Media Matters: IAB's Angelina Eng on Navigating the Future of Measurement

March 14, 2024



As digital advertising evolves and expands into diverse platforms and metrics and privacy becomes a greater concern, the need grows for standardizing media measurement.

We recently sat down with Angelina Eng, IAB's vice president of measurement, addressability and data center and member of the AAM Board of Directors, to get her insights on measurement challenges and solutions. Eng is leading this week’s IAB Measurement Leadership Summit to discuss the current state of measurement in the context of evolving privacy regulations.

Eng discusses measurement challenges and why collaboration, partnerships and increased assurance might provide answers.


The Challenges of Fragmentation

Angelina Eng, IABEng said one of the biggest measurement challenges is fragmentation. Since each advertiser looks at metrics differently and uses different taxonomies and naming conventions, it’s hard to compare metrics across platforms.

“What happens is that a lot of the data sets are inconsistent and difficult to stitch together. This makes it difficult for anyone to do an apples-to-apples comparison.”

She added that while there’s no single set of KPIs the industry is using, viewable impressions are table stakes.

Other important KPIs are reach, frequency and attention metrics, which is something that’s also challenging to define.

"Attention can mean a lot of different things,” Eng said. “There are different approaches to measuring attention from eye tracking to brain wave scans. We’re starting to see several solution partners coming together in the marketplace to combine these solutions."


Collaboration for Compliance Solutions

While there are many discussions about measurement, the most pressing is privacy. This week the IAB released its State of Data 2024 report, which shares how companies need to pivot to comply with state regulations.

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Many organizations are taking a state-by-state approach as they try to figure out how to navigate a world without third-party cookies.”

She said advertisers need to think holistically about the data they’re collecting.

“Companies need to ask themselves who they’re sharing data with, how to activate and whether they have consumer consent,” Eng said. “We also need to consider how we provide consumers with guidance and education around the value of allowing advertisers to leverage some data points and provide ads relevant to consumers, which would in turn allow us to measure performance.”

As areas like privacy complicate advertisers’ businesses, Eng sees one innovation that might help streamline the process.

"One of the things that’s exciting in this space is the use of AI and how it will be used for not only attribution modeling, but reducing some of the redundancies and repetitive work,” Eng said. “AI can help companies generate reports off of raw event-level data quickly and also assist with media mix modeling, omnichannel insights and activation."


The Role of Assurance in Measurement

As the industry navigates measurement’s challenges this year, more transparency and stronger relationships can help move media forward.

Eng believes in the power of groups like the Media Rating Council and AAM to provide greater assurance and transparency into the data used to transact. IAB also launched its Diligence Platform to allow companies to answer questions about their privacy and data practices and to share that information with the industry.

"There is a need for full transparency in terms of what information people are collecting, how they're collecting it, and to be able to validate some of those things."

Building stronger relationships is also paramount for the industry this year.

"I'd like to see buyers develop stronger relationships with publishers, create more sponsorships, align on their editorial calendar, and better understand their consumers,” Eng said. “This will help provide a better user experience and will bring together the buy and sell sides to think about the consumer journey and leverage consumer insights."

And when it comes to measurement?

"Not be so focused on direct response metrics and instead take a more omnichannel, holistic, full-funnel approach."


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