There hasn’t been much doubt over the last few years that digital media, and consequently digital advertising, has been inexorably on its way to the top of the media pile. But, while advertisement spends on the digital medium have crossed the Rs 10,000 crore mark in India, there has been little advertisers could do to reliably track return on investment (RoI) in this segment.
No surprise then that global industry trackers have been launching solutions to bridge this gap in measuring the cost effectiveness and effective returns from digital advertising spends. In a first for the Indian market, Nielson India this week launched a solution that will enable advertisers in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) space to track the RoI on both traditional and digital advertising spends.
According to Nielson, this Custom Mix Modeling (CMM) model will help FMCG advertisers measure sales RoIs of individual digital publishers using the same method as for the Television and Print advertising segments.
Dolly Jha, Head — Media, Nielsen South Asia, said that the firm had identified the absence of an industry-wide standard solution to measure sales RoI of all media with the same granularity and rigor even while the share of digital ad expenditure is increasing rapidly in India.
“This gap was making it difficult for brands to make investment decisions for all platforms based on proven outcomes,” Jha noted. The solution, she added, will help FMCG marketers and advertisers with insights at multiple levels on the digital medium, now comprising over 20 per cent of the advertising industry.
Nielson’s solution is likely to find favour among many advertisers, since the lack of standardisation in RoI metrics have been a major hurdle for digital ad sales.
“Advertisers have a variety of trackers to choose from, but very few are as granular as needed, and there is little standardisation in how these metrics are tracked. The latter problem is the bigger one, because it clouds advertisers’ view of how one channel of advertisement is doing vis-a-vis another,” said a senior marketing executive in one of India’s largest FMCG companies, wishing to remain anonymous.
Anil Viswanathan, Marketing Director (Chocolate), Mondelez India, however, said that not only will CMM solve for a long-standing challenge regarding sales RoI measurement for digital on offline retail brands, it “will also prove to be a key input into an industry-wide discourse on the standardization of effectiveness measurement,” added
Nielson’s CMM seeks to provide such insights by collecting sales data from a retail panel of traditional trade outlets on a weekly basis. “The weekly retail panel was launched in 8 major metros for 100+ brands across 16 FMCG categories. Nielsen uses their globally accepted MMM technique on the weekly offtake trends to provide sales ROI measurement across all traditional and digital media,” Nielson said.
According to the company, the lack of weekly sales offtake data for building models has led to a gap in robust evaluation of digital media vis-a-vis traditional media, because digital investments are more recent and more discontinuous in nature, and require more granular data for measurement.“This (CMM) will directly aid in media planning, in turn helping advertisers gain overall efficiencies on media investments,” Jha said.