Will Hodgman
Jul 2, 2010

Five things you should know about digital media measurement in APAC

In an increasingly fragmented digital environment, accurately measuring online audiences has grown in complexity. Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice-president for Asia-Pacific, shares five things you need to know about digital media measurement.

Five things you should know about digital media measurement in APAC

With nearly half a billion internet users residing in the Asia-Pacific region, advertisers and publishers are turning to measurement companies to provide increasingly granular insights into these consumers, while the industry strives to drive a growing portion of ad dollars to the online channel. Here are some tips.

1. Evolution: As the medium evolves so should the measurement

Digital media is an extremely dynamic medium and digital measurement needs to evolve just as quickly to accurately reflect consumers' media consumption. comScore recently announced its Media Metrix 360 unified digital measurement service into the Asia-Pacific region to address the changing landscape of media consumption.

This new unified measurement approach combines comScore's internet user panel with census level data from publishers to provide a harmonised approach to audience measurement and a uniquely comprehensive measure of consumer behaviour, including usage from internet cafes and mobile devices, which are both significant components of the digital media landscape in Asia.

2. Large, people-based panels are the foundation to quality audience measurement

Sound online measurement begins with a high-quality, representative panel of Internet users. A panel is the only accurate way to understand the actual online behaviours of individuals and tie these actions to the demographic and psychographic characteristics that are so important to advertisers and publishers. Having quality panels in each country paired with globally consistent methodology and local expertise is the crucial foundation to accurate online measurement.

3. Measure what matters: Cookies ≠ unique visitors

Cookie-based measurement using javascript or server logs do not provide an accurate measure of a site's audience. A 2007 comScore study found that cookie-based measurement methods can overstate the true size of a site's unique audience by a factor as high as 2.5 times. Because Internet users frequently delete their cookies and return to a site or visit a site from multiple computers, cookie-based measurement often counts the same visitor to a site as multiple visitors, inflating a site's traffic and providing an inaccurate view of true site visitation.

4. It's more than just the click: How online advertising works

Contrary to the old industry belief - online advertising is not just about the click. In most cases, it is the exposure to the online campaign that can drive both immediate and latent impact in both the online and offline environments.

comScore has conducted more than 200 client studies demonstrating that online display ads generate significant lift in brand site visitation, trademark search, and both online and offline sales among those internet users who were exposed to the online ad campaigns, whether they clicked on the ad or not. If you count just the click, you are missing half the story.

5. Stop arguing: Consensus is good for the health of the industry

Since the advent of the first online ad, there has been a religious debate between panel data and server log data, a debate that has hindered the growth of the online ad industry. If advertisers and publishers can reach a consensus on an objective measurement platform one would venture to guess that the entire industry will reap the benefits.

With Media Metrix 360, comScore is hoping to offer both sides of the industry a platform they can agree on, helping to shift dollars online and creating a more robust digital advertising economy. And with nearly half of the world's Internet population residing in Asia-Pacific, no region represents a more robust opportunity for advertisers and publishers.


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