ARF Audience Measurement: Event Recap  


The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) held its 2016 Audience Measurement event earlier this week at the Conrad Hotel in New York. Attendees from brands, publishers and agencies alike gathered from June 12-14 to discuss key industry trends including the multiplicative effectiveness of cross-platform marketing, digital attribution models and media mix modeling.

The three days of panels and keynotes featured over 70 notable speakers, including brand marketers from Kellogg, Hershey’s, Unilever and General Mills, who were joined onstage by a slew of widely respected PhD scholars and researchers. Each day of the event highlighted a specific theme relevant to the advertising challenges our industry faces today. Ad blocking and ad fraud consumed Day 1 discussions, with measurement and marketing mix optimization receiving most of the focus on Day 2. Cross-platform and its proven effectiveness was the focus on Day 3.

Research presented at the ARF’s 2016 Audience Measurement event revealed the following findings:

  • Cross-platform marketing is significantly more effective than single channel marketing
  • Quality creative remains a crucial element—completely distinct from media—in driving marketing ROI
  • To ensure accuracy, measurement must become a “team sport,” meaning open collaboration between advertisers, agencies, platforms and media companies

Panel slide addressing the perspective of the customer

Day 2 of the conference was opened by Gayle Fuguit, CEO and President of the ARF, presenting “Fearlessly Facing Forward: A Candid Report on the State of Audience Measurement Today.” Gayle highlighted the challenges of doing cross-platform media well, but stressed that the extra effort for advertisers is worth it. All of the research presented at the conference, she stated, suggests that using more platforms simultaneously reaches more consumers and increases ROI.

Understanding consumers in their daily lives as they navigate through a variety of platforms is also vital to a successful campaign. “Context counts and timing is everything,” Gayle added, stressing that understanding consumers often equals connecting to consumers in a meaningful, valuable way. Her words represent a valuable lesson to remember.