We’re ready for a return to Reach and Frequency

We’re ready for a return to Reach and Frequency

5 minute read

A proper cross-media measurement solution has been an advertiser demand for years. Matt Green, WFA Director of Global Media Services, explains how WFA is supporting the global rollout.

Article details

  • Author:Matt Green
    Director, Global Media Services, WFA
3 April 2024

Reach and Frequency is important. Perhaps more important than it’s ever been.

Reliably and accurately provided across screens, Reach and Frequency can help advertisers plan and optimise better and can help media owners attract buyers to their inventory.

And as we often hear from advertisers, including Marc Pritchard (Chief Brand Officer, P&G) at the ANA Media Conference last month, R&F can help identify where there are excess exposures. Being able to control this helps us provide a better experience for the consumer.

Arguably, the arrival of digital distracted us from the discipline of ‘classic’ reach and frequency. It’s stating the obvious, but the exclusively panel-based techniques used to measure ad audiences on TV are a stark contrast to the ad-server driven counts on digital.

With advertisers now using an increasing selection of media touchpoints, they need reach and frequency measurements to ensure their campaigns work as a whole, not just within each channel.

How much longer must we wait for a solution that is able to measure such cross-media reach and frequency? Hopefully not long.

The WFA team are huge supporters of ISBA’s Origin Cross-Media Measurement programme in the UK, which is now approaching beta-testing with more than 30 advertisers. And also entering its own testing phase this year is the ANA’s equivalent programme.

These are sea-change programmes, potentially enabling the construction of R&F data which makes sense for both worlds – TV and digital. We believe that these programmes can empower advertisers and agencies with rich data, enabling them to understand where incremental reach is coming from. The ultimate benefit will be both better planning decisions and better marketing.

Critically, both programmes are being powered by the same, advertiser-supported base – the Halo Framework.

We think of it an “Intel Inside” approach: Halo provides the assurance of a stable, high-performing micro-processor chip, while Origin and ANA provide the keyboard, screen and casing, marketing, branding and sales, standards, legal, retail and much more.

The Halo Summit

With the UK advancing towards launch, the many stakeholders involved with the Halo Framework recently converged for the Halo Community Summit in New York. The focus was on celebrating success and identifying (and working around) obstacles in the UK, US and beyond.

You can see the levels of excitement in this video and we came away with at least six clear conclusions:

  1. Advertiser appetite is unshaken!
    Global advertisers want this resource and are excited about its potential. “The possibilities are phenomenal,” as Zee at Nestle says.
  2. ‘Glocal’ approach powered by a Centre Of Excellence is the way forward.
    Halo is needed to own methodology, develop open-source tools and support markets with rollout. The key ‘unlock’ is to “lift and drop” across markets, said Sarah Mansfield at Unilever. “We’ve always known that for accountable UK cross-media measurement to succeed, it will need to be as part of a global solution” agreed Phil Smith at ISBA. Good governance is required to make this happen, of course, and that’s what we’re focused on.
  3. Beta trials will be a seminal moment.
    Early testing in the US and UK have proven the tech to work. Beta trials provide the opportunity to see the data in action, paving the way to commercial launch. The launch of Origin in the UK – the first-ever deployment of the WFA’s Halo Framework – will be a landmark moment that the world watches with acute interest.
  4. The evolution of privacy laws requires us to ‘design for tomorrow’.
    Halo relies on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), enabling “secure data processing and analysis by allowing multiple parties to compute functions over their data without revealing the underlying data itself”. These technologies are necessary to protect the data and future-proof the tech and, according to cyber-law firm specialist DWF, qualify Halo as a possible award-winner for ‘privacy-by-design.’
  5. This is a solution for the whole market and the focus needs to be on making it easier for publishers to join.
    PETs are part of the way that the industry will surface data for measurement purposes. Halo uses a number of these for good reason but they do introduce a challenge around scale… Currently, it is not easy for publishers to integrate with local deployments of Halo. We have plans to make that process easier, but these will require further collaboration across the industry. Organisations wishing to get involved should get in touch.
  6. Interest in Halo from other parts of the world is increasing. Advertiser associations including ACA (Canada), OWM (Germany), UBA (Belgium), Union Des Marques (France), UPA (Italy) and many others have expressed interest in Halo and in taking learnings from Origin.

“I’m thinking about how Nestle can deploy this data among our media modelling capabilities and our optimisation analytics at scale…the possibilities are phenomenal.” - Zee Bhunnoo, Nestlé

“We need global, common components, which can then be lifted and dropped across markets. That’s the key ‘unlock’ for how global and local can work together, to avoid replicating the same thing multiple times on cross-media measurement.” - Sarah Mansfield, VP Global Media, Unilever

The approach we are collectively advocating for here – open-source, non-proprietary and advertiser-centric – is gaining steam. A successful Origin launch will be watched around the world and will power new momentum and interest on cross-media measurement from around the world.

I hope to see you at the 2025 Halo Summit to reveal how far we’ve come. And if you can't wait until then, join us for our next Halo Community Townhall meeting, a bi-monthly virtual meeting that helps Halo community members and professionals from the media and marketing industry stay at the forefront of advancements in cross-media measurement.

Article details

  • Author:Matt Green
    Director, Global Media Services, WFA
3 April 2024

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