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What does Nielsen's DAR mean for Indian digital ecosystem?

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What does Nielsen's DAR mean for Indian digital ecosystem?

Nielsen India announced the launch of a digital advertising measurement solution earlier this week. The Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) will provide a method of measuring online advertising audiences, delivering reach, frequency and gross rating point (GRP) metrics along with demographics like age and gender, says the company. The product is already available in 17 countries and Nielsen has high hopes for the product in India.

Nielsen is also leveraging its partnership with Facebook to gain access to high quality data for better analysis. We asked Dolly Jha, Executive Director, Nielsen India and Marketing Effectiveness Practice Area Lead at Nielsen, how exactly the partnership with Facebook worked. “Nielsen and Facebook have a strategic partnership, on digital measurement solutions – be it advertising or content. On Digital Ad Ratings, we report demographic information from Facebook, with Nielsen correction & calibration factors. We will continue to look for partnerships with big data providers that can help us build and improve on our gold-standard solutions,” she said.

She also said that DAR “is designed to work on all platforms, across web and mobile, for display and video advertising.” However, some reports suggest that it will not work for YouTube and Twitter, though these platforms will be added later.

Vivek Bhargava, MD at iProspect India feels that measurement models fashioned after conventional advertising do not materialize much in the digital world. ““I have a different view towards digital measurement. In the conventional world one extrapolates the audience based on the behavior of 1 out of 10000 audience. Digital allows one to actually measure the behaviour of the entire set of targeted users. Furthermore, attribution, path of the user, web analytics and conversions form a part of the measurement. If this new measurement model introduced covers the aspects mentioned above, it can add value to the advertisers,” he said.

Atleast one other commentator has also pointed out that DAR lacks media planning and post-measurement tools. When we asked Jha whether this was true, she said DAR was designed to help clients with in-flight measurement for advertising. “Our normative databases, built over a period of time, can help clients benchmark performance from other campaigns and thereby creating intelligence. We do offer solutions that help in the planning and post-campaign phases – through our 3R (Reach-Resonance-Reaction) framework,” she claimed.

Tripti Lochan, CEO at VML Qais opines that the most apparent pro of the DAR will be the standardization on metrics, which she called a welcome move. “Right now, the industry and marketers struggle to understand the myriad metrics digital offers, some of which change by platform. Introduction of a GRP for digital means that digital can now speak metrics that marketers familiar with for years, and creates a context which was missing before,” she explained.

However, she also pointed out that digital paid media is only one part of digital marketing so to consider the DAR as an “end all” solution would not “bode well for the industry”.

“There will definitely be an uptake for the service as today there is no other option that exists. Whether there is sustainability will depend on quality of data and ongoing scale,” she added.

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