For the past few years, the analytics spotlight has been captured by Nielsen's Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) and comScore's Validated Campaign Essentials (VCE). WPP's Kantar analytics group has tended to play a minor role in the wars over whether TV-centric metrics like gross ratings points can be relevant for digital media buys. But with today's combination of its Dynamic and Compete "insights" units under Millward Brown, the company is hoping to gain prominence in an age when the trend is toward more holistic campaign measurement. Read the release.
"Marketers have told us that 'getting digital right' is their top priority and that they require holistic consumer, brand and media insights to capitalize on growth opportunities," said Mary Ann Packo, CEO, Millward Brown North America, in a statement. In effect, Kantar is bringing Dynamic Logic's digital and cross-media effectiveness tools to Compete's ability to chart offline purchase analytics with Millward Brown's branding metrics.
Even at this late date in Internet advertising history, the paradox persists that online media faces a higher bar for performance and viewability precisely because it is more trackable than any other medium. Nielsen OCR and comScore's vCE have gone far to raise media buyers' comfort level, but the industry is still under pressure to generate better intelligence.
Kantar's analytics offerings are not seen as competitive with Nielsen's and comScore's, and the company is well aware of the challenge it has faced since WPP created it from various components over the past decade.
Kantar offered an early sign of what's to come in May, when Dynamic Logic and Compete introduced Advance, billed as Millward Brown Digital's "first integrated offering" bringing together insights on whether an ad was viewed and how users engaged with it.
On top of those insights, Advance also offered marketers with a "cost-analysis calculator" that promised to help planners figure out the best approach to spending by comparing Effective CPMs, Effective CPP (cost-per-point), Viewable CPM rates and Cost-Per-Impact.
So far, though, most buyers still say they rely mainly on Nielsen and comScore, though other tools are constantly tested and added to the media planning mix. Time will tell if there will be room for three main metrics functions, or if Kantar's push will be able to supplant OCR or vCE in the minds of agencies and marketers.