Online Video GRPs (Internet GRPs)
If GRPs are not used to measure online in concert with other media, then online is quite likely relegated to either (a) an arbitrary budget that pales in comparison to television, or (b) a budget that has that grown in small increments over time by proving its efficacy, but is still small in relative terms.
For big-budget consumers goods advertisers, now is the perfect time for agencies and publishers to speak in terms of iGRPs (Internet GRPs) if they are not already doing so. In the past 18 months, professionally produced long-form video is pervasive enough for even the most skeptical American marketer to realize that they can watch their favorite shows on their laptops. Any marketer who still doesn't realize that is a lost cause anyway.
That simple understanding has been a huge bridge to acceptance of parity between TV and online video, starting with spots that would run during broadcast programming. Of course, we have plenty of reasons why the online spot is much more valuable but we can get into that later.
The next step is then understanding of various forms of online video advertising and assigning a value to each ad type (e.g. in-stream vs. in-banner vs. overay). What is the value of each of those ad types relative to each other? How do you quantify the impact? There are methods to approximate the answers to these questions but in the long run, for any specific marketer, the real answer is that it requires custom research and ongoing analysis in order to stay up-to-date. Online video's impact is going to be different for every audience.
Knowing all this, we bring it back to the framework of GRPs for planning media. Understand the target audience's likelihood to be exposed via online video vs. a television plan. What the XMOS studies of five to eight years ago showed was that audiences are overexposed on television and that exposure through digital media is highly complementary. Therefore, a redistribution of budget to more online (specifically online video after you answer the questions above) ought to provide a much more efficient way to achieve a marketer's reach goals.
Coming back to the comparison of online video ads compared to television ads, several publishers have conducted studies demonstrating the increased value of online video. Hulu, for example, using Nielsen IAG Research, has shown that the same spot is almost twice as effective. Granted, that depends on whether or not you accept Nielsen IAG's methodology (recall surveys served as contests) and the validity of its upper funnel metrics. In the UK, ITV isolated viewers in a lab environment, asking some participants to watch a program on television and others to watch the same program online, and testing recall. Not surprisingly, the online viewers demonstrated higher recall. This test scenario actually favors television in several ways - 1) by forcing a viewer to watch in a lab environment, the study participant is changing from a lean-back mode to a lean-forward mode. In the "wild," Nielsen commercial ratings are not providing census-type measurement of actual households watching. It's a measure of tune-in. There is bound to be a bigger drop-off between "television tune-in to actual watching" than "online tune-in to actual watching." In summary, though, there is a ratio of an online video impression to a television impression. For any given audience, media plan, and marketer that ratio will be different but it is still critica to figure it out.
All this is to say that if online media is to secure a larger portion of media budgets, it still requires a logical and convincing approach to Internet GRPs, answering all the questions that surround them.