The Numbers Game: Measuring Audiences in the Data Age

People who fear numbers are said to suffer from numerophobia or arithmophobia. There are even those who fear specific numbers like number 7 (heptaphobics) or number 13 (triskaidekaphobics). Audience measurement is a discipline swimming in numbers and, with the emergence of Big Data to supplement or even replace more traditional survey approaches in many cases, now throws out even more numbers.

The Numbers Game: Measuring Audiences in the Data Age

The author(s)

  • Andrew Green Ipsos Connect, UK
Get in touch

People who fear numbers are said to suffer from numerophobia or arithmophobia. There are even those who fear specific numbers like number 7 (heptaphobics) or number 13 (triskaidekaphobics). Audience measurement is a discipline swimming in numbers and, with the emergence of Big Data to supplement or even replace more traditional survey approaches in many cases, now throws out even more numbers.

Such numbers are used to support media buying decisions, scheduling strategies and sales arguments. This means, of course, that they are often marshalled to back up arguments rather than to generate insights; a sales case must be made by a media owner for every possible client prospect and numbers be found that support that case. Competitors will use the same set of numbers in a different way to propose that, in fact, it is their medium that is most suited to the client.

The emergence of digital media and the data that comes with it have made the job of sifting through these numbers to find ‘the truth’ more challenging than ever and, as a result, has changed the way planners and buyers look at audience measurement.

In this new paper, we explore the current digital advertising and audience measurement landscape, including the challenges faced by the industry and what the future might hold.

The author(s)

  • Andrew Green Ipsos Connect, UK

Media & Brand Communication