Advertisers know the pain of understanding all the media touch points which a consumer has with their ads. For the last three years we've helped brands solve this puzzle with mobile research.
Ahead of the Advertising Research 2013 event, which takes place already this Thursday in London, Alistair Hill, the CEO of On Device Research talks about our experience helping clients measure their ad effectiveness.
Full transcript below:
Q: What is On Device Research?
Alistair: On Device Research uses the mobile internet to collect consumer opinions. We're a three-year old company and have been running surveys via the mobile internet in 57 countries. Actually yesterday we reached our 10 millionth survey.
Q: How can mobile help with advertising research?
Alistair: We've been helping brands understand the effectiveness of advertising and brand communications for the three years of our existance.
Couple of different pain points that we've found have been that brands have found it very difficult to understand all of the media touch points which a consumer has with their advertising.
Have people seen adverts on TV, have they seen them on billboard posters, have they heard them on radio, have they seen them on their mobile phone, for example.
Because mobile research enables people to understand in-the-moment opinions and understand people's reactions to those communications when they're actually seeing them there and then it enables brands to understand all these touch points throughout a week or two weeks.
We do mobile diaries and one of the big use cases for this is advertising touch points. That really helps our clients to understand the effectiveness of all of their communications that their brand puts out in a campaign.
Q: Why is On Device Research going to Advertising Research 2013?
Alistair: We work a lot with people in traditional media - TV stations, radio stations, billboard advertising companies. It's interesting to catch up with these companies and understand what they're doing.
We're also about to launch a new technique of measuring the effectiveness of mobile advertising. We're really interested in understanding in what people are doing in this area and seeing if we can help those who want to understand how brand messages on mobile are affecting consumers' opinions.
Q: What's the trick to measuring advertising effectiveness on mobile?
Alistair: The way that online advertising research works in general is that people are "cookied" when they see an ad on their computer and later surveyed. When that survey reads the cookie on their computer then the researcher knows that that person has seen that advert.
Putting together test and control groups is generally done this way.
The big difficulty with mobile is that 3rd party cookies don't work. We've thought about this problem for a while and have taken cookies out of the equation.
Instead we used a different type of unique identifier to be able to identify who's seen an advert and who hasn't. This enables us to to get over the problem of cookies not working on mobile.
The second problem in online advertising research is that a publisher generally needs to give quite a lot of impressions away to be able to get a group of people, who have been exposed to an advert, to take a survey.
This puts friction into the process of actually getting people to be involved in the studies. Running these project can be quite difficult particularly if a publisher has to give away 2 million impressions, for example. They're not going to be too happy about it.
What we've done to negate this problem is work with different ad networks to retarget ads at particular people. This really enables the operations behind this new solution to be fairly straight forward.
By putting together different types of unique identifiers along with retargeting I feel we've got a solution for mobile advertising that is fit for purpose.
Q: What can you share about client projects?
Alistair: There are two sides to what we do. One is ad effectiveness for traditional media, media touch points, and secondly the mobile advertising effectiveness work.
We work with a number of out of home media companies such as Primesight, Clearchannel, JCDecaux.
One project that I can talk about is Primemobile for Primesight where we understand all different interactions with billboard advertising. We can do surveys before and after these touch points to understand the difference that this advertising makes to consumers' opinions about that brand.
On the mobile advertising effectiveness work we've been doing some really-really interesting projects. We were recently up for an award with ITV for a dual-screening ad research around the Xfactor.
It was about app advertising when someone is watching the Xfactor. ITV uses their Ad Sync product which enables advertisers to put ads into the mobile app. People use the app while watching the Xfactor show.
It has a multiplier effect of seeing the ad in the TV spot as well as seeing it on the mobile app as well. This has a fantastic impact on people's opinion of that brand.
Equally we're about to come out with a new piece of research for The Association of Online Publishers to understand how premium mobile publishers compare versus network sites. The results of that have not been made public yet but we've completed the fieldwork and the results will be published in the coming months.