Jan 4 2013
Basis Team

Tracking in Digital Place-Based Media


Tracking and measurement is perhaps the most important aspect of advertising.

In the display and mobile advertising world, engagement is the major key performance indicator. However, in the digital place-based world there is no such thing as click through or page views. So what do you do when there isn’t a standard tracking tool?

Recently there have been a lot of conversations about the potential ways to track digital place-based (DP-B) media. For instance, near-field communication (NFC) and facial recognition software get tossed into the mix quite often, but NFC isn’t widely enough accepted to be considered good candidate for an official tracking system and facial recognition gets a book of privacy laws thrown at it every time someone mentions it.

Yet, this segment of digital advertising warrants more than just conversation. Last fall, The Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA) announced that the growth rate for the industry sector was six times that of total measured ad spending, according to data from Miller, Kaplan, Arase and Kantar Media. Digital place-based (DPb) media grew by 11.8% from Jan-June 2012 over the same period last year, while Kantar Media data revealed that total measured media for the same period increased by 1.9%.

But, for the foreseeable future, it looks like it may be a while for DP-B tracking.

In the meantime, seek strong relationships with trusted vendor partners. Make sure your vendors are DPAA members or working under the DPAA standard for audience measurement. And realize that receiving an accurate proof of performance report (read more about best practices for PoP here) for each digital place-based campaign is not the same as accurately quantifying engagement.

Just remember: The reporting and tracking may be different and evolving, but a digital place-based campaign can extend brand awareness and reach. It should be top-of-mind as a great supplement to a display and mobile campaign.

Are you willing to include digital place-based media in a campaign knowing the tracking isn’t there? How would you add it to a campaign to extend reach?