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Measurement to Take Center Stage at the NewFronts

More marketing talent needs to be versed in deep tech

An interview with:
Paul Alfieri
Cross MediaWorks

Measurement may be a hot topic at this year's Newfronts, where digital and media companies, as well as publishers, show off their latest programming to potential ad buyers. Paul Alfieri, CMO of Cross MediaWorks, spoke with eMarketer's Rimma Kats about a shift marketers are likely to see—the transition from a GRP-based TV world to a KPI-based one.


The NewFronts presentations tend to have a different theme every year. Past years included augmented reality, mobile and brand safety. What will this year's theme will be?

Paul Alfieri:

Measurement. We're beginning that transition from a gross rating point-based TV world to a key performance indicator-based one.

There's a lot of interesting things happening right now, like NBC's CFlight tool, which tracks cross-platform viewing. There's also addressable TV, which is truly at scale now.

You can do true 1:1 targeting. And because of this, marketers are realizing that all of the chocolatey goodness they fell in love with in regards to digital—that close reporting and granular targeting—can also be done in TV. You can know how many cars your campaign moved off the lot, or how many macaroni and cheese boxes you sold. That's exciting.


Is there anything underpinning measurement struggles?

Paul Alfieri:

Figuring out who gets to be the scorekeeper.

In traditional TV, it's Nielsen. For digital, marketers define their own measurement of success. If their KPI is how many mac and cheese boxes sold on Tuesday's, that's what they keep score of.


But since marketers introduce their own KPIs, there's no way to validate it.

Paul Alfieri:

Yes, essentially you have this collision of GRPs and KPIs, and what's most effective for an advertiser. We're seeing a lot of data and tools surfacing for marketers to be able to get better measurement.

But marketers need to take ownership of defining KPIs—that's what I see happening this year.


Is anyone doing that right now?

Paul Alfieri:

P&G is good about that, going into the ecosystem and flushing out bad actors. We've all seen too many slides saying that a campaign was a success, but we didn't sell a product. That's what we're trying to avoid.

If you're not digitally savvy, you're not going to get the answers you need. What's happening is that marketers are stepping up and challenging their agencies and tech providers. And it's a multiyear process. There needs to be more marketing talent versed in deep tech.