How to Overcome Bias, Coverage Gaps and Inaccuracies in Measurement

January 15, 2020 Anne Curtin

Understanding consumer behavior has become increasingly complex. Consumers traverse more devices and channels than ever before, many of which are difficult to measure due to more restrictive privacy policies and the platforms themselves. 

To get a more complete picture of performance, many marketers are piecing together results from different marketing measurement tools, each with different methodological approaches and success metrics. But trying to combine a set of complex models and calculations means you’re sure to make errors, and ultimately, incorrect spending decisions.

Shouldn’t marketers be able to get a complete view of the consumer journey without compromising the accuracy of their results?

Data Privacy Takes Center Stage

Until recently, marketing measurement has been based on the relationship between advertisers and publishers. But now the conversation involves consumers, too. In an effort to protect consumer privacy, many “walled garden” publishers have instituted new consumer privacy regulations that enable users to opt-out of being tracked altogether. For marketers, this makes understanding user behavior and optimizing performance all the more difficult.

To prove how they are contributing to the business – and take a more active role in driving revenue – marketers need performance measurement solutions that can measure walled garden media and account for opt-out users, while still respecting their privacy. Otherwise, models will produce biased results by virtue of an incomplete media data model.

Future-Proofing Marketing Measurement

The objective of measurement is to ensure and verify the exchange between buyers and sellers in the ad ecosystem and track that all the way through the customer journey. At Nielsen, our goal is to provide accurate, unbiased marketing performance insights, analysis and recommendations, so marketers have the confidence that their ads are not only reaching real people, but are driving a conversion, sale, or other desired action.

Fostering partnerships with walled garden publishers and ensuring broad acceptance and
certification of media tracking tags/pixels will be key to our success—and yours.

For example, we recently worked with Facebook to develop a solution that enables continued measurement of Facebook media while complying with new privacy policies. This collaboration is not the first, and it certainly won't be the last. In 2020, we will continue to expand our partnerships with social networks and publishers to maintain broad coverage.

We’ve also commenced a research initiative to employ our Nielsen panel to better understand and account for skews caused by media gaps. Using an approach based on our Digital Ad Ratings products, we’re exploring leveraging panel and audience data to build a truth set that will help us understand how the population differs from opt-in populations in terms of demographic and behavioral characteristics.

The next step, beyond accounting for these populations, is to build new measurement methods with a reduced dependence on cookie-based identity. Google’s recent announcement about blocking third-party cookies in Chrome comes as no surprise. Nielsen has long anticipated an industry wide shift away from a reliance on third-party cookies, and our research and investment in cookieless performance tracking has given us a leg up in developing a solution for an era where cookies are obsolete.

Committed to Solving Your Measurement Challenges

As it has in the past, Nielsen is leading the industry in developing innovative solutions so that our clients can continue to effectively measure, strategize and make decisions based upon the most accurate and actionable marketing and media performance metrics in the industry.

To learn how we can help you measure and optimize your marketing and advertising, request a demo today.

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