Last week, MayoSeitz Media attended the Advertising Research Foundation's Audience Measurement 8.0 conference. With a theme of 'Measuring the Unmeasured", the event focused on the latest in media measurement including social, mobile, cross-platform, and big data. Presentations included new research and findings, such as:


Panelists discussed the difficulties in properly tracking mobile as a whole, especially with technological limitations such as apps for which cookies do not apply. Additional research revealed that while much of mobile use occurs while users are on the go, 60% of mobile phone moments excluding email, text, and voice happen at home. This is an important consideration for marketers, who should consider 'me time' instead of geo-targeting for mobile. Much of mobile use is not in the context of needing information, but instead wanting entertainment.

Big Data

A key focus of the conference was the need for more analytical minds in the field, serving as data scientists. These individuals must of course be strong in math modeling, but also have the ability to translate their analyses into actionable insights. It's also important to note that the increased focus on big data should not detract from small data research. As big data grows and provides more information, the need for small data will only increase.

Social Media

A panel on social media focused on how brands can best use the medium. Suggested uses for social media were fairly standard, including use as a listening tool, for recruitment purposes, and to curate and distribute thought leadership. It was also proposed that there should not be such a focus on calculating an ROI from social media, and rather use the tool as a storytelling mechanism to make a brand more personable. Instead of focusing on the number of fans, brands could instead focus on alignment with the right KPIs.


Many companies are looking at ways to more accurately measure and compare data across multiple platforms. One of the most innovative attempts is Project Blueprint, developed by ESPN to measure activity across 5 platforms: TV, PC, smartphone, tablet, and radio. The project uses a hybrid methodology, combining data from multiple sources including comScore and Arbitron. ESPN was able to use early results from the project to discover that the tablet users are their best customers, and that a heavy user is a heavy user across all platforms. Next steps for the project include researching how radio listeners interact with other platforms and a closer look at time-shifted viewing habits.

For more information, visit the ARF.