While Comscore has traveled a hard road over the past few years, it appears to be getting back on solid footing. The company’s recent product moves across its business units have been focused in advanced television in order to round out the company’s cross platform offering. As part of that strategic move, Comscore is using automatic content recognition technology (ACR) technology from Inscape to successfully link disparate data points into a viable cross platform measurement capability.
Comscore’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Alexander Feldman, sat down with TV[R]EV and detailed his company’s efforts in solving one of the media’s most challenging problems: Ensuring that every impression is counted no matter where, when or how it is viewed.
Charlene Weisler (CW): Why use ACR?
Alexander Feldman (AF): There are three interesting things about ACR. First is the Speed with which you can collect data. Historically, data was delivered through more manual means which would take weeks to deliver. With ACR we receive the data within days so we can deliver insights during a campaign and much faster to clients. And when you are able to deliver insights during a campaign, you are able to apply more dynamic creative optimization to discern what is working and what is not. Second is Accuracy. In other forms of data collection there are gaps and missing data, sometimes caused by human error in coding or from tags dropping off in certain environments. The third is Automation. Think of ACR as Shazam. It automatically finds content or advertising that it knows it is looking for because it is in the foundational data set or database.
CW: How is Comscore using Inscape’s ACR?
AF: The most popular way we are using ACR currently is in measurement such as in attribution. The idea is to prove out campaign efficacy, tune-in or return on investment by essentially closing that loop between whether that person saw a particular piece of content or ad and then finding that same individual within our panel. We have had success with then serving those individuals ads to gauge brand metrics within the purchase funnel. Is that particular piece of creative moving the top of the funnel or lower parts of the funnel?
CW: Do you re-sell or re-package the data? Is it integrated into any product offerings?
AF: We are not allowed to re-sell the data, but the strength of it as it pertains to Comscore is that when we ingest the ACR data we are able to fuse it with other assets. Comscore has tremendous scale, strong relationships and legacy clients. We are able to leverage ACR data within that framework and integrate that into existing products. Our Brand Survey Lift (BSL) is one product where we are using ACR data. The other kind of obvious use cases are in the planning space where we measure reach and frequency.
CW: What types of data and metrics are you using?
AF: Not to get too granular but content start time, duration, number of aggregate households reached, IP addresses, titles, are all tied back to individuals in our panel through a third party blind match. But there is a whole slew of granular data that we get from Inscape’s ACR insights.
CW: What successes have you realized from the data?
AF: I just got back from a conference where we highlighted a piece of new business that we closed with a large CPG brand that measured multiple campaigns using ACR data. We looked at the different types of creative running on many different networks and tied that back to our digital panel. Some of the findings that I thought were really compelling and maybe not-so-obvious to the client were that no single platform was more impactful than a comprehensive cross platform campaign. We saw that when a campaign ran across platforms, it generated lifts of +36% more than any individual platform.
The second thing we measured and presented was that 50% of the campaigns had one creative that was six times more impactful than all other creatives, regardless of platform. So that goes back to the power of ACR – we were able to find through our Brand Survey Lift product that there is one creative that typically accounts for a significant amount of the lift that you see in the campaign. Identifying that creative is critical during the campaign while you have the opportunity to prove it or switch it out.
Thirdly, we found that TV or TV-like platforms have the strongest synergy with social. The data point that we highlighted in that project was that social / TV delivery was 50% more effective in influencing purchase intent and awareness than other media mixes.
CW: How do you measure client success?
AF: Client success can be defined by the KPIs they are trying to meet, depending on where they are in the funnel. From my perspective, we are successful when we are providing incremental value to the client and helping them solve business decisions. For example, what does a conversion look like? Is it a visitation to a site, an RFI, or a visit to a location? The power of Inscape’s ACR data is fully realized when it is combined with Comscore data processes and logic that normalize and standardize consumer viewing data and help us to measure it faster.
CW: What marketing initiatives does ACR data support for Comscore?
AF: Activation is a natural use case with that data. For example, a CPG client has brands in multiple different markets and while the initial project was U.S. based, we were able to project the potential for international expansion and activation.
CW: What does Inscape ACR data facilitate or improve?
AF: They help plug gaps in the connected TV space which is an emerging area and is growing. Consumers are adopting connected TVs quickly. It adds an extra layer of information into our models and logic. So they are improving the overall data sets that we have by providing us with information that we never had. Comscore has historically integrated data from mobile, desktop, set top boxes. This is yet another form of device that is now probably the fastest growing form of TV or TV-like consumption. Inscape helps us increase our strengths beyond premium video and helps us amplify that and complete our offerings.