Google Looks To Old Media To Better Measure Online Ad Performance

When measuring the performance of any online advertisements, the main method is to measure clicks, cost per impression, and user interaction rates. It’s a one size fits all service that has been implemented into the different online mediums. Yet Google is looking towards a medium that they’ve ignored until recently for inspiration in measuring ad performance: TV and its metric, Gross Rating Point (GRP).

Google is introducing it as part of their new Brand Activate initiative, Google’s attempt to create a different system to measure advertising performance for brands. The metric at the center of it is GRP, which is calculated by multiplying audience reach by frequency (the number of times an ad is exposed to an average person during a certain time period).

While the main strength of GRP is that while it provides a rough measurement of how you approached your target audience, it weakness is just that: it’s a rough estimate that provides no real analysis of how well a campaign did. However, Google is hoping that combining it with real-time analytics and its simplistic nature will make the service more accurate and entice more advertisers to use its services.

Writing on the Google Agency blog, Vice President for Display Advertising Neal Mohan said: “We’re working to build truly useful metrics into the tools that advertisers already use to manage their campaigns, so they’ll be actionable withins seconds.”

Active View & Active GRP

There are two Brand Activate features being rolled out to advertisers. The first is ‘Active View’ which will be made available in the coming weeks within Google Display Network Reserve. The feature will only count viewed impressions – defined by the Interactive Advertising Board (IAB) as a display that is at least 50 per cent viewable on the screen for at least one second – meaning that advertisers will only pay for viewed impressions.

The second is called ‘Active GRP’ which is a feature normally associated with offline media campaigns. There are two main features behind Active GRP: The first is that it’s built into the ad servicing tools that Google’s publishers and marketers already use, meaning that users can make decisions about their advertisements in real-time. Currently it’s being tested with clients using DoubleClick for Advertisers before it’s rolled out to other products.

The second is its methodology for measuring Active GRP, calculated by combining aggregated panel and anonymous user data (either inferred or user-provided) and working in conjunction with Active View to measure viewed impressions. Both methods will be submitted to the Media Rating Council for accreditation and Google aims to introduce other measurement initiatives for brand marketers, including a brand lift measurement product in the form of campaign insights.

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