New Internet surveys a big step up the documentation ladder

"We will have completely new surveys, with greater use value and considerably more functionality and information than we have had until now. The new Internet surveys are important, both to the media industry and the advertisers we make a living from."

So says Geir Engen, manager of digital media with Norwegian Media Businesses' Association (MBL). Together with Børge Sandengen of IMNA (Interest Organisation for Interactive Marketing) he was at the centre of negotiations with several players for the new four-year contract for Internet surveys in Norway. When the specification of requirements was distributed and the bids came in, TNS Gallup, part of the Kantar Media network, remained the preferred alternative.

"We consciously raised the bar and made ambitious specifications when we prepared the tender document. When the first surveys arrive, I am confident that we will take a big step up what I term the 'documentation ladder," says Engen.

New panel surveys are a significant improvement

101470306Jørn Y. Leipart, Director of Media, and Harald Kittelsen, Head of the Interactive Department have, in cooperation with a broad workgroup at TNS Gallup, been MBL's counterpart in negotiations. They have also been responsible for determining the solution that is to comply with MBL and INMA's ambitious requirements.

"This is a completely new Internet survey with such significant improvements that it can hardly be compared to what we have done previously," said Leipart. "The most important factor is the establishment of Norsk Internettpanel. Through the panel we provide a survey of home, work and school internet usage of the Norwiegan Internet population above the age of 12. In essence, we go from measuring hits from unique browsers to measuring traffic from unique persons. Amongst other things, this means that demographic data on users from now on will be a part of the reported figures."

"Based on a representative selection of respondents, with a 5,000 strong person panel from early 2010, we are capable of calculating the entire surfing volume, including streaming, of the websites that are included in the survey, both PC-based traffic and traffic through mobile terminals. These surveys will form the basis of the industry's new currency."

"We will recruit people from a number of different sources to ensure we have a balanced and representative panel continuously. A stringent validation routine will be introduced so users of the surveys can always be certain that the published results are accurate and reliable."

Websites can now tailor their content

"The combination of the respondent data we have on the panel participants and traffic figures provide a unique point of departure to design more accurate campaigns. At the same time the various websites are provided with better knowledge of their readers and can improve both their technical services and editorial priorities."
"In combination with the establishment of the panels, TNS Gallup will introduce new technology and new tools for customers. "Most importantly, we will start to use Spring Scores," said Kittelsen. This tool allows customers to analyse their own figures from the traffic figures. In addition we will also offer InfoSys for analyses of the panel data, the same tool that is currently used for radio and TV."

"Another tool that TNS Gallup's customers can access is Ateliér Internett," says Harald Kittelsen "They can combine panel data and figures from their own traffic surveys. Finally, we will integrate the official traffic figures with the National Readership Survey (NRS). We do this by calibrating the figures for the websites that are surveyed both in the panel surveys and the NRS. By doing this we facilitate analysis on far more target groups,".

Better figures will lure advertisers back

Geir Engen of the Norwegian Media Businesses' Association has high expectations for the newly enhanced service: "The fact that we will have a currency that provides a more accurate picture of Internet use will increase confidence in digital media. And confidence is a currency in itself. During the past years we have experienced a significant decline in Internet advertising, as is true of most other media types as well. However, I am of the opinion that better quality figures may contribute towards slowing the decline. When we can document effect and value with sound methods, this is important to advertisers who are always looking for maximum return on invested capital."

"One important opportunity related to the traffic surveys that are to be carried out and the new tools we will be given access to, is that smaller players, that are not included in the panels, can retrieve a lot of value from the figures. For MBL it has been important to not only cater for the interests of the large actors in connection with this, but to also safeguard the interests of smaller players. I believe we have succeeding in doing this."

An Industry expects

"When we prepared the tender documents, we consciously raised the bar and listed a number of specific requirements. Even though several providers participated well into the process, in the end it was TNS Gallup that could provide the best surveys. This of course means expectations are high for the figures when they appear, and I believe that the entire industry is looking forward to having a currency with an even higher level of confidence," concludes Geir Engen, Head of Digital Media at the Norwegian Media Businesses' Association.

The Norwegian Internet measurement service deploys measurement technology created by Spring, a company recently acquired by Kantar Media.

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