The iGRP – Why Is There Even A Debate?
Wow, the iGRP debate just won’t end! But, why? Why does the industry need to only do one thing or another? Why in an era where color monitors display 32,000,000 colors does this have to be a black and white issue? Well, it doesn’t.
Yes, it would be great if all the advertisers who want the iGRP get together and come up with a standard, but that doesn’t seem imminent. On the other hand, a bunch of digital minds getting in the room to create a solution is pointless as well. That’s like scholars in New Zealand forming a committee to solve America’s economic woes despite none of them ever having lived here. Until you’ve walked a mile…
Well, I have walked a mile. In both pairs of shoes. The very easiest solution is: If your client wants to see the iGRP, give them that info. If they don’t, don’t. The core really is that easy. From here, if your clients want the iGRP, here is what you need to know to be successful.
To start, remember that GRPs = reach x frequency. And, let’s get out simple facts out about the TV Nielsen GRP system. GRPs are measured by Local People Meters (LPMs). Depending on the source, there are between 25,000 and 37,000 LPMs in the entire country to measure TV viewing habits among the 200+ channels now available. Yes, if you’re not familiar with this, $60B+ each year is spent based on what these 30-some-thousand people watch.
The suggestion that cookie-counting isn’t accurate enough for true unique reach is ree-diculous. Sorry, Anne, (who is Anne) but you’re making this too complicated and your response favors your own product. The folks at comScore might say, “But what about all the ads that are served but never seen?” Well, that would be exactly in line with what happens on TV, and isn’t that what we’re trying to achieve? The LPMs don’t record if someone goes to the restroom or isn’t watching the commercial when it comes on. Everyone who has had ample exposure to digital knows that iGRP or no iGRP, the metrics available in online are infinitely superior to the iGRP, but this debate has merit because people who would rather use traditional media metrics aren’t bringing money to digital because it’s not similar enough. So, let’s stop trying to make it “better.” Digital measurement was already better, and that wasn’t enough. The focus needs to be on making digital measurement similar to broadcast measurement, and similar would be counting total impressions divided by the raw number of unique cookies to which the ad was served. Your ad server does this for free, by the way.
What’s a bit funny is that no one will be talking about this in 10 years because the need will be gone. One great example why is my company’s work with car dealers. The older dealers are asking for GRP equivalents to our digital impression counts for the month. The younger dealers just want to see how many consumer actions we generated and what they each cost to generate. This is, of course, what online should be: spend money and get results. Within 10 years those who are mostly rooted in traditional media will have found this value, and many of the younger talent will be in leadership positions that enable the conversation to focus on marketing results rather than reach and frequency.
These digital measurement steps make it easy and exactly like TV. So, if you have a client who wants the iGRP, use it. If they don’t, don’t. Why is this even being debated?