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August 4 , 2009

Microsoft, comScore partnership allows advertisers to measure online campaigns
RF Planner aims to make internet advertising more accountable

On Friday Microsoft and comScore announced that they will partner up to offer brand advertisers a digital media planning technology that will allow them to measure and track the effectiveness of their online campaigns.

The new Reach and Frequency Planner (RF Planner) will use Microsoft’s ad serving data combined with demographic information from comScore’s panel to measure reach, frequency and audience composition at the ad placement level online.

comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni says that the fact that display advertising generally produces low click-through rates is one of the reasons many companies avoid using their media dollars for online display ads. The new RF Planner was developed to make display advertising more effective for brand advertisers and to show them the value of PPC ads.

“By using appropriate metrics, the ability of online display advertising to build brands can be shown to rival or even exceed the effectiveness of traditional media,” he says. “Current online reach and frequency metrics are typically computed at site level. Measuring reach and frequency at the ad placement level is better because it shows the achievable reach of the campaign as well as the true potential frequency and accurate demographics of the audience.”

According to Young-Bean Song, senior director of Microsoft’s Atlas Institute, if the RF Planner functions as planned, it will give advertisers the confidence to invest more money in internet advertising.

“We are attempting to make the internet accountable for brand advertisers just as it is accountable for direct response advertisers,” says Song. “Showing them click through rates of campaigns is not going to convince them why the web is a good place for their media dollars. This partnership will bring more traditional media metrics to the web.”

The RF Planner will forecast various optimized digital media plans for brand marketers based on the target reach, frequency and gross rating points at the ad placement so they can, for example, look at which online impressions make sense for a brand buy.

Microsoft and comScore are launching the RF Planner as a closed beta with a group of brand advertisers. No word yet on when it will be available for all

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