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Digital Media Measurement in the COVID-19 Era

Digital Media Measurement in the COVID-19 Era

Teodora Scutelnicu

Teodora Scutelnicu

April 6, 2020

SVP and Group Director of Analytics Teodora Scutelnicu believes now is the time to define a unified measurement framework across all industries.

"Knowing how data is being used across all industries, including government, it is important to come together as an industry"

We’ve all put our lives on hold the past few months and we’re waiting to understand when, and if, we can pick up from where we left off.

In the meantime, life does go on with the new routines we’ve all built to adjust during the COVID-19 lockdown. Like most of us, I’m more resilient than I thought and adapted somehow to this new normal. As we navigate those new routines of Zoom calls, home schooling in between meetings, parenting and spending way too much time in the kitchen, I’ve also spent a lot of time reading how our government is navigating this new (not so) normal.

As a New Yorker, I have been religiously watching Governor’s Cuomo daily briefings. These briefings have become my meaningful media. I find them to be informative, trusted, engaging and helpful to understand what is happening in our state. I  also found The NY Forward vision for reopening the state a great case of how data can be used to help us get smarter. Since I lead data and analytics at Havas, it’s no surprise that content that I became particularly excited about was the Regional Monitoring Dashboard published on ny.gov website. The dashboard provides real time data on how each of the 10 New York State regions are doing vis-à-vis COVID-19. Performance is evaluated against 7 success metrics, based on the guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of State, and other public health experts.

I was excited (perhaps more than my family and friends) to see NY government give everyone access to a real time COVID-19 dashboard to monitor the latest developments and stay informed about reopening New York State. Data is at the center of everything we do for our clients. There is so much data that real time dashboards have become a key tool in guiding our clients marketing plans. We gather the data, structure it and make sense of it so that it can be meaningful and actionable in a timely manner.

However, the piece I was most thrilled about was the vision of having a measurement framework in place to support the NY Forward program efforts. A well-thought out measurement framework was set in place as a foundational piece as a guide to reopening the state. The metrics to help shape measurement were clearly defined to capture developments, monitor performance and define reopening the same way, across all 10 New York State regions. The framework will not only help us reopen New York State but it will also inform us all how to keep the state open and guide us how to better navigate and adjust to new pandemic circumstances.

So what can we as marketers learn from the NY Forward Measurement Framework? We all struggle to measure effectiveness of our digital advertising efforts because there is little consensus on definitions, terms and methodologies and there is so much room for interpretation and nuances, depending what the source of truth is. Perhaps now, more than ever, knowing how data is being used across all industries, including government, it is important to come together as an industry and define a unified measurement framework that will foster more collaboration and less fragmentation and will provide a clearer view on how the effectiveness of our digital advertising will be measured.

I look up to our state government for how they successfully translated their vision by defining a clear measurement framework for success. Will the NY Forward program help us reopen the state sooner and move us forward? It is too early to say how successful the program is, and most likely more time is needed.  What I do know is that the measurement framework (with key metrics identified and defined) will help us quantify and understand the situation, monitor progress and define effectiveness across all 10 regions of the New York State so that we can improve, evolve, learn and prepare for what is next.

We need to establish a measurement framework with clearly defined metrics to monitor performance and define success. A measurement framework where all tech, data and measurement solutions can be a plug in as needed to solve for the problems that need a solution on a case-by-case basis. A measurement framework that will leave less room for interpretation when it comes to quantifying and measuring success. A framework to measure effectiveness the same way across the board, so that there will be value, more actionable results and learnings for us all.

There is hope. IAB Europe launched its first Digital Advertising Measurement Framework in April. The framework is to provide clarity on definitions, measures and metrics, educate and inform, and better help marketers to measure effectiveness of their advertising efforts. Perhaps this is the time we can come together, rethink and define how we want our digital media measurement framework to look like, so we can build better and more meaningful measurement for the future.

"Knowing how data is being used across all industries, including government, it is important to come together as an industry"

We’ve all put our lives on hold the past few months and we’re waiting to understand when, and if, we can pick up from where we left off.

In the meantime, life does go on with the new routines we’ve all built to adjust during the COVID-19 lockdown. Like most of us, I’m more resilient than I thought and adapted somehow to this new normal. As we navigate those new routines of Zoom calls, home schooling in between meetings, parenting and spending way too much time in the kitchen, I’ve also spent a lot of time reading how our government is navigating this new (not so) normal.

As a New Yorker, I have been religiously watching Governor’s Cuomo daily briefings. These briefings have become my meaningful media. I find them to be informative, trusted, engaging and helpful to understand what is happening in our state. I  also found The NY Forward vision for reopening the state a great case of how data can be used to help us get smarter. Since I lead data and analytics at Havas, it’s no surprise that content that I became particularly excited about was the Regional Monitoring Dashboard published on ny.gov website. The dashboard provides real time data on how each of the 10 New York State regions are doing vis-à-vis COVID-19. Performance is evaluated against 7 success metrics, based on the guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of State, and other public health experts.

I was excited (perhaps more than my family and friends) to see NY government give everyone access to a real time COVID-19 dashboard to monitor the latest developments and stay informed about reopening New York State. Data is at the center of everything we do for our clients. There is so much data that real time dashboards have become a key tool in guiding our clients marketing plans. We gather the data, structure it and make sense of it so that it can be meaningful and actionable in a timely manner.

However, the piece I was most thrilled about was the vision of having a measurement framework in place to support the NY Forward program efforts. A well-thought out measurement framework was set in place as a foundational piece as a guide to reopening the state. The metrics to help shape measurement were clearly defined to capture developments, monitor performance and define reopening the same way, across all 10 New York State regions. The framework will not only help us reopen New York State but it will also inform us all how to keep the state open and guide us how to better navigate and adjust to new pandemic circumstances.

So what can we as marketers learn from the NY Forward Measurement Framework? We all struggle to measure effectiveness of our digital advertising efforts because there is little consensus on definitions, terms and methodologies and there is so much room for interpretation and nuances, depending what the source of truth is. Perhaps now, more than ever, knowing how data is being used across all industries, including government, it is important to come together as an industry and define a unified measurement framework that will foster more collaboration and less fragmentation and will provide a clearer view on how the effectiveness of our digital advertising will be measured.

I look up to our state government for how they successfully translated their vision by defining a clear measurement framework for success. Will the NY Forward program help us reopen the state sooner and move us forward? It is too early to say how successful the program is, and most likely more time is needed.  What I do know is that the measurement framework (with key metrics identified and defined) will help us quantify and understand the situation, monitor progress and define effectiveness across all 10 regions of the New York State so that we can improve, evolve, learn and prepare for what is next.

We need to establish a measurement framework with clearly defined metrics to monitor performance and define success. A measurement framework where all tech, data and measurement solutions can be a plug in as needed to solve for the problems that need a solution on a case-by-case basis. A measurement framework that will leave less room for interpretation when it comes to quantifying and measuring success. A framework to measure effectiveness the same way across the board, so that there will be value, more actionable results and learnings for us all.

There is hope. IAB Europe launched its first Digital Advertising Measurement Framework in April. The framework is to provide clarity on definitions, measures and metrics, educate and inform, and better help marketers to measure effectiveness of their advertising efforts. Perhaps this is the time we can come together, rethink and define how we want our digital media measurement framework to look like, so we can build better and more meaningful measurement for the future.

Dora joined Havas Media Group at the beginning of 2016, leading Analytics in the New York office. 

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