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IAB Europe Digital Advertising Effectiveness Measurement Framework

For decades, marketers have used traditional channels such as print, radio, TV and outdoor to reach consumers. It’s an accepted fact that digital channels have disrupted this approach and whilst marketing has become infinitely more measurable, the question of what to measure has become increasingly complex. Furthermore, the rapid pace of change has given rise to myriad interpretations and explanations of similar concepts which in turn has resulted in hugely fragmented language in the industry. Feedback on this from IAB Europe members and partners – including advertisers – is clear; there is confusion and frustration and this only serves to limit transparency and trust.

Working toward a common language would help both those on the buy and sell side of our industry to bring more clarity and comprehension to the measurement ecosystem and with that, trust, transparency and ultimately investment will increase. In order to address this, IAB Europe – working alongside many of the industry’s most influential measurement providers – has created the Digital Advertising Effectiveness Measurement Framework, providing a set of harmonised definitions, measures and metrics, simplified in to three key areas of digital advertising effectiveness measurement; Media, Brand and Sales Effectiveness.

Framework overview and Q&A – You can access a PDF of the framework here.  This includes an overview and background to the creation of the framework with details on the definitions and a Q&A.

Interactive Map – Explore the Measurement Providers – Additionally the Framework provides an interactive map of many of the measurement providers operating in these areas in order to enhance industry understanding of the research methodologies and products available. The interactive map includes a profile for each supplier detailing their use cases, relevant products and contact information.

The following definitions describe the objective of media, brand and sales effectiveness research or digital advertising campaigns. 

The measurement of audiences reached by marketing communications and the understanding of how efficiently this is achieved. At its core it is the understanding whether valid impressions were served to humans and to what extent those impressions were viewable.  The measurement of how marketing communications create mental structures (associations, consumer perceptions of brand meaningfulness and uniqueness, etc.) that will pre-dispose potential customers to choose one brand over another (brand building) and how they impact brand recall that may influence choice of products for consumers already in the market (share of mind).  The measurement of how marketing communications affect or influence consumer behaviour in relation to purchasing.

There are two types of sales effects of marketing communications:

1. Long-term effects on brand business growth: impact on sales, profit, market share, penetration, loyalty and price sensitivity

2. Short-term activation effects on shoppers: transactional or intermediate direct responses and conversions (like sign-ups, leads, immediate sales online and offline) 


The key measures outline the most important business questions addressed by each measure. The importance and relevance of each of these will vary by category/ sector, or even on a campaign by campaign basis, depending on the objective set.

Was the marketing communication delivered to a human?  Was brand awareness positively impacted? What is the effective budget spend level and channel mix?  Which messages, publishers, etc. maximise shopper impact?
How many times (over a defined period) was that human exposed?  What was the ad recall rate (aided and unaided)? What communication messages resonate with different target audiences?  Which campaign elements, should I adjust mid-flight to drive incremental sales? 
What was the volume of media delivered (expressed either as impressions or ratings)? Was brand equity positively impacted? What is the right spend level per channel, tactic, target audience?  How is my brand penetration being affected by my campaign? 
Was the marketing communications viewable? Has brand differentiation been achieved?
How did the reach level overlap and/or add incremental reach to other media types? Was purchase intent positively impacted?
Was the marketing communications Brand safe and fraud free? Has brand favourability been achieved?
Was brand trust positively impacted?



Impressions (viewable, fraud-less, brand safe) Unaided brand awareness Sales penetration Uplift in sales conversions and leads attributable to communications activity (MTA)
Target reach and frequency (de-duped across devices if relevant) Aided brand awareness Customer-lifetime value Incrementality / sales/penetration lift
Size of demographic audience group Ad awareness Return on profit Return on advertising spend (ROAS)
Brand favourability
Message association
Purchase intent (brand consideration)
Image attributes
Brand equity


Our interactive map of many of the measurement suppliers that operate in these areas of effectiveness measurement can be accessed here. The interactive map includes a profile for each supplier detailing their use cases, relevant products and how to get in contact.

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