Audience measurement, research and education initiatives will underpin IAB Australia’s FY09 plans according to the associations new CEO, Paul Fisher. Speaking yesterday at his first media briefing since joining IAB Australia on 1st July 2008, Mr Fisher outlined the programs that will promote the continued growth and success of the interactive advertising industry in Australia.

If you want to have a look at Paul Fishers presentation, you can view it online here at SlideShare.

“Our goal is to make it simpler and easier for media agencies and clients to plan and buy online interactive media,” said Mr Fisher. “The online advertising industry is still growing at a phenomenal rate, but the initiatives we’re introducing today will help us make even further progress.”

It was announced that the quarterly IAB Online Advertising Report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers will expand considerably for the Q3 2008 report, detailing the spend across 41 categories, an increase from the current 18 categories.

“This report provides a definitive guide to online advertising in Australia and the addition of the new categories, in response to feedback from media agencies and the MFA , will enable marketers and advertisers to obtain more granular and useful information to help shape their marketing decisions,” said Mr Fisher.

Mr Fisher also announced that the Online Audience Measurement Working Group has appointed an independent auditor, Peter Danaher; and that he has completed his first audit of an audience measurement supplier – Nielsen Online. Whilst the audit was very positive overall, it has identified 16 areas to be addressed. These included panel establishment, panel management, panel composition, addressing ‘long tail’ site measurement and the ‘at work: at home’ duplication panel representation.

According to Fisher, the IAB is working to set best practice in online audience measurement. This will ultimately result in a hybrid model comprising both panel and tagging based data.

“To reach our goal, the underlying components need to be as accurate as we can get them and that begins with the panel. When the panel recommendations have been addressed we can then work on the tagging data methodology. Once both pieces are in place, we will have the world’s leading hybrid measurement system. I believe this is achievable within the next 2 years.

“We were delighted that Nielsen was the first company to agree to the audit process and the door is open to other suppliers to also complete an audit,” said Mr Fisher.

Nielsen Online is currently reviewing the report and will address the IAB led working group in early September on how it will address and implement these recommendations.

Mr Fisher also outlined his intention to undertake a detailed needs analysis of industry research requirements in Australia and work towards aggregating global research currently undertaken by the other 25 IABs globally, as well as commissioning specific research as required. All currently available research will be loaded onto a new IAB Australia website which will be launched by end 2008.

The final component of the IAB Australia plans for FY 2009 involve education and involvement with the broader marketing community, including maintaining close relationships with other industry bodies, evangelism, blogging and advocacy. IAB Australia will also maintain its strong support of the creative side of the industry with its involvement in the annual IAB Awards, as well as the IAB Creative Showcase.

With more than 50 meetings completed and plans to attend the annual Global IAB Summit in New York in late September, Mr Fisher will be very active working toward the Bureau’s goals.

To keep track of IAB Australia initiatives and who Paul Fisher is spending time with, track him on Twitter: PaulFisher_IAB.

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