TV, Meet the Web. Google Analytics Starts Measuring TV Ads

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Google’s experiment with selling and measuring TV ads on the Dish satellite network just got a lot more interesting. A month ago, Google incorporated the ability to buy TV ads into AdWords. Now, it is taking all of that ad impression data and layering it on top of Google Analytics (click on the screen shot above for a larger image). This is very basic and imperfect, but it hints at the future of how advertising will be measured: all in the same place.

Within Google Analytics, which many companies already use as a dashboard to measure their Website traffic and the effectiveness their online Google ad campaigns, it is now possible to also measure the effectiveness of your Google TV ads. It shows you how many times your ad was seen on TV, and overlays that on top of a graph showing how many people visited your Website.

While the two are not always directly correlated, if the point of the TV ads is to drive Website traffic, at least advertisers can now eyeball whether any corresponding spikes occur after they run their TV ads. Google Analytics also displays the cost of the ads, how many times each one played, and calculates a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) so that advertisers can roughly compare the return they get from TV ads versus Web ads.

Google can only place TV ads on Dish boxes at this point, so its reach is limited. But within that sandbox, Google is showing the way that advertising ought to be measured.

Now, imagine seeing radio, print, and other forms of advertising as well side by side with Web and TV and you get a sense of where Google wants to go with all of this. If advertisers can truly get to the point where they can measure all of their ad campaigns across all media in one place, then they will shift those advertising dollars to the most efficient place. And that may not be the Web in all cases. But if Google can place ads anywhere and collect better data on their relative effectiveness than anyone else, it really won’t care.

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