How the ANA’s Marketer-Led Initiative Is Progressing | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

How the ANA’s Marketer-Led Initiative Is Progressing

The future of measurement is here: an update on the ANA CMM Initiative


The ANA's Cross Media Measurement (CMM) Initiative has made extensive progress over the past year, entering a pivotal – and exciting – stage. In 2021, the ANA began building the framework to answer a critical marketer knowledge gap. Now, with the foundation and planning complete, the ANA's marketer-led initiative is focused on testing, developing, and optimizing.

The ANA is working in collaboration with the WFA and ISBA to establish a global framework, also known as Halo, which will then be tested and adapted as needed for U.S. market implementation.

To bring the solution to life in the U.S., the ANA is spearheading a coalition consisting of advertisers, the VAB, digital platforms, media companies, the 4A's, and the Media Rating Council (MRC). With this widespread representation, ANA CMM is the only industry-wide initiative focused on true cross-media measurement across TV, digital platforms, and media.

Over the past several months, this industry-wide coalition has been taking "measures" into their own hands. CMM launched two Virtual ID (VID) pilot tests and, after completing an extensive RFI process, issued a Panel Pilot Proposal document in March, the second integral testing series in this project.

VID Pilots

In 2021, ANA CMM launched VID component pilot tests with two vendors – Comscore and VideoAmp. Both tests use real advertising campaign data to test the VID methodology:

  • CMM's Comscore test finalized the first of two phases, focused on assessing how personified TV household data can be combined with digital VIDs to create accurate reach and frequency metrics.
  • VideoAmp' s VID test, which recently concluded, compared cross-screen reach and frequency metrics using variations of VID modeling approaches.

The learnings of both tests will inform subsequent VID testing, including phase two of the Comscore test and other VID tests to be completed later this year.

VideoAmp Results

The results of the ANA's pilot with VideoAmp provided critical learnings about the VID model, and the overall feasibility of the CMM solution. For context, Virtual People IDs (VIDs) are used to assign record-level first-party datasets from platforms and publishers to behavioral and demographic groups that are statistically different from each other.

The intent of the VID model is to facilitate deduplication across media channels for the purpose of reporting unduplicated cross-media reach and frequency for marketer campaigns and media content in a privacy-compliant way. The Virtual ID model was originally established for digital purposes only. Therefore, in addition to testing different flavors of the VID model, a pivotal – and fundamental – element of the VideoAmp pilot was to test the VID model for U.S. television data.

The results of the test proved to be highly encouraging, demonstrating that the VID model can in fact be used for U.S. television data. In addition, the test provided some valuable learnings around limitations of the VID model and implementation parameters that should be considered when developing the CMM solution. These are significant insights that help us to not only test the feasibility of VID, but allows us to simultaneously identify areas for improvement as we continue testing.

Comscore VID Update

In addition to VideoAmp's success, Comscore has made great progress in testing the VID model across different platforms. Comscore completed Phase 1 of their pilot, an initial test that included VID training for digital tagged publishers and the successful personification of MVPD TV audience data at the household level. The VID model can now be applied to the personified TV data from MVPD households.

Looking ahead, Phase 2 of the Comscore pilot is a full end-to-end test that will include TV, digital-tagged publishers, and digital platforms. This is significant as it will use components from the WFA global framework. Once completed, the results of this test will be validated by the MRC.

The Role of Panel in the CMM Solution

The CMM system will use first-party data as the primary source for unduplicated reach and frequency measurement, but will require a panel for purposes of calibration, adjustment of census data, and measurement of exposure to media where census data is unavailable. The panel is a critical aspect of CMM's blueprint as it will enable the creation of training data sets for CMM's Virtual People ID (VID).

The panel in the ANA CMM solution plays a different role than in traditional panel-projection methodologies. ANA is not pursuing a panel for TV ratings services, and it is not aiming to replicate or compete with any existing measurement offerings.

Through an in-depth RFI process, ANA CMM defined the panel's role and identified a set of best-in-class vendors who could meet the criteria. ANA worked with traditional, new, local, and global panel providers and created a shortlist of suitable partners for the next step in the panel testing stage.

This solution employs a new and innovative design, consisting of privacy-compliant system components that will be executed with best-in-class measurement vendors. Through issuing the Panel Pilot Proposal, the ANA has reached a critical milestone toward a scalable Integrated End-to-End Pilot. The ANA is currently meeting with panel vendors to assess and score their capabilities relative to the CMM solution.

Revolutionary Blueprint

With the WFA principles and global blueprint as a starting point, ANA CMM has built a revolutionary blueprint here in the U.S. The solution will use privacy enhancing technology to protect both the consumer and data partner and build a completely new system that can be implemented even with cookie-deprecation and the reduction of deterministic identifiers.

In addition, the ANA has adapted the global blueprint to account for the complexity of the local TV environment. One way the initiative is accounting for this distinction is through the qualitative dimension of impressions. The CMM team has identified and mapped out a detailed list of inputs, metrics, and data cuts to be produced by the system. The system will not focus on impressions on or off, but rather account for the qualitative dimension of impressions through a series of metrics as outlined in the MRC guidelines. It is essential that this solution be equipped to receive distinct content level data.

The Road Ahead

The CMM team is continuing to move forward in the component pilot stage, testing each of the individual components of the blueprint with real data in the U.S., prior to moving into an Integrated End-to-End Pilot. The ANA's approach to cross-media measurement is collaborative and centers on marketers' needs to ensure a system that is executed by a set of best-in-class vendors with suitable expertise in each of the CMM system's components. The ANA's approach to cross-media allows for an ecosystem of unbiased partnerships grounded in expertise and innovation.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Bill Tucker is group EVP at the ANA, where he oversees the data/technology practice, digital supply chain industry initiatives, measurement for marketers practice, and ANA B2B marketer community.