OMMA: No Single Online Metrics Standard Exists

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NEW YORK -- Interest in online metrics was underestimated at the Online Media, Marketing & Advertising Conference and Expo Sept. 26: A panel addressed the issue to a packed room.

What was said at "Measurement Online: Facts, Fiction and Future Work" may have been less popular. No easy, one-size-fits-all tracking practices were given.

"There is not really going to be one standard set of metrics," said Lauren Weinberg, director of research at Advertising.com.

Ms. Weinberg said her company's research found that advertisers measured engagement in various ways, mainly through conversion rates, brand awareness or sales lifts.

Because each marketer has different campaign goals, the best thing is to compartmentalize the results and look at reach, cost, frequency, interactivity and duration separately as they apply to individual strategies, she said.

"Marketers are looking to identify where they should invest," said Gerard Broussard, director of media analytics at GroupM. "There is an extraordinary amount of various emerging new media. What we need to do is get back to relevance."

Mr. Broussard favored looking at testing in platforms that were capable of reaching a critical mass, or 10 percent to 15 percent of the targeted population.

Though engagement, however a company measures it, was suggested as the new online cure-all, ultimately panelists agreed that marketers still must rely on more traditional measures.

"Reach and frequency is a necessary evil: Whether your objectives are branding or direct response, they help to determine if you're meeting your target," Mr. Broussard said.

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