Picture: (Supplied) Nielsen South Africa, Watch Head, Terry Murphy

JOHANNESBURG - Nielsen's Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) entrenchment in the South African media market, brings about a new era of audience-based advertising metrics where advertisers do not just know 'what' but also 'who', consumers engage with digital advertising across screens and publishers.

The DAR is powered anonymous, aggregated information from the largest third party in the world, demographic database as well as Nielsen's industry-leading calibration sources.

DAR's strength lies in the provision of demographics, unique audience, reach, frequency and also gross rating points (GRPs) for a campaign's total digital audience across computers, tablets and smartphones. This is equivalent to TV, thus enabling media agencies, advertisers and publishers to maximise their advertising reach across digital platforms.

Nielsen South Africa, Watch Head, Terry Murphy said: "DAR provides transparent, actionable audience measurement for digital advertising. Audience measurement has thus far been limited to impressions served or unique audience and demographics from panels which do not necessarily represent the digital landscape." 

"The tool empowers clients to measure campaigns, irrespective of size or where they are placed, from a neutral, independent stand point. DAR also brings standardisation and accountability and helps advertisers and agencies gauge return on investment for every Rand they spend online. In addition, publishers and platforms can also show their performance to clients based on the actual audience they reach, rather than click-throughs," she added. The solution is now available in 29 countries, with South Africa being the first country on the African continent to launch the tool. According to a statement by Nielsen, the biggest strengths of the DAR currency is the fact that it provides an independent measurement service to the industry.

They also said that this leads to greater transparency and this by preventing ad fraud and also allowing better audience targeting. "It also enables tracking of publishers on their performance, in terms of their accuracy in reaching a desired target market, against global norms. These norms are based on industry data, over cumulative campaigns, run over time," the document stated.

Murphy clarified that, "The norms are based on a large number of campaigns measured globally and are a good benchmark to assess one’s campaign. Using the DAR metrics, one can now optimise investment based on performance to achieve the stated targets."

The DAR interface is easy to use and gives users greater access to data and the ability to analyse, assess as well as apply the data in a strategic manner. Clients and agencies also have access to overnight data, which provides transparency via a Live Dashboard. Through users unique login, the web based interface allows them anywhere and anytime access.

"The solution, then provides over-night details of a campaign’s full digital audience across computers, tablets, smartphones and connected devices (Smart TV, PS4, apple TVs, etc) and the ads specifically served on these platforms and gives users the options to view Unique Audience by Age and Gender - not just impressions," Nielsen stated. Murphy said that digital initially went through something of a 'honeymoon phase', which saw a lot of advertisers hopping on to the digital bandwagon.

"The advantage of DAR is that it brings the same rigour and accountability to digital that exists in TV advertising and measurement and thereby creates accountability and comparability for brand marketers, advertising agencies and publishers who have been seeking measurement to better understand the true audience of their digital campaigns across devices," Murphy concluded.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE