Wednesday, March 23, 2011

5 reasons why you should stop using comScore Media Metrix and Nielsen @Plan

I am often asked by publishers and media buyers about comScore Media Metrix and Nielsen @Plan audience data. These two have grown to become a semi-standard currency for audience measurement, though consistently I hear feedback from users why they are unhappy with the services. They are both great services and I am sure there are many very happy users out there but never less this provides an interesting view.

As a result, here are five reasons why you should stop using Media Metrix and @Plan as your basis for audience measurement reports.

  1. Typical visitors are not where the real value is. Both these services provide a good overview of web audiences but the focus is around clicks, pageviews and the typical visitor. Typical visitors are BORING and are just that - typical and average. Want real differentiation and value? look deeper into the non-typical visitor and discover your niche. Understanding these takes a bit more effort but are of much higher value.
  2. Forget about your competitors - focus where you have influence. Need reports to compare yourself to your competitors? Too often we get caught up on what the competition is doing though there is little you can do about it. Focus on where you have influence - on your own properties and building your niche and differentiation. Forget about the competition and focus on yourself, you'd be surprised what you can accomplish with the redirected energy.
  3. You need more data. Web properties are dynamic and deep. The syndicated services have a real challenge representing new web subsites, smaller sites and overnight micro-sites. Though it is often these speciality subsets that have the most interesting visitors. General stats are good but if your unit of operation is smaller than the 'general' stat, they are useless.
  4. Innovation. While these services have become a pseudo standard, they have lost their innovative edge. There is very little that is new or interesting and their time has come. People are asking for innovation and new approaches. 
  5. Expensive. These services are expensive. There are many inexpensive (read mostly free) third party validated alternatives out there - these include Quantcast and of course Crowd Science.
By no means comprehensive but hope it stirs some discussion. 

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