Welcome to the Interact Congress Blog. We have invited some leading European guest bloggers to share their observations on interactive marketing and communication skills within the integrated experience. The blog also offers you a first opportunity to interact with your peers.

For more information about the congress, please visit www.interactcongress.eu

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Gobal online media measurement: where do we stand?

Is online measurement a national or an international matter? The answer is “both”, and the reasons are twofold.

Most of advertising spends are local, few are international. This leads us to conclude that audience measurement has always been a national issue, and methodologies have been following local particularities such as counting habits, culture, and dominance of a media over any other.

Still, as the text introduction of the I-Com (http://www.i-com.org/) interestingly put it: “Around the world, online media and their audiences are being measured (Ad, Site & User Centric) differently or not at all. Commonalities include a predominant national focus and lack of a big picture about who is doing what and with what results. Meanwhile, advertisers would like to see internationally comparable data based on transparent common metrics.”

Compared to measuring traditional media, online measurement is such a complex and innovative task that operators - including research providers - struggle to provide a stable and accepted currency locally. In some countries, millions are invested to understand and create a standard measurement, while internet technologies continue to evolve.

As a consequence joint industry committees (JIC) along with private research operators felt the need to share experiences and best practices. In September 2005, several leading associations (including EACA, IAB Europe, IFABC, I-JIC & OPA Europe) decided to create I-COM, a joint conference about online measurement, in Berlin. The conference’s achievements were as follows:

- Delivery of an International Overview Study (IOS) of Online Site&User centric measurement status around the world;
- Presentation and discussion of major site and user centric measurement systems;
- Creation of an international network amongst professionals in Online Media Measurement;
- Facilitation through forums on key issues including international cooperation.

Like the harmonization of worldwide online ad spends, online measurement needs to be consistently aggregated on a global scale in order to better represent our media. Measurement operators need to work on common definitions, both across countries and locally to make the Internet media clear and transparent.

In the first “workshop” day of the Interact Congress (4th of June), IAB Europe will welcome all leading associations and players to introduce the global initiative for online media measurement (GIM) and announce the next I-COM conference. Three panel discussions will focus on improving the comparability of metrics across countries, sharing local requirements for research suppliers, and discussing new measurement possibilities along with Web 2.0.

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