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Our measurement manifesto

Back in 2001, I wrote a dissertation with the snappy title of  “What advertising research methods are used to create the best results for Internet advertising and will this have an effect on the way they are bought?”.

The dissertation wasn’t great, but the conclusion became the problem I wanted to solve when we started On Device. The problem:

To evaluate brand campaigns you need a way to reliably measure and compare advertising's impact on consumer attitudes, whatever the media channel.

To maximise advertising effectiveness, you need accurate Brand Lift measurement. This is harder than it sounds. Here we've broken down our approach into seven essential principles. We call it our Measurement Manifesto and we hope it provides food for thought.

Alistair Hill
Co-Founder and CEO

Brand advertising is an investment.

Even the most cautious of CFOs now accept that brand advertising is an investment, not a cost. Done right, brand advertising creates long term equity that has a positive effect on future sales. Brand econometrics* has shown that a 1% improvement in consideration and awareness drives a 1% increase in future sales and decreases acquisition costs by 1%.

With small movements creating significant commercial value, it’s essential for your business to maximise brand impact - and embrace brand metrics as a leading indicator of future success.

*Nielsen ROI database


Advertising works passively

Advertising deals with emotions. Over time it builds connections, associations and memories to create mental availability for your brand. But, it’s a very noisy world - we’re constantly bombarded by advertising messages and human memory isn’t perfect. We’ve proven that you can’t trust ad recall for brand lift measurement. Our benchmark database shows an average of 2% uplift* in purchase intent from consumers who don’t recall seeing ads.

If you’re not building your control and exposed groups using a passive measurement solution then your data isn’t robust and there’s a high risk that you’re underestimating campaign impact. Passive measurement is essential to get to the truth about campaign effectiveness. 

*On Device Benchmark Database 2022, analysing 20 studies across 10 categories.


Embrace media fragmentation

Gone are the days of buying a spot in X-factor and putting your feet up. Media fragmentation means, to reach the mass-market, plans now require a bewildering level of complexity. As the IPA put it, it’s “increasingly complex to effectively engage with consumers and optimise media spend accordingly.”

Being able to compare apples with apples is vital to being able to understand campaign performance in this fragmented world. Measurement needs to work across and between media, and especially behind Meta and TikTok’s walled gardens. You can’t optimise your media spend if you’re letting media owners mark their own homework. So, you need measurement which is single-source, cross-media, independent and consistent.

*IPA’s Making Sense: The Commercial Media Landscape 2023


Cross-media plans are magic

1+1 = 2.8. Let us explain: Cross-media campaigns are 2.8 times more effective than single media campaigns*. We call it the Magic Multiplier - because the right combination of media can multiply the impact of your advertising just like magic. You might have heard it called cognitive reinforcement  or the orchestra effect, but the crucial point is this beyond a mere exposure effect.

By measuring the role each media plays in campaign effectiveness - both individually and in combination - you can move planning from an art to a science. If you want to maximise the effectiveness of your advertising investment, you need to combine granular cross-media measurement to identify and leverage this media magic.

*delta between control and exposed for prompted awareness, brand consideration and purchase intent. Base: Brand awareness: (Single n=387/Multi n=270 studies); Consideration: (Single n=359/Multi n=242 studies); Intent: (Single n=342/Multi n=236 studies). 


Know faster, grow faster

Most businesses now have brand metrics in their unified measurement framework, but many don’t harness their full power. Two benefits that are often overlooked are granularity and timeliness. Granular campaign data adds extra richness to Marketing Mix Models (MMM). But, in our experience, the real value lies in the timeliness of brand lift measurement.

By meticulously dissecting campaign effectiveness  - examining factors such as the purchase funnel stage, demographics, creative and formats - you can accelerate test-and-learn initiatives. In a rapidly evolving market, brand lift metrics are an invaluable tool for forward-thinking organisations to optimise faster and with confidence.


Respect your respondents

Not enough thought is given to who is answering your brand lift surveys. The hard work you put into measurement can be instantly eroded during the market research stage. When you combine the high-risk of poor-quality survey answers with a constantly-changing signal and consent environment, the need for a trusted first-party panel becomes obvious.

With our consumer app, Curious Cat, we’ve worked hard to build mutual trust with our panel. We deliver a fun, rewarding experience and in return consumers opt-in to a range of measurement technologies. We’ve also implemented photo ID verification and sophisticated anti-fraud measures to protect the community. A trusted first-party panel is a crucial element of effective brand measurement, enabling accurate exposure attribution and ensuring quality research data.


Data is not insight

Data is only powerful if it leads to actions. Technology has made always-on brand measurement fast and affordable. This produces a sea of data, so we’ve enthusiastically embraced automation and AI for data processing, basic analysis and charting. But when it comes to understanding what’s driving advertising effectiveness, there’s no replacement for the human touch and we strongly believe in a managed service approach. From custom balancing for market context to interpreting differences in creative performance, human insight is invaluable.

Research expertise is even more vital when it comes to turning these insights into solid recommendations. To continually enhance effectiveness, you need the right choices to be made to achieve the right balance of outcomes. Data is just the starting point. To succeed you need expert researchers who unlock valuable insights and make informed decisions about what to do next.


Ready to find out more?

Get in touch to learn how our comprehensive Brand Lift measurement system and award-winning insight can remove uncertainty from your media plans.


Some of our success stories

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Pepsi CO & OMD

PepsiCo & OMD commissioned On Device Research to provide a ‘Always on’ solution that provided a view of PepsiCo's performance across 4 beverage brands which would help inform planning and future...

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PayPal & Yahoo

Yahoo commissioned On Device Research to understand the impact of PayPal’s advertising campaign across both digital native and connected TV platforms to better understand how the activity helped shift awareness...

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McDonalds & OMD

McDonalds via OMD commissioned On Device Research to understand the impact of their audio advertising campaign via Audacia. They ultimately wanted to better understand how their campaign helped shift awareness...