Digital Media & Its Luxury of Value Layers 

As the world of measurement continues to turn, discussions within our council groups and at our upcoming State of the Nation event, are centred around currencies and layers. We’ve come a long way in refining the standards that are used today to measure value for the digital media dollar, but each year we consider new aspects and then work to fold it into our dashboards.  

Over the years, we’ve seen that the way in which advertisers master their own metrics actually plays into their competitive advantages. There are some sophisticated models out there that calculate intricate equations into the ROAS line. With customized CDPs becoming mainstream and the plugins to media metrics coming online, a lot of attention is being paid to the inputs from various media sources. Forensic calculations can reveal some interesting insights into refined buying profiles which, in turn, provide helpful fodder for incrementality in media investments. 

One can’t help but wonder how many more qualifying layers can be placed on a bought impression. This week, WARC wrote about the “shape” of attention, a hyper analysis of scrollers, lookers and glued to content type profiles (amoung others). We’ve also seen technology emerge that calculates “active” impressions on mobile devices based on the positioning of the hardware and several other factors. Just this week, as we kick off our net zero carbon working group, there is consideration of another value layer – this time, the carbon footprint. While digital media has the luxury of layers, thanks to ad tech and general innovation, it’s amazing in retrospect how much more is demanded from media today than from traditional channels in years past.  

Measurement is becoming a three-dimensional chess game with accountabilities attached to each player. While ad tech continues to rush to the scene to provide assurances to media investors, every aspect of the buying process must conform to increasingly complex standards. From the ad units created and placed by agencies, to publisher partnerships forged, the inflating definitions of value in between, will inevitably drive up the costs of digital as buyers demand more from their budgets. 

This year’s Cannes Lions will focus on six priority areas: Sustainability, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Data and Technology, Brand Creativity and Effectiveness, Talent, and Business Transformation. Each one of these areas have a direct impact on the cost of media in years to come. The industry is ready for change and it’s encouraging to see that advertisers are leading with “value” as the rally cry – we’re up for it.

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