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Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings and the Digital GRP

May 21, 2014

Marketers have long struggled to find a common measurement between television and digital. The Gross Rating Point (GRP) metric has been the primary standard used in television advertising to calculate campaign exposure by taking the percent of the target audience reached multiplied by the exposure frequency. Conversely, digital media has been measured much more fluidly. Digital ad delivery is measured across multiple KPIs such as impressions, clicks, visits, engagement, and conversions/actions taken.

With the introduction of Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings, marketers are presented with a highly accurate method to identify and measure the true audiences exposed to online ad campaigns utilizing a combination of Nielsen panel data with aggregated, anonymous demographic data from online data providers.

This was designed as way of tracking to bridge the gap between digital and traditional media as a “digital GRP.” This method has become more favorable as it provides the ability to measure online ad campaigns of nearly any size, running nearly anywhere.

Now that OCR is available, it is important that digital buyers understand how this metric will impact their buying and measuring of media, specifically understanding the TV way of buying:

  • Recognize that the impressions that matter to a TV buyer are only those that reach the target demographic; anything else is considered a waste.
  • On the digital side, we obtain impressions efficiently, so going beyond the target should often be regarded as additional reach.  Therefore, understanding exactly how impressions purchased for a particular campaign and matched back to the target audience is very important when using OCR.

Publishers and data providers will also need to understand how their inventory/data adhere to the OCR model. Publishers will need to be very specific when categorizing their sites and content categories. Data providers will want to ensure their data is as accurate as possible as well as understand how they index under the OCR model.  For both agencies and publishers, it will be important to ensure the media buy is accurately targeting the proper audience(s).

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