Category Archives: research

Quantcast makes changes in reaction to Flash cookie Study

Study by Academic Researchers, “Flash Cookies and Privacy,”

Quantcast’s response was pretty good:

Want to know how to view and/or remove Flash Cookies from your Machine?

Chicago Analytics?

I’m always interested in connecting (and reconnecting) with colleagues in the Chicago area; especially those working in the crazy field of online measurement. The other day I received an urgent request from, warning that the Chicago Data and Strategy Consortium meet-up was about to be canceled! So, I volunteered myself to prevent that from happening…

Lincoln Park Lagoon looking southeast.

Why? I personally, would like to see an informal group of professionals working in this nascent field that isn’t always served by other local groups like Chicago AMA, CIMA, national groups like IAB, OPA and the more software-oriented or social/networking groups. Ideally, less drinking and more learning. Thin overhead and easy to manage…maybe even invitation-only?

In what areas of analytics and research are people interested?

Contact me and let me know what you think…we’re all busy people and all at different stages of our respective careers.

25 Hottest Articles from Business Horizons

A great resource for business and management research.

25 Hottest Articles from Business Horizons

  1. Corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, and financial performance: Lessons from finance • Discussion

  2. The market within: A marketing approach to creating and developing high-value employment relationships

  3. China’s outward foreign direct investment

  4. The evolution of corporate social responsibility • Discussion

  5. The power of business models

  6. What leads to cultural intelligence?

  7. Social entrepreneurship: Key issues and concepts • Discussion

  8. Blogging: A new play in your marketing game plan

  9. Socially responsible entrepreneurs: What do they do to create and build their companies?

  10. Global leadership success through emotional and cultural intelligences

  11. Building a capable organization: The eight levers of strategy implementation

  12. Corporate social responsibility: Doing well by doing good

  13. Lean, take two! Reflections from the second attempt at lean implementation

  14. Strategic corporate social responsibility as global brand insurance

  15. MIRR: A better measure

  16. Positioning Southwest Airlines through employee branding

  17. Innovation and efficiency: It is possible to have it all

  18. Saying it like it isn’t: The pros and cons of 360-degree feedback

  19. Lessons learned from renewable electricity marketing attempts: A case study

  20. Unprofitable customers and their management

  21. The value of human resource management for organizational performance

  22. The landscape of social entrepreneurship • Discussion

  23. Using product design strategically to create deeper consumer connections

  24. Ownership structure and the diversification and performance of publicly-listed companies in China

  25. The new value imperative for privately held companies: The why, what, and how of value management strategy

RSS Advertising Part II – The Wild West meets the Measurement Crater

Measurement…The Wild West

As prefaced in Part I, identifying and reaching an online audience can be a challenge – especially if you are after the evasive Techfluentials.
The reality is that right now, measurement is The Wild West of the online advertising industry. As marketers (gold-seekers) demand more and more accountability for their spend, software and media vendors continue the cycle of launch, failure and/or consolidation in a made scramble to sell the pick-axes to those after online gold.

By choosing to measure in-feed RSS advertising with oversold site metrics tools…it just make things even wilder. The reality is that there are serious technical limitations to consider when planning how to measure success at advertising to this target audience. Without proper planning however, marketers are left with a measurement gap of epic proportions.

First a quick primer to frame this classic situation. As a trained marketer, there are basically two different objectives of advertising and your ad creative typically can do one of the following well:

  1. Branding. In other words, making an impression and/or changing perceptions. Often very important but very difficult to accurately measure. For this reason, measuring branding is more complex and almost always requires either a custom-study or syndicated (shared, usually generic) sample-based research. Right now, ad effectiveness services like Dynamic Logic, InsightExpress, Nielsen and ComScore are not yet working with RSS feed networks. This means that qualitative audience research requires a custom study that is considerate of the RSS user’s environment – this may incur additional costs.
  2. Response. In the other corner is the quantitative measurement of tangible results such as sales, leads, impressions, clicks, time spent and the like. While it is much easier to technically measure the entire universe of such activities, in-feed RSS advertising success is a double-edge sword. Clicks (response) may be huge and the Clickthrough Rates great (relative to banners); with so much industry hand-wringing over declining CTR, clearly having a bounty of clicks is a good problem to have these days!

The Measurement Crater

For the purposes of this series, let’s say that you just want to measure response as the primary success metric for an RSS ad campaign. Unfortunately, if you or your client are depending on a JavaScript-tag based landing page tool to measure consumer response, you will likely experience something akin to this:

What happened? Wondering where did the clicks go? How many visits from’s RSS feed? Did they buy? Did they come back? Curious as to why you can’t determine what they did after they landed? As am I.

Newsflash: JavaScript tag-based Site Metrics have Limitations

Online marketers that are primarily interested in measuring response from an RSS campaign just found one. While many enterprise site metrics vendors brag about their simple, “just add our tag to your footer” implementation (Omniture, Google Analytics, Coremetrics)…if only it was that easy to get usable information.

The harsh technical reality is that JS tag-based systems require the browser to execute their special tag when the landing page is rendered. That is very different than server-side site metrics tools that track every access by definition. The main problem with relying exclusively on these tag-based approaches is that they cannot count accesses that originate from JS-disabled borwsers or altogether JS-incompatible applications. In other words, these popular site metrics tools essentially are blind to and ignore browsers and any traffic (including robots and spiders) that do not execute JS; I’m not going to get into the cookie deletion argument either.

Suffice to say with RSS advertising to Technfluentials, tracking non-JS accesses becomes your problem. To put it in marketing terms, here’s why:

  1. Techfluentials use standalone desktop RSS Feed Readers/Aggregators (non-browser applications).
  2. Techfluentials access the Web via mobile deivices in a browser environment that is even less likely to execute JS tags (my Treo 755p uses Palm Blazer 4.5, which offers the disable option).
  3. Techfluentials ALSO deliberately/religiously disable JS in their browsers (not to mention deleting cookies).

In other words, your most valuable segment is missing from the numbers. What to do about it?

To Be Continued…

RSS Advertising Part III – Solutions to this Mess

If a Tree Falls in a Forest…

…and they don’t see your ad. Did it impact your brand?

Back at it in SF.

Which tool is being used for ad effectiveness research can help answer the age-old, “If a Tree Falls in a Forest” riddle that relates to ad effectiveness in online media. Such online research has come along way since studying it with Professor Stasch back at Loyola’s GSB.

A question from Cindy on the WAA forum that struck close to home:

“Can anyone suggest a product that is similar to Dynamic Logic. Dynamic
Logic is a good product, but there may be certain campaigns or
initiatives that would be better served by a similar vendor.
Any ideas are welcome.”

At GSF, we found that recruitment for media research is an ongoing challenge spanning study design, questionnaire development, funding, media partner alignment, statstical significance, recruitment technicalities and results preparation.

Especially thorny is achieving statistical significance when recruiting a target audience that is the least amenable to being surveyed. However, clients need this information often for internal financial modeling as well as the marketing value. Some findings:

  • After three quarters of Dynamic Logic (a Millward-Brown and therefore WPP company like GSF) and a pure-intercept basis; InsightExpress offers a similar approach; it was decided that we pass on more of the same.
  • ComScore offers a combined panel-based and intercept service leveraging similar control vs. exposure methods (BrandMetrix & CampaignMetrix). Sounds very promising.
  • Nielsen offers a solution in this vein also but has a somewhat smaller (but growing) panel; they did offer an interesting post-exposure email option that was novel.

ComScore shows alot of potential for a number of reasons: one interesting by-product of the panel-based approach is the potential to understand the context of what users were doing before and after being exposed to an advertising message – in addition to clickers. For example, what is the likelihood of a trademarked or category search or visiting the target brand’s Web site after being exposed? Turns out quite high.

For some background on what you can do with this (and handy industry benchmarks) be sure to check out their “Whither the Click” white paper from last December.

Good luck Cindy!