor quality data that doesn’t allow them to properly assess how best to invest their ad budgets across multiple platforms and media.’ Says Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA. ‘This body of work provides a blueprint to build a cross-media measurement solution that responds to advertiser needs. The WFA is proud to have facilitated this work in partnership with key markets, platforms and broadcasters and looks forward to seeing it widely implemented across geographies.’

Advertisers have long struggled with poor quality data that doesn’t allow them to properly assess how best to invest their ad budgets across multiple platforms and media. This body of work provides a blueprint to build a cross-media measurement solution that responds to advertiser needs.
Stephan Loerke

The WFA worked with advertisers, agencies, national advertising associations, measurement companies and platforms to create a system that can be adapted for local markets. The prototype system includes video and TV measurement, with the understanding that local markets can adapt it to include measurements of other channels that suit local stakeholder needs. And the UK and US are among the first to trial it.

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ Project Origin hopes to use data from Joint Industry Committees (JICS) to power the media platform. And print is represented. PAMCo is providing data on news and magazine titles, while JICMail is providing measurement for the direct mail industry. CEO of PAMCo Simon Redican is confident that print is significant in the measurement chain. ‘PAMCo’s latest methodology takes print readership and demographical information from face-to-face interviews, online or paper surveys. We collect print data and digital consumption, then fuse the two data sets. The user gets a dedicated view of what the publisher gets out of using different platforms. We’re working with the WFA in the UK on Project Origin to ensure that publishing’s reach is represented.’

Meanwhile, in The Netherlands, and working in partnership with Nationaal Media Onderzoek (NMO), Kantar and Ipsos have been awarded the contract to produce the first worldwide total cross-media audience solution across TV, digital, radio and published media. This ground-breaking cross-measurement solution will deliver the building blocks for cross-media planning, allowing advertisers to better understand their consumers, improve the targeting of brand messages, determine how media triggers consumer purchase decisions and maximise ROI.

Commenting on the news in March, Johan Smit, Director of NMO said: ‘Today’s announcement marks an exciting new chapter in audience research in the Netherlands. Kantar and Ipsos proposed a strong and efficient approach with a design that will enable us to deliver total media audience measurement to the Dutch market. Together we have realised our vision for a cross-media solution that delivers deeper insights into the media behaviour of the Dutch population.’

We’ve long known that print can supercharge a campaign, pack a punch in the media mix and boost other channels. And thanks to these cross-media measurement surveys, print will stay high on the media buyers’ radar and take its rightful place in the media mix.