Media and Measurement: A Dangerous Mix

By Anna Livaccari / 5 minutes

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There’s no denying the temptation to mix media with measurement. By leveraging a partner that provides the ability to buy media and also measure it, you’re killing two birds with one stone — right? Wrong.

It’s very important to understand why you shouldn’t mix media with your measurement stack. While it may be easier to leverage partners that provide the ability to buy both, in the end it won’t help your bottom line — in fact, it will probably hurt it. Read on to find out why.

Why You Need to Separate Media From Measurement

When it comes to media companies offering measurement solutions, there is a pretty significant conflict of interest due to the lack of separation between the media and the measurement. Ultimately, how trustworthy can the results be if the same company running the media is grading the results? Can you imagine if Yelp allowed only restaurants to provide reviews? Probably not.

Mixing media and measurement can lead you down a dangerous path; let’s consider what that might look like. If you use the same partner to both run and measure your media, the results you’ll get back could easily be skewed. This means your campaign metrics might not be accurate — so you could be reporting unreliable information back to your boss or even worse, your client. Say, for example, you’re a media buyer looking at the impact of your campaign on driving store visits. If you report back an inflated store visit number that does not correlate with actual transactions occurring in the store, your client might flag it and call into question the reliability of the results.

The solution to avoiding this negative scenario is easy: Leverage a media-agnostic measurement solution. This will ensure you get unbiased results that you can report back to your manager and client with confidence. It will also enable you to improve your ROAS, because you’ll be able to gauge the exact impact of your campaigns on driving real-world results.

With more and more companies quietly running media in addition to measuring it, it’s more important than ever that you not only leverage a media-agnostic measurement solution, but also reevaluate your existing partners to make sure you’re getting true third-party results.

What to Look for in a Media-Agnostic Measurement Solution

Being media-agnostic is an essential quality in a measurement partner, but it is not the only one. Here are some additional qualities that you should look for when evaluating potential offline measurement partners, to ensure you’re getting high-quality results that will enable you to improve your ROAS.

1. First-Party Data

Partnering with a company that collects exclusively first-party data is paramount. When you know where the data is coming from, you can fully trust the data and be certain that there were no intermediaries meddling with it, as well as ensure the privacy compliance of the data for consumer and brand safety.

2. Dwell Time Verified Visits

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: If your partner is not using dwell time to verify visits, you can’t be sure whether these visits actually occurred or not. It’s essential to take into account the time spent at a location to ensure you’re only counting “real” visits that occurred, instead of “fake” visits — that could be people just passing by a given location. Not verifying visits can greatly skew results — for example, if you think your campaign is driving 1,000 visits a day but in reality is driving only 100, that is very problematic. Cuebiq solves this problem, so you don’t have to worry about unrepresentative results.

3. Accuracy at Scale

In order for location data to be representative of the US population and valid, it’s important to have both Accuracy and Scale. The partner you choose needs to collect a large universe of first-party location data with a high degree of accuracy and precision.

4. Future-Proof Privacy Approach

Last, but not least, it’s essential that the partner you leverage exhibit a future-proof privacy approach. It’s no longer enough to comply solely with existing privacy regulations — your partner should be fully prepared to comply with future regulations that may come into effect. They need to set higher standards and industry best practices for privacy, champion consent and control for users, as well as be fully transparent and accountable.

At Cuebiq, our mission is pretty simple — we  provide our clients with the ability to measure advertising effectiveness, so that they can improve their ROAS. We do not serve media; our measurement solution is media-agnostic and independent of all media. Our platform is powered by first-party, high-quality location data. Not only can you trust the results, but all of our data is collected via our Future-Proof Privacy approach.

To learn more about our Future-Proof Privacy approach and how we collect our data, check out our blog on location data quality.

About the Author

Anna Livaccari, Growth Marketing Manager

Anna is a Boston College grad, loves being outdoors, and is a huge foodie.