Media Attribution Metamorphosis, Part 2

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caterpillar_smallADOTAS – On Tuesday, C3 Metrics CEO Mark Hughes wrote about effective online media attribution systems and how advances in mobile are changing the game. Picking up where he left off…

The second solution is surprising: Facebook. Almost every mobile device owned by an online shopper has the Facebook mobile app on it. That same Facebook mobile app could capture all mobile ads viewed and clicked, and then transfer the same data with NFC-style technology, closing the cross-device attribution loop.

The problem right now, is that Facebook doesn’t have any NFC-like technology. But Facebook is connected (an understatement) and could probably convince their friends at either Apple or Microsoft to develop it in less than a year.

But we’ve only been discussing the “little” advertising market: the $30 billion Internet ad market with media attribution already here (and cross-device attribution near).

The larger advertising market ripe for efficiency is the TV market. Over $60 billion spent per year in America.

CBS’s average audience is five times the size of Facebook’s. TV is still the big media king…it just can’t compete technologically with robust media tracking and attribution models in existence today.

Or could it?

Can we teach an old dog new technology? Can the same cross-device attribution model be applied to TV?

Let’s return to those two solutions: Adroid + NFC, or even Facebook mobile + NFC.

The TV is a media device just like a tablet. TV ads are similar to online Display banner ads: impressions that may have influence on the consumer’s purchase funnel going from awareness to purchase. TV ads have tracking IDs just like Internet banners (in TV, it’s called an ISCI code).

TV is just missing the capture of its display ads within a robust media attribution model–determining if the TV ad is one of the Originators, Assists, or Converters in a sale.

Could Android or Facebook do the same thing with TV…namely record all the TV ad information, and transfer it using NFC?

Right now, it’s possible. Let’s survey the technology of our living rooms:

TV set-top boxes are becoming standard, especially in higher income households. That very set top box has the capability of having a mac address, which can pick up presence of a device within 18 feet of the TV. Detecting whether a smartphone (a smartphone with Android or a mobile Facebook app on it) is within 18 feet of the TV.

While watching TV, you’ll likely have your smartphone in your pocket, or nearby.

So if your TV system detects the signal and presence of your mobile device, we can assume you viewed a TV ad, and also capture the tracking ID of that ad. If you went to the kitchen or outside the 18 foot radial zone… Guess what? You didn’t view the TV ad.

Imagine the next day, you visit an auto manufacturer’s website on a different device (your computer) and fill out a form. How can the attribution connection be made?

The same way described in cross-device attribution. The glue is simply your smartphone which recorded the TV ads you saw last night (via ISCI code); when you log on to the Internet, those ISCI ad codes are transferred to your Gmail or Facebook account, and taken into account with a media attribution system like a C3 Metrics… and now we’re teaching the old dog new technology.

Would this scare bad agencies into making TV ads that perform? Yes. But the Internet is doing the same thing, and great ads and great agencies will finally receive the credit (attributed credit) they deserve—and eliminate the “Chairman doesn’t like the ad” routine. Once you create efficiencies in a $30 billion market, and then a $60 billion market: sooner or later you’re talking real money.

Online media attribution is already here. Cross-device and TV attribution is very near.

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