Advertisers operate in an increasingly fragmented media landscape with reduced marketing budgets, challenging them to get a complete overview of their campaigns’ performance while forcing them to do more with less. This reality makes audience measurement – specifically, cross-media audience measurement – more important than ever.

At the end of the day, advertisers are advertising to sell more products or services. However, before being able to do that, they must ensure that as many relevant people as possible know about their offerings.

Consequently, advertisers must first and foremost focus on ‘reach in target audience’ as the main KPI to ensure the maximum return on media investments. This is basically what audience measurement helps advertisers get insight into.

And with the increasingly fragmented media landscape, challenging advertisers’ ability to get a complete overview of their total campaign reach, cross-media audience measurement has become more important than ever.

Couple this with the fact that advertisers are working with reduced marketing budgets, forcing them to do more with less. This makes it crucial for advertisers to have insights, allowing them to optimise their advertising spend across best-performing channels.

The business value of audience measurement

So, which insights does audience measurement actually provide advertisers with?

Audience measurement enables advertisers to answer essential questions like how many people they have reached in their target audience, how accurately they are reaching them and how often their target audience are seeing their campaign. And most importantly, which channels are most efficient at reaching their target audience.

Advertisers can benefit from this by using the insights to make more confident budget allocations, helping them extend their in-target audience reach, improve their in-target audience accuracy, reduce excess audience frequency and optimise the cost of reaching their target audience.

Advertisers should see this as an iterative process where audience measurement supports both the planning, optimisation and reporting of campaigns – all leading to greater advertising efficiency. Advertisers can choose media, platforms and data strategies for future campaigns based on previous campaign insights, change the mix of media, platforms and data strategies for running campaigns based on current campaign insights and evaluate campaign insights after the campaigns have run.

The importance of an adaptive methodology

While addressing the importance of audience measurement to ensure maximum return on media investments, it is equally important to address the need for audience measurement to be based on a robust methodology.

Different channels generate different kinds of data, meaning that different channels require different models to be properly measured. In other words, a proper audience measurement solution needs to be based on an adaptive methodology approach that is capable of measuring campaigns with the given information available and stitching it all together in one coherent measurement.

This requires direct integrations to ‘walled’ advertising channels, allowing independent measurement of campaigns running on these channels. On top of this, it requires advanced deep learning and probabilistic modelling capabilities, allowing measurement of open web campaigns and deduplication of results across channels. And finally, it requires large and representative panels, establishing a solid ground on which the reach and profile of campaigns can be modelled.

With a proper audience measurement solution, advertisers should also not worry about the death of the third-party cookie but rather see this as a positive change. In fact, this change will help advertisers get a more accurate picture of how many in their target audience they are actually reaching with their campaigns.

In summary, the future of audience measurement is bright and holds greater potential than ever for today’s advertisers.

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