IMRB International has launched the Web Audience Measurement (WAM) modelled on its other measurement services like TAM for television and RAM for radio.
The WAM system, a joint effort of IMRB International and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), has a panel based approach with a sample size of around 5,000 people. Along with measuring the number of users, the service will be able to profile them by age, sex and demographics, which regions they come from and their usage habits.
Announcing the service, Thomas Puliyel, President, IMRB International, said, “With WAM we can fully realise the potential of the internet as an advertising and marketing medium. We will be able to measure the effectiveness of the medium in terms of reach and frequency, just like any other medium.”
The panel based system has adopted a unique built metering system for its panellists that will allow them to capture internet usage data from multiple machines for the same user. The reporting tool called Web Xpress allows pre and post media planning, duplication analysis and profiling apart from the regular trending tools. The tool is also capable of reporting at day level and at day-part level.
A panel discussion with media experts, titled 'Internet Works!' was held in Mumbai to announce the launch of this service. The discussion, moderated by LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, saw Sam Balsara, Chairperson, Madison World; R Gowthaman, Leader - South Asia, Mindshare; Nitin Mathur, Director - Marketing, Yahoo! India and Puliyel discussing the scope of digital marketing and measurement of the medium.
Balsara is of the opinion that for a medium to be recognised seriously, it must establish its brand building power, and measurement further builds confidence among the advertisers. Referring the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment as the 'big boys of advertising', he observed, “Digital is now ready to take off. For any medium to get into the game, it must get the attention of the big boys, which digital is getting now.”
Taking forward the discussion, Mathur noted that one must move away from media metrics and focus more on brand metrics as this will help brand targeting specific groups of users through their campaigns.
Calling for a need to provide a shift in perspective of looking at the medium, Gowthaman, said, "We must start looking at digital as a marketing medium, and not an advertising medium. We already know of four verticals under digital – search, text, display and social. With the pace of its growth, it is a matter of time before we come across one more vertical. So, we still have a long way to go.”
Through the discussion, Balsara, noted that data is more meaningful when it comes from a recognised body or association, without wasting much time questioning or debating the data. "Any data from a media owner is completely meaningless. I always urge media owners not to waste time on arriving at estimates. Third party data is much more meaningful," he said.
Towards the end of the discussion, Mathur pointed out, "Unlike television and radio, a lot of work needs to be done on monetisation of the web as an advertising vehicle."