The need to measure impact across platforms and channels

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digital media

A mainstream business daily reported last week that rising investments in digital marketing are expected to reach US$ 300 billion in 2020. On the other hand, a digital media audit firm says that as much of 40% of the investment is based on fake ad traffic and bots. According to www.techterms.com, ‘A bot (short for ‘robot’) is an automated program that runs over the Internet. Some bots run automatically, while others only execute commands when they receive specific input. There are many different types of bots, but some common examples include web crawlers, chat room bots, and malicious bots.’

Bots greatly inflate web traffic even on Google analytics and because they merely open the pages in automation fashion, they also dilute the dwell time on the content. The fake traffic uses content scraping websites and gets bots to click on the ads outside of a user’s view. Typically, digital ads are created that are invisible to the readers and clicked on by bots.

As per the Media Rating Council viewability standard, if 50% of the ad space is viewed by a human for 1 second, an ad impression is considered viewed; if 50% of the ad space is seen by a ‘human’ for 1 second for a static ad, it is chargeable. For a video ad, 50% of the ad space needs to be viewed for 2 seconds to be considered an impression.

There is a need to improve analytics for news media and even B2B media, especially across channels and preferably across both print and online platforms and channels. In this direction, the Published Audience Measurement Company funded by the UK News Media Association, the Professional Publishers Association and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and supported by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, has launched a new measurement tool that looks at audience delivery across all publisher platforms.

The new joint industry currency is claimed to have the capacity and flexibility to measure new types of published content and multiple platforms that can keep pace with digital developments and changing consumer habits. UK news and magazine publishers put their content on various platforms and the new currency measures across all of them. While print on paper remains the single biggest platform in the UK, there is a diversity of channels used by publishers and many want to be available on a variety of platforms. It makes sense for both advertisers and the publishers to be able to measure audiences on several channels as well as the overall impact across channels. This approach can also help agencies buy access to audiences across channels and even several publishers’ brands with a single buy.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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