According to All Things D, Google is out to attract mega dollars from advertisers by implementing the use of gross rating points (GRP). For those who aren't familiar with GRP, it's the system used by advertisers in the television industry to assess the value of a particular slot based on potential audience size and the frequency in which they might view a certain campaign. As you can imagine, large GRP equals big cost to the advertisers.
GRP has been used frequently by media buyers to compare the impact of different media vehicles. By adding this rating scale to their various advertising spaces and time, Google can potentially attract many clients from a traditional television platform. I am sure this will be a tactic employed by many in the web-based marketing business.
Because a GRP is an accepted form of evaluation in the media business it makes really good sense that more and more entities in the online arena adopt this scale. But there are inherent problems with adapting GRP directly from television to internet that should be addressed. Nielsen set out to adapt the measure last year and added some additional figures to more accurately use the GRP to predict advertising success in an online format.
Here's what Nielsen wrote of their rating scale last June:
"The answer to this fundamental problem lies in Nielsen’s new approach to online ad measurement which produces Reach, Frequency and Gross Rating Points (GRP) statistics, comparable to TV ratings."
"Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings measures the true audience of an online ad campaign by combining Nielsen panel data with aggregated, anonymous demographic data from online data providers. Using this unique hybrid approach, Nielsen is able to measure online advertising campaigns of nearly any size, running nearly anywhere on the web."
"This will help advertisers better understand how their media investments are performing against their online only and cross-media campaign goals."
So users of the GRP format should understand that more data is required to do a fair comparison between an online ad campaign and one running on in a more traditional television format. Like most rating scales, some tweaking is required before you generalize results from one platform to another.
There's no doubt a reliable rating scale is essential to the health and growth of online advertising, but we need to make sure that metric is sound before we start passing it off as a true indicator of advertising effectiveness. Google recently pushed forward with the help of IAB's Making Measurement Make Sense coalition, in hopes of creating and promoting a widely recognized metric for the industry.
As Todd Rigley reported earlier today, Google is expected to reveal the particulars of their adjusted GRP metric at the Ad Age Digital Conference in New York City later today. Follow the link to his article to see how Google and IAB set out to address the issues with adapting GRP for online advertising.
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