Nielsen and Facebook Combine to Offer Online Campaign Ratings
As Fast Company reported in the E.B. Boyd August 3rd article Facebook Is The New Nielsen Family, Nielson will start offering on August 15th a service via Facebook to measure engagement with brand advertising.
While protecting the privacy of people on Facebook as well as the advertisers, the Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) will take the data from ads viewed elsewhere on the web and then the Facebook database will be searched to identify demographics of the person viewing the brand advertising.
In other words, online advertisers will get demographic info on people exposed to brand advertising, which doesn’t usually ask for someone to click on a link (which can be measured).
Of course, as the article points out, “only about half of Americans are on the social network which means that OCR can only provide accurate demographics on about 42%, on average, of a campaign’s impressions.”
The main focus of the article, besides announcing this new service, is that advertisers up to now haven’t had the data to support spending on online brand advertising. And, supposedly, now they will this data.
But for those advertisers who have been paying attention to the social media revolution, especially on Facebook and now about to go wide on Google+, waiting for proof of effectiveness of online brand advertising is very misguided.
First, measuring the number of people who have seen the brand advertising does not correlate to how many people will be influenced by that advertising to interact with that brand on social media or, as the end goal, buy that brand’s products or services.
Second, advertising is not what social media is about. Social media is about interactions with brands. Thus brands that are relying on traditional advertising, albeit online, are missing the point.
Brand advertising has now morphed into brand engagement, and that’s what brands should be doing with their online “advertising” budget, regardless of what this newest measurement tool shows (or doesn’t show).
If you have a brand and you’re not engaging on social media, you’re already way late to the conversation. Instead of worrying about measuring the demographics of who saw your brand advertising, start acting on engaging interactively online with your current and prospective customers to ensure that they receive good customer service from you and not just “lip service” advertising of how great your brand is.