Thriving in the Messy Middle of Ad Measurement

Teodora Scutelnicu, EVP of Analytics at Havas Media network, on the future of ad measurement

In a world filled with evolving digital platforms and continuously shifting consumer behaviors, understanding advertising effectiveness is a huge challenge. Held accountable by their stakeholders for staying ahead of the curve, advertising agencies have to thrive in the “messy middle” between their clients’ first-party data and platforms and a complex landscape of media channels, advertising formats, demand- and buy-side platforms, data silos, clean rooms, and more. Navigating these complexities requires actionable insights and innovative thinking. 

In this Q&A, Teodora Scutelnicu, EVP of Analytics at Havas, shares her perspectives on the state of the industry, the technological advancements shaping its future, and the strategies Havas employs to help their clients keep up with their consumers. 

Watch the webinar: Transparent, Full-Funnel Measurement is Real

Q: How do you feel about the term "messy middle" in relation to the challenges agencies face serving their clients and interoperating across media partners? 

I find the "messy middle" quite intriguing. It's a space that encourages creativity and innovation as you're compelled to figure things out. In advertising measurement, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Each brand has its unique level of maturity concerning data, tools, and technology. What's essential is a clear understanding of what's being measured, why, and how to act on the outcomes. With more fragmentation in the future, we must simplify the conversation and help brands navigate this “what, why, and how.”

Q: What are the key criteria for successfully measuring ad effectiveness in a privacy-first world?

In a world that emphasizes privacy, consent becomes vital. Consumers must know how their data is collected, used, and shared. 

Still, the ability to perform cross-platform marketing is crucial. Despite the landscape being so fragmented, brands still rightfully crave a holistic view across their media investment. Likewise, full-funnel coverage also plays a key role. Today, it's about understanding and acting on how the entire funnel works together – in a customer-centric way.

Q: Can you share insights on Havas’ work with data clean rooms?

It's an exciting time as agencies, including ours, are integrating tech, tools, and data not only with brand clients but also with publisher partners. Today’s game is to figure out the big bets for the future, and it's different for each advertiser. Data clean rooms are a focal point, signaling a shift from traditional cookies. 

We're embracing both deterministic and probabilistic data approaches, powered by federated IDs. It's the future of ad impact measurement, though it's still evolving. Patience is key as we explore this new space.

Q: How do your partnerships with DISQO and other innovators help in better measuring campaign effectiveness?

Our collaboration with DISQO has been instrumental in understanding both attitudinal and behavioral measurement for overall campaign effectiveness. It goes back to that crucial understanding of full-funnel campaign impact I earlier mentioned. 

There's enormous potential in behavioral measurement DISQO enables, especially in the context of full-funnel growth and attribution. We're able to delve into cross-channel optimization strategies and are exploring how attitudes toward a brand impact follow-on digital behaviors. The goal is to understand the customer journey and create a comprehensive, seamless campaign effectiveness measurement strategy.

Q: What does the future look like for omnichannel marketing, and what challenges are you facing?

The future is promising but also complex. Omnichannel marketing is key, and our clients want us to provide a holistic view, measuring success through the same lens across all channels. 

Social media is a vital channel in most clients' media plans, and being able to measure brand and outcomes lift across the various platforms has been a significant advancement. But it's not just about integrating siloed channels like social, podcasts and in-game – it’s also about breaking down the walls with a consistent methodology. Technology advancements, including data clean rooms and shifts from cookies to other identifiers, are all part of this evolving landscape. 

The most challenging aspect is how ad effectiveness plugs into the broader toolkit of measurement, particularly in a world where cross-channel visibility is paramount. Collaboration, innovation, and integration are key to making our industry better and more responsive to the complexities of today's digital environment.

Q: Why did Havas choose DISQO as a partner, and how has this enhanced your measurement strategies?

DISQO has been a valuable partner for Havas, offering both attitudinal and behavioral measurement to understand our clients' campaign effectiveness. This has allowed us to explore and expand on the behavioral piece, which is what sets DISQO apart, especially in understanding the full customer journey and impacting our cross-channel optimization strategies. 

It's more than just campaign effectiveness measurement; it's about incorporating findings into various aspects of our work, from measurement frameworks to creative testing and innovation. We have been able to leverage the findings for in-flight optimization and post-campaign strategic work. The partnership with DISQO has been instrumental in enhancing our capabilities in ad measurement, full-funnel growth, and brand lift studies, making it an exciting and evolving collaboration.

Q: Any final thoughts on the state of ad effectiveness measurement?

The industry is at a fascinating juncture, whether we're talking about new formats like podcasts and gaming or better measurement methodologies for determining brand and outcomes lift. We must all work together to make our brand advertisers happy and ensure they see returns on their advertising investments. It's an exciting time, and we're poised to make our industry better and more responsive to the needs of today's digital landscape. 

Go beyond… 

From the intricate balance of cross-platform marketing to the complexities of full funnel growth, Havas is addressing the pressing need for unified measurement and digital behavioral insights. For more about Teodora’s work on advancing advertising measurement, listen to the on-demand Adweek webinar where she joined Teads’ Neala Brown, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Noelle Huynh, and DISQO’s Stephen Jepson.  

Watch now: Transparent, Full-Funnel Measurement is Real

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