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I remember when I was a kid, I loved Lucky Charms cereal, along with Franken Berry, Cap’n Crunch… the works. I loved cereal, but what I loved most was the prize inside the box. I can remember seeing some god-awful cereal for sale at the store, but on the box was this AMAZING prize. I had to have it. I would beg my mother for the cereal, eventually getting my way. Upon arriving home, I would dig through the cereal — never really intending to eat it — and get the prize out. This is what many agencies and brands do today, but the cereal is exchange run-media, and the prize: location data!

If you’re a media buyer, you might be struggling to get accurate, unbiased metrics for how your campaigns are performing. With so many changes to the ad ecosystem recently and multiple new channels emerging in the space, it can be frustrating to be running campaigns with different partners, each with their own measurement methodology. You might feel like you’re comparing apples to oranges, and it’s practically impossible to understand how your campaigns are stacking up against one another.

What’s more, while it may seem that you can kill two birds with one stone by using measurement partners who also sell media, this presents a conflict of interest. If a company is both running the media and measuring its effectiveness, can you really trust the results?

The Current State of Media Measurement

In recent years, more and more providers have been offering both measurement and media capabilities.

We see this happening on both sides. On the one hand, media giants such as Facebook and Google have released their own attribution tools for marketers. On the other, measurement companies have been acquired by social media powerhouses such as Snapchat, creating conflicts of interest.

On the surface, these companies tout efficiency as the goal of combining media and measurement. Yet in reality, they are sacrificing accountability.

At the end of the day, if there is no separation between the entity running the media and the entity measuring its effectiveness, then there isn’t really any value in those measurement results.

Why You Need a Media-Agnostic Measurement Solution

That’s why it’s essential to choose a media-agnostic measurement partner. By selecting a third-party measurement partner that does not run media, you ensure that the partner does not have any conflicting interests or ulterior motives. You will receive exclusively unbiased, third-party results that reflect the truth about how your campaigns performed.

Advertising professionals agree that disconnecting media from measurement is critical. According to a recent ANA survey on the walled gardens, a staggering 89% of ANA members want independent MRC audits for the big digital platform players. It’s important to hold the walled gardens accountable not only from an ethical standpoint, but also for your own benefit as a media buyer.

After all, if you’re reporting metrics to your manager about how your campaigns performed, you want to be confident that those metrics represent the truth. Why risk presenting results that might be skewed when you don’t have to?

Location Intelligence: The Key to Truthful Attribution Metrics

Now that you’re considering only media-agnostic measurement solutions, you might be wondering which data providers yield the most useful results. Providers that specialize in location should be at the top of your list.

Why? Foot traffic is the biggest indication of purchase intent other than a sale. Location data can tell advertisers so much more about who is going to buy a product than, say, a visit to a website can.

Take the automotive industry, for example. A consumer visiting a dealership to test-drive a car is much more powerful than a consumer browsing cars online, as it indicates strong intent to purchase.

Through location intelligence, you can measure whether your ad campaigns are actually driving consumers to stores (or dealerships). You can also see how your campaigns are performing in real-time in terms of driving visits, and then adjust them accordingly in-flight.

In this way, third-party, media-agnostic location intelligence is the key you need to gain reliable attribution metrics.

If you’re looking for new ways to prove ROI for your media dollars, check out Cuebiq’s blog on how to use offline data to measure your Facebook and Google campaigns.

#blog-post
About the Author

Brad Piggott, Executive Vice President, Revenue Strategy