Cross media measurement has emerged as a necessity for advertisers running integrated campaigns. While it’s no surprise why, it is significantly difficult to accomplish.


As media patterns change, so do the complexity of integrated campaigns that advertisers run. What started with print and radio, soon evolved to television, and lately, digital. But, running a broadcast+digital campaign comes with its own challenges.

  • Broadcast/print is fundamentally one to many, and lacks depth in audience intelligence. Digital allows for better audience profiling. This creates a challenge when running integrated campaigns – advertisers/agencies are often left to normalize audiences
  • Reporting, similarly, has a growing disparity. Broadcast relies on traditional sample-based reporting, while digital, in some cases, provides near ‘run-time’ reports
  • Finally, the digital media mix provides for stronger analytics, and the ability to retarget consumers that have expressed interest – implicitly and explicitly. Again, this is lacking in broadcast

Yes, the broadcast to digital comparison is like apples to oranges. But, that’s not the intention. It is rather to draw attention to the disparity that exist between the media mix, that is considered part of any integrated campaign – especially when it comes to cross media measurement. | Cross Media Measurement |’s cartoon sums it up pretty well. When digital networks like Facebook, YouTube, and Google report numbers differently, what chance do advertisers and agencies have when running integrated campaigns? How will they ever get a sense of campaign performance, projections, or analysis if the numbers don’t add up?


Over the last five years, I have read and worked with companies trying to address this problem. Some of the bigger names in the industry, like Google, Nielsen, Kantar, GfK, have already developed some solutions. Part of it involves tying up traditional data with digital data – like in the case of Nielsen and Facebook.

The other, seems to be, industry associations trying to set standards to collection, aggregation and reporting of data – as is the case with 4A’s.

The 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) has set up a task force with a goal of uniting agencies, clients and the media industry around “the best and next practices” of cross media measurement.  At present, The Media Rating Council (MRC) is focusing on developing guidelines for cross platform measurement.  The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) is an association created by media organizations with a goal of establishing standards for cross platform measurement.

It would seem like there is progress being made. But, at a fundamental level, broadcast data remains at best a guesstimate (a strong personal opinion). Marrying it with digital (accurate in most cases), does not necessarily change this.

For advertisers, reducing this gap will be instrumental in generating better ROI on integrated campaigns. How to do that still remains a challenge.