IAB issues positioning paper ahead of Town Hall meeting, calls on marketers to share concerns

IAB Australia’s Measurement Council is calling on feedback from digital marketing stakeholders after yesterday issuing an ‘Audience Measurement Landscape and Positioning Paper’, outlining the key areas for online measurement. It comes ahead of a Town Hall meeting on the subject tomorrow (19 March) in which the IAB is inviting marketers, agencies and publishers to openly share their thoughts and concerns.

The areas reflect the shift in focus for online measurement from purely environment concerns towards content, program and campaign considerations.

According to Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia, viewability, campaign measurement and the potential retirement of page impressions are top of the list for discussion.

“We have worked hard over many years, along with other leading industry bodies, to identify and agree the industry recognised and accepted online audience measurement currency. Our intention in releasing this Positioning Paper is to outline the key issues and next steps which will assist us as an industry to continue to move forward on measurement and to create ongoing discussion,” says Manners.

“Ultimately we will have to make some significant strides toward achieving comparability, accountability and transparency with online metrics if we want to achieve true cross media measurement. We believe that the ongoing IAB Australia Tender process, supported by MFA and AANA will be an important part of being able to deliver on that aim,” she says.

The IAB sees viewability and audience verification as an important step towards measuring which ads are seen by people, provide brand marketers campaign demographics, address the issue of incorrect attribution and assist in flushing out inventory that negatively impacts effectiveness metrics for digital media.

The whitepaper notes that at the moment there is no consistency or agreement within the market on viewability metrics and that a local test of vendor technology will take place once the results are available from the US IAB’s latest round of testing, to establish clear guidelines on the use of viewable metrics for standard and video display ad units in the Australian market.

The possibility of moving away from using page impressions or views as a lead metric in comparing environments is another key issue identified by the Measurement Council, after consultation with the MFA and agencies. The whitepaper does note, however, that it may still be an input into any industry-wide rating tool as well as a valid metric for internal analytics.

The whitepaper also notes that while there may be different technical solutions for different devices, including desktop, mobile and tablet, or content types including video, the approach to measurement should be the same.

Campaign ratings or measurement is the final key area identified in the whitepaper, with IAB Australia saying that it supports the availability of enhanced metrics for digital campaigns that are based on people metrics and demographic audience profiling, particularly for brand focused campaigns. It also says that the current services in market are not robust enough for use in trading or trading negotiations and that they should only be used to gain insights for individual campaigns and help optimise planning decisions.

The IAB Measurement Council will be releasing guidelines on usage of the existing audience verification services in April 2014.


The IAB’s ‘Audience Measurement Landscape and Positioning Paper’ is available here.

Details of the Town Hall meeting, as well as instructions on how to provide feedback if not attending, are available here.