Internet Audience Measurement, Internet Industry

One Billion Users Now!

An encouraging trend, which I noted on eMarketer article; these are the actual quotes from the article (Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst)

“China has taken the lead in the number of Internet users worldwide, and today only about 20% of its residents are online. While China will continue to lead the world in Internet users, look for India to eventually overtake the US, Japan and Germany.”

The second billion will come from India 🙂

Cheers!

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Brand, Digital Marketing, Internet Audience Measurement, Internet Industry, Others, Traditional Media Marketing

And The Award For The Most Intrusive Ad Format Goes To…

In the times of Oscar Fever, I wanted to talk about an entity, which is equally exciting and I got to know few days ago. Courtesy my wife, Priya, who recently went to Millward Brown conference.

Dynamic Logic (DL) is one of the lesser known services of Millward Brown. DL focuses on ad measuring effectiveness in this ever complex world of online and offline media. You may recall, MB is a leader in Brand Measurement Studies, Brand performance monitoring and marketing accountability.

Dynamic Logic, has three specific products to help the Internet marketer’s brand prerogatives…

1. AdIndex: Test and Analyse digital marketing campaigns


2. Cross Media Research:
Evaluate Multimedia Campaign (TV, Print, Internet etc)

3. LinkSelect For Digital: copy-testing solutions.

The best part about DL the cross-media behaviors and the resultant brand impact. As such, there would be very few research agencies, which can put this as specialisation in the service list.
I read a few insights from their book and found them extremely interesting. I would like to share one such report, an extract of Dynamic Logic’s Beyond the Click Study done in April 2008 on the subject of Consumer’s perception of Ad Formats (and across different Medium).

The study found the following ad which respondents rated as the most negative ….

Telemarketing (72%)

Non-opt-in Emails (46%)

Ads on Mobile Service (37%)

Direct Mail (17%)

Opt-in Email Ads (14%)

Cinema Ads (14%)

Online Ads (13%)

Online Search Ads (13%)

Product Placement (13%)

Radio Ads (7%)

Outdoors/Billboards (8%)

TV Ads (6%)

Magazine Ads (5%)

Newspaper Ads (4%)

(Basis Dynamic Logic’s Adreaction Survey, n=933, US, respondents fielded 2007)

The most intrusive formats (not very surprising!) are the Telemarketing and ads on mobile services (72% & 46%, respectively). Whereas, Newspaper, Magazine and TV ads are the ad formats with least negativity (4%, 5% and 6% in that order). What is surprising is that the online banner ads and online Search ads have similar negativity associated with it (7% each). One would have expected Search to be more acceptable format (maybe indicating the impact that the medium would deliver the brand association), however that not the case. Online ads are perceived more intrusive than the Radio and Outdoor Billboard ads.

This was a surprise to me, as we are in the world of web 2.0. The control of the web is with the browser, but the current perception is far from this fantasy. Maybe Online publishers efforts to deliver more inventory to the advertisers are now showing its effect. Do you remember the days of pop-ups and blinking fake-HTML like banners? Irritating and bad it was. However, what this seems to have done is to limit the engagement of the online brand with its consumers and therefore its impact on its overall imagery.

This also has bearing for all of us internet marketers, to be as engaging with the browser as possible, not to focus on click through rates (CTR) and optimise the creative to deliver the best ROI. Maybe also the usage of formats which enhance the engagement such as rich media, gadgets and viral marketing. Maybe start measuring the performance through new matrix such as engagement per click (an aggregation of referrals, time spent, roll overs and clicks).

Maybe, digital marketing still has to go a long way till it starts impacting the consumer consideration set.

Cheers!

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Digital Marketing, Internet Audience Measurement, Internet Industry

Nielsen Audience Measurement

Finally, Nielsen is here. And we have another choice of getting the audience data in addition to comScore. I’m keeping these links handy in case you want to explore the details…

AgencyFaqs: http://digital.afaqs.com/perl/digital/news/index.html?sid=23283

Alootechie: http://www.alootechie.com/content/nielsen-online-enters-india-karthik-nagarajan-head-its-india-operations

The big daddy’s of audience measurement have put India on the map and have announced their online venture in India. TAM, Television Audience Measurement, is also a Nielsen Tool, and is used extensively by the Television folks to get meaningful business insights and innovate to better engagement. However, barring a few top online publishers, I haven’t seen any instances of such research being utilised to its fullest. I say this, because a an internet marketer, I never get to hear the comScore/Nielsen data as a support for for any media presentation.

But things may change soon.

Before we get more optimistic, one other entity associated with audience measurement is a usually an impartial industry-wide central body. They are important from the view of the authority, auditing and impartial validation and hence the universal usage of Data. These are bodies such as ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) for print media, IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) for US, IBS (India Broadcasting Society for television) is equally important to initiate the approach. I’m sure IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) is taking a note of this as they have a job at their hand in educating a number of us on this subject.

Cheers!

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comScore, IAMAI, Internet Audience Measurement, nielsen netrating, nielsen online measurement

Nielsen Audience Measurement

Finally, Nielsen is here. And we have another choice of getting the audience data in addition to comScore. I’m keeping these links handy in case you want to explore the details…

AgencyFaqs: http://digital.afaqs.com/perl/digital/news/index.html?sid=23283

Alootechie: http://www.alootechie.com/content/nielsen-online-enters-india-karthik-nagarajan-head-its-india-operations

The big daddy’s of audience measurement have put India on the map and have announced their online venture in India. TAM, Television Audience Measurement, is also a Nielsen Tool, and is used extensively by the Television folks to get meaningful business insights and innovate to better engagement. However, barring a few top online publishers, I haven’t seen any instances of such research being utilised to its fullest. I say this, because a an internet marketer, I never get to hear the comScore/Nielsen data as a support for for any media presentation.

But things may change soon.

Before we get more optimistic, one other entity associated with audience measurement is a usually an impartial industry-wide central body. They are important from the view of the authority, auditing and impartial validation and hence the universal usage of Data. These are bodies such as ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) for print media, IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) for US, IBS (India Broadcasting Society for television) is equally important to initiate the approach. I’m sure IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) is taking a note of this as they have a job at their hand in educating a number of us on this subject.

Cheers!

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Advertising Industry, Digital Marketing, Internet Audience Measurement, Internet Industry, Media Buying

FICCI-PricewaterhouseCoopers Entertainment and Media Report

The reports has good news for folks Media Sales&Marketing. More than anything, it gives a general trend of popular mediums consumed.

Following are the top level figures…
2006… Rs.438 Bln (Rs.43,800 Crs)
2007… Rs.513 Bln (Rs.51,300 Crs)
2012… Rs.1.157 Tln (Rs.115,700 Crs)

This means, 17% growth in 2007 over 2006 and every year after that will grow by 18%, making entertainment and Media Industry outperform a number of sectors. Television, film, print continue to dominate the media space together accounting for more than 90% of the total size of the industry. Following were other highlights…

1. Television attracted more interest among investors than any other medium. The industry has also seen venturing into online and mobile portals to distribute content.
2. Mobile Music is gaining popularity.
3. In print domain, adopted another platform, through internet (e-paper) and mobile (m-paper) to reach out to newer audience.
4. Digital Cinema is gaining popularity, and is becoming widespread with online Movie Ticket Booking and Mobile Booking.

Advertising was a significant part of this pie, and contributed 38%. Last four years (2004-07) the industry has displayed 20% growth rate, which is impressive by any standards.
2006… 161 Bln (16,000 Crs)
2007… 196 Bln (19,600 Crs)

The industry is experiencing a paradigm shift with digital platforms enabling to reach the critical masses. Digital interactive mediums are slowly becoming the advertising mainstream. Internet advertising will reach Rs. 4.2 Bln (Rs. 420 Crs) and 11 Bln by 2012 (Rs.1,100 Crs), which would only represent 2% of the whole adverting projected for 2012 (and assuming 40% advertising contribution). The growth is however very impressive at 32%. The current estimate for the Internet Media Industry is 230 Crs (Rs.2.3 Bln).

Lets look at television industry in the meantime, which is estimated to be Rs.226 Bln (22,600 Crs). By 2012, it is poised to grow to Rs.600 Bln (60,000 Crs) and CAGR of 22%, which would mean that it will still command over 60% to the total advertising pie.

Print Industry size is Rs.149 Bln (Rs. 14,900 Crs) Industry today, is poised to grow to Rs.281 Bln (28,100 Crs) by 2012. By size it would be almost half of TV industry and would contribute 30% to ad revenues. The growth is however low at the rate 14% pa.

Radio will be bigger than Internet industry, with Rs.18 Bln (1,800 Crs) with a CAGR of 24%. The current size is Rs.6.2 Bln (Rs.620 Crs).

More and more content will be digitised and this migration mirrors the global trend. Distribution of entertainment and media content will over digital and mobile platforms like online digital streaming, digital movie/TV downloads, video-on-demand, music downloaded from the Internet, music downloaded to wireless phones, online advertising, online video games, wireless video games, and online gaming, increasingly gain pace in next five years.

Read the full report here . For more interested lot, for more on global trends you can refer to an earlier post titled- Accenture Report on Digital Industry.

Cheers!!

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Internet Audience Measurement, Media Buying, Search Engines, Viral Marketing, Web Analytics

Every Click Counts…

The other day I read one good Mediapost article on Metrics. You won’t be surprised that there are quite a few of them- Buzz Metrics, Engagement Metrics etc. And there is also our old traditional media currency- GRPs or Gross rating points. (Simply put, GRP is reach x frequency) The more you have, the richer would be the brand. However, as we see more and more new media evolve ( internet and mobile), the ground rules have changed. The communication flow is not just one way but it is interactive and more importantly, measurable (this is at the cost of being labeled as cliche).

So, what would be the traditional measure of success in the interactive internet universe. Is it only going to be mere GRPs (reach of the media vehicle times the frequency of exposure) or the measurement of interaction? The new line of thought is to quantify this engagement in a number of ways. Not just look at pageview and visitations, but also look at time spent on the site, number of pages viewed during a visit and proportion of single access visits to the total site visits. In a nutshell, all exposures are not equal, some are more engaging than others. In fact, the beauty of this metrics is that it is not precise and needs to be molded as per the site goals. You can find this discussion “the peterson calculation” by a gentleman called Eric Peterson (obviously :)) by clicking on this link.

And as I was reading through this article, I was also forced to think about media creativity. In fact, I initially tried to build this article around a few creative sites and hence how the measurement differs. But alas, there is no reference content available on this subject. Hence I will concentrate on the first step of this conversion journey, which is the click.

In this whole context of buzz, engagement etc how important is a click.? This click which might come from a search engine, a banner, a creative blog (like mine) and PR sources across the net. What is the value of this click? How relevant is it towards brand building? A click is a click and is measured by a CTR or Click Through Rate (clicks/impressions served%). How important is a creative in this context? And how “Creative” is a creative in an online space?

Traditional Media like TV and Radio is easy, we have Ad recall and various studies. And we have presentations and PR on how good a Television creative was. We have various ad forums like Cannes, which tests the creative mettle. A good creative gets awards and ad recall. But what is the measure of an online creative? I had read another great article, which substantiates that the memory on the internet space is limited (and hence the power to influence brands, I would love to hear your comments on this, if you have reached this point). And I can guarantee you that you won’t remember which banner have you clicked on, what colour was it, what was the messaging and call to action. There are very banners which can contradict this statement. So how do you measure the worth of a banner (or any such communication) in the internet space. In our performance marketing jargon we call it CTR, the definition I described before. CTR gives you the return on your media buys, it brings the browser closer to the website and it is the first link towards the conversion.

Someone rightly said every click is a wish. And the website is to fulfill that wish. The creativity lies in driving the CTRs, which means altering few creative elements here and there to optimise the media performance. I have tried to use bright idea through the banners, but they don’t deliver CTR (or bring about the conversions on our website). Banners and text links are the lowest hanging fruits of the internet marketing domain, where the interaction starts.

The greatest impact on a brand through a website is through the website. There are a few links which I think is worth a mention, because they have done a lot good to the internet marketing and getting it closer to building brands (and not just limit it to a performance driver). They are the true testimonials to engagement/buzz/interactive marketing (the order is not a reflection of their ranking)….

1. Sunsilk Gang of Girls. They boast a decent traffic with 100K users within 4 months of its launch. Though originally, HLL had to use a lot of media muscle to drive traction, but they has been very persistent on this front. The best part is that the website is updated frequently, and now has a celeb zone with Priyanka Chopra, DJ Pearl, Piya Rai Choudhary, Dippanita sharma as contributors. The wesbite looks good, but the speed of page down load is very slow.

2. Mentoshelpline.com: I love their communication, (have you seen the latest one, which is called “the missing link“?). It is entertaining, engaging and very innovative. Checkout the helpline lady. You will also come across a great list of problems- love, professional etc. The site tickles you and has a huge brand rub-off. It has a new avatar called Mentosfriendsline.com . If you have any problem, just share.

3. MakeMyTrip.com: Some innovative viral, which is a buzz in the internet circle. I have seen a few guys using this link to define their personality.

There are a few more on these lines, developed by the same agency, Webchutney.

4. Bingo:, A good site, but as great as the communication.

The brand advertisers are definitely getting excited about the medium, pepsibluebillion.com, meethamoments.com (from Cadburys) are a good step in this direction which builds brands through engagement. None of the brand advertisers have a decent website, which interacts and engages the prospective consumer. In today’s scenario, web needs to treated as a touchpoint and a medium that can’t be ignored. Net is a medium that is designed and built to allow people to do things and get results from those actions.

Simplicity is the name of the game. The only thing that’s unreasonable is the use of interactive technology simply to interact. More often than not, you end up with something that’s overly complex. And although it may be creative, it doesn’t match up with the desires (the wishes) of the consumer. Buzz and engagement is secondary.

You might also want to check out magicofblack.com

Cheers!

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Internet Audience Measurement, Internet Industry

comScore and Audience Measurement

One of the most frequently asked question in the net space is what is size the internet universe and how much traffic can I target (share of Traffic). There are a few free resources that we usually look up Alexa, Google Trends (to see the relative popularity of a term on Google search engine) . Though these are free, the idea of bribing our friends who have access to comScore, Neilsen NetRating, Hitwise or any such panel information, might be a good. The information provided by these audience measurement companies is far superior to the Alexa.

Fortunately, since my organisation subscribes to comScore data, we don’t have to resort to any unethical favours (I’m infact open to lucrative offers). Jokes apart, comScore data helps to access the growth of our site traffic vs the competition and the universe and is a regular feature at the end of the month / board presentation. There were some occasional, where we had to measure the cross visitation/audience duplication matrics to find out our standing in the net space.

More importantly, my world (read universe) was limited to 26 Mln Indian online population, which is the figure that comScore reports,. All this while I considered it to be a better estimate and ignored IAMAIs and NASSCOM). I also had the notion that based on these numbers penetration of eCommerce was only 10% (roughly 2.6 Mln internet users).

And then, I happen to meet our comScore Account Director last week and had lot of my fancy notion changed. This post is an ode to that meeting and I hope you will find it useful. Please note that comScore is the only source for such rich panel information, as of now…

1. Since comScore uses a panel, and recruits only for household and office usage, 26 Mln number is a representation of this community. This doesn’t include cyber cafes (which was 40% in IAMAI 2006 report), Schools & Colleges (6% in 2006) and other sources (which may include net card). This will significantly increase the numbers (and which also suggests that our eCommerce penetration is very low). In some countries, they quantify that the internet usage originates from outside the universe (e.g persons under 15; from public machines (like internet cafe), they do mention that the projections do not reflect this usage. These countries include China, India, Ireland and Mexico.

2. It is not just a traffic estimating tool. It has lot more data to offer. Reach & Frequency Planning (will be a great assets for folks associated with branding), psychographic segmentation, and identification of Heavy/Medium/Low internet users.

3. It has a panel size of 16,000 in India, which is the highest in the region. It is significantly higher than China (8,000) and the next closest panel size is in Australia (15,000) members. Notably, it has a million opt-ins for the application, however most of them are filtered to include Home/Office. Only in US they offer the Office/Home split.

4. comScore collects data for only 15Years+ individual. They identify this through the mouse-use patterns and keyboard usage pattern.

One other objective of this post is to elaborate on the features that comScores provides, which will empower emarketers such as us, to look beyond Alexa and Google trend Data. The idea is look beyond numbers and demographics profiles and get a psychographic rich profile of our site visitors. To some of us who use site analytics, this data might just corroborate the facts. For other, it will define avenues, as all users are not always the same.

comScore’s Segment matrix H/M/L serves exactly that purpose. It acknowledges that web behavior varies greatly by segments. Heavy users might have an unequal impact on the overall statictics- they are 20% of the online population, but consumer 2/3 of total online pages and minutes. The light users on the other hand account for only 6%. Using this feature you can understand and take appropriate action points for heavy, Moderate and Light internet user segments. These are key benefits…

1. Behavior analysis: Heavy users are the easiest to target, but light and medium users would be necessary to build the reach. The basis for this is the content they consume. With this report you will be able to get an idea where your consumers go apart from their category (say travel/retail)

2. Reduce waste of online ad spends: comScore Segment matrix H/M/L provides advertisers and agencies the means to identify sites, where advertising delivery is more likely to reach light internet without overreaching heavy users.

3. Get valuable inputs for site development: Publishers can prioritise development of content and features according to different requirements of H/M/L user segment.

4. Increase ad sales/revenue- Publisher can demonstrate the site’s ability to reach premium segments. Alternatively a marketer can look at psychographic profile of its site visitor.

comScore has one more good product for search related statistics- qSearch. This tracking provides weekly and monthly views of consumer search activity by search engine, which answers the questions…

1. How large is the search market and how fast is it changing.
2. Which search engine has the greatest reach among all searchers and how is it changing.

qSearch also reports on searches conducted on sites such as eBay, Amazon, Expedia, etc. Furthermore, it also includes search activity from following user activities:

– Searching on Maps and yellow pages
– Search conducted through hosted or affiliate search relationship
– Searches conducted across that various tabs found on most search engine e.g web search -> image search -> Video search. The definition of such fall under
– A user interaction where the user is presented with a search result page
– The search result page allows the user with the ability to refine or change their search parameter
– Search can be initiated from a drop down or clicking a link, as long as first two rules are satisfied.

All push-traffic and non user requested activity is filtered. It reports following searches in addition to all the searches

1. Auto Search: Refers to the search that is conducted by entering a search string into the address box in the browser. DNS error pages are not counted.
2. Toolbar search: Search executed from the Toolbar
3. Affiliate/Hosted search: where the search engine is hosted on an affiliate site.

comScore is at an advantageous position in India with its first mover advantage. Nielsen NetRating is still to start and gain ground. Comparatively Neilsen NetRating has a panel size with lower numbers as compared to comScore. However, they are known for their descipline and method and use the same metered tracking using panels and telephone surveys. Their products are called @plan, which helps in media planning (like H/M/L Segments of comScore). Sooner than later they need to have a foothold on one of the fast developing Internet Markets in India.

Hitwise is another such product, which given share of traffic data. Hitwise studies the browsing pattern at ISP level (in Europe, they have tied up with orange) and has more realistic estimate of share of traffic. Their downside, is on getting the Demographic profile of the audience. They too have to start their services in India.

For any emarketer, Brand assessment, buzz quantification and cross media measurement is a challenging task. Like offline disciplines, the need of the hour is to get used to measurement tools like these, which will help to define and shape up realistic business goals.

Do share your comments.

Cheers!


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