This article was published on April 18, 2012

Google launches the Brand Activate Initiative with new products for marketers

Google launches the Brand Activate Initiative with new products for marketers
Jamillah Knowles
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Jamillah Knowles

Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemi Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemimah_knight or drop a line to [email protected]

Google has launched its latest suite of support products for marketers. Brand Activate is an initiative that comprises three new products, Active View, Active GRP and the company’s survey pilot.

The new services address the issues of measuring brand success when the current metrics count click, user interaction rates and conversions. This might be okay for many brands but it is hard to come to any conclusion as to whether a movie is being received favourably and if that changes or whether an online campaign is driving more customers to a shop.

Without clear standards of measurement, it is harder to create actions to improve or change in reaction to that information.

Google is launching Brand Activate at the Ad Age Digital conference today. According to Google it is part of an ongoing effort to re-imagine online measurement for brand marketers.

The search giant is partnering with IAB’s Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) coalition and says:

“We believe that the industry’s significant investment in brand measurement efforts can substantially grow the online advertising pie, for all. We’re working to build truly useful brand metrics into the tools that advertisers already use to manage their campaigns, so they’ll be actionable within seconds, not months.”

Active View

With this service, Google is rolling out we’re rolling out a technology, which will be submitted for Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation, that can count “viewed” impressions (as defined by the IAB’s proposed standard, this is a display ad that is at least 50% viewable on the screen for at least one second).

Called Active View, this will first be available in coming weeks within Google Display Network Reserve. Google says, “We’ll also be making this metric a universal currency, ultimately offering it within DoubleClick for Advertisers, as well as to our publisher partners.”

Active View data will be immediately actionable, so advertisers will be able to pay only for for viewed impressions.

Active GRP

GRP, or a gross rating point, is central to offline media measurement. Google provides a neat example, when a fashion brand wants their TV campaign to reach 2 million women with two ads each, they use GRP to measure that.

According to Google, Active GRP will enable real-time decision making, allowing advertisers to make adjustments to their campaigns at the speed of the Web. Google says, “We’ve kicked off a pilot program for DoubleClick for Advertisers clients as a first step, and will roll it out to other products, with brands able to specify a range of audience GRP segments.”

Active GRP is calculated by a statistical model that combines aggregated panel data and anonymous user data (either inferred or user-provided), and will work in conjunction with Active View to measure viewed impressions.

This approach will please consumers a little more as it has the advantage of never using personally identifiable information, not sharing user data with third parties, and enabling users, through Google’s Ads Preferences Manager, to opt-out.  The company will be submitting its methodology for Media Ratings Council (MRC) accreditation.

Joined up measurements

Google is hoping that marketers will gain a greater insight into brand activities with this new initiative and that it can be made to work with its recently launched survey pilot.

It appears that there will be more activities related to this launch as Google points out on its Agency Blog:

This is just the beginning of the Brand Activate Initiative, with much more to come for brands and publishers. We think that with brand new metrics comes a new brand moment – one that will encourage brands to invest in the web, help publishers show the value of their digital content, and stimulate digital media’s own golden age.

Google appears to have been looking hard at how to best work with marketers and in advertising of late. Today also sees the launch of Affiliate Ads for Blogger too. As Google is a money maker for so many brands on line, there’s no doubt that marketers around the world will be waiting to see how they can best make use of these new services as they are unleashed.

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