As the online advertising market and breadth of publishers have grown over the years, the continuing challenge for advertisers and publishers has been telling the true story of the online audience. Knowing the real measure of a site’s online audience leads to real dollars.
For years advertisers have tried to reconcile both web analytics (server-based) data and panel-based data. Both data approaches have their place and can offer the necessary insight from different perspectives.
The Case for Web Analytics
Web analytics data has helped online marketers gain insight into visitor activity on a site, such as page views, videos watched, pathing through the site, conversion rates for those purchasing products, etc. This insight provided by web analytics has enabled innumerable online businesses to optimize their sites by providing better, more engaging experiences for the visitor such as more efficient shopping cart processes and display of more relevant content based on previous or related content consumption.
The Case for Panel-based Measurement
Panel-based measurement gives marketers a better understanding of how their web sites compare with those of their competitors, as well as insight into the demographics of this audience. This leads to greater understanding of broader visitor habits and projections for the greater Internet population. The panel-based measurement approach has become one of the primary ways for publishers and advertisers to arrive at a general valuation for advertising rates (CPM) for sites commanding certain audience sizes, demographic makeup, and more.
Shortcomings of Each Method
Yet both methodologies are not without their own specific shortcomings and measurement nuances. One particular issue for web analytics is the deletion of cookies, which are the files used to communicate between that local machine and the host site to determine site preferences, repeat visit activity, and other anonymous activity. And panel-based measurement approaches usually encounter issues when it comes to measuring “at work” activity as many IT organizations prohibit the installation of the software necessary to measure the opt-in panel participant’s Web activity.
The recently announced partnership of Omniture and comScore addresses many of these shortcomings and helps marketers gain an even more complete picture of what is really happening across their online business. The solution combines comScore’s rich audience measurement data with web site visitor data captured by Omniture Web analytics-SiteCatalyst. The goal is to provide advertisers and publishers with a unified measurement system resulting in the industry’s most comprehensive view of digital audience measurement.
Tell the “true story”
Many might conclude that the “best” representation of a site’s online audience is somewhere in between that provided by the web analytics reporting and the panel-based measurement. That’s what the Omniture/comScore partnership is all about. Here are some of the key benefits:
Creates an industry-wide measurement system that takes into account both measurement methodologies.
Publishers will become more appealing to advertisers since they will have more comprehensive data on site visitors.
Niche publishers, who have traditionally been under-represented to advertisers, will now have better data on site visitors and more adequate representation.
Advertisers will have a better view of digital audience measurement for a more targeted media planning.
In the end, it’s all about leveraging the data to provide the most comprehensive view of the online audience to deliver the right experience for the right value. We’re really excited that the Omniture-comScore partnership will deliver that value and provide a unified measurement system resulting in the industry’s most comprehensive view of digital audience measurement.
Interested? Be sure to learn more at: