Official Principles & Solutions of 3MS

3MS is focused on five areas: defining impressions; establishing audience currency; creating a standard classification of ad units; defining ad performance metrics; and establishing brand attitudinal measures.

The Five-Part Solution has four parts under management of the Media Rating Council and one part, Ad Classification and Taxonomy, under the auspices of the three founding associations: the Interactive Advertising BureauAssociation of National Advertisers, and the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

1. Defining Impressions

  • Establishing the viewable impression for digital ads is the critical foundation of the 3MS framework.
  • Viewable exposures are increasingly the norm across other media and better address the needs of brand marketers, but to date the norm in the online ad industry has been to measure whether an ad has been served by an ad server, not if it is rendered on the screen fully enough and for a long enough time for consumers to see it.
  • MRC developed a standard for Viewable Impression measurement and lifted its Viewable Impression advisory for display ads on March 31, 2014 and the Viewable Impression advisory for video ads on June 30, 2014. The ad industry can now begin using viewable impressions as a digital currency metric.

2. Establishing Audience Currency

  • Brand marketers target specific audiences. They need to understand the quality and number, reach and frequency of exposures. The existing digital currency makes this extremely difficult. Moreover, the practice of selling served ad impressions makes cross-media comparisons extremely difficult, if not impossible.
  • 3MS and MRC are working towards introducing an online Gross Ratings Point metric, providing reach and frequency reporting of viewable impressions. This sets the stage for cross platform comparability and for writing a standard for cross platform GRPs

3. Creating a Standard Classification of Ad Units

  • Unlike traditional media, which have a limited number of inventory types (e.g., 30-sec spot, full-page back cover), digital has a myriad of units. There needs to be a transparent classification system, adhered to by all publishers and agencies. Such a system will enable marketers to identify and spotlight the best offerings for brand building, and for other marketing objectives.
  • 3MS is looking to implement a classification system and taxonomy for banner, rich media, and streaming video ads. This will streamline the supply chain and create a roadmap for measuring the effectiveness of different kinds of ad units and ad unit mixes to achieve specified brand goals.

4. Defining Brand Ad Performance Metrics

  • The industry is awash with digital interaction metrics, not all of which are relevant to brand marketers. Aside from click-throughs, there are few standards that allow reliable comparison across sites.
  • 3MS and the MRC are working to identify, define and standardize the specific metrics most valuable to brand marketers so that marketers can better evaluate online’s contribution to brand building.
  • In February 2014 the IAB published a new definition of ad engagement as ‘A spectrum of consumer advertising activities and experiences—cognitive, emotional, and physical—that will have a positive impact on a Brand’ and identified core metrics for digital and legacy ad engagement across platforms.

5. Establishing Brand Attitudinal Measures

  • Measurement solutions must facilitate cross media platform planning, buying and evaluating of marketing and media. This is a substantial issue that hampers analysis and decision making throughout the ecosystem.
  • 3MS and the MRC are working to recommend ways to make digital media measurement increasingly comparable and integrated with other media so that brand ad effectiveness of cross platform media campaigns can be measured well.