Chartbeat’s Campaign IQ Dashboard Offers A Less Wonky Way To Measure Ads

Real-time analytics service Chartbeat has been banging the drum for the past few months about the need to focus less on clicks and more on attention, when it comes to measuring the success of content and especially ads. Now the company is moving further in that direction with the launch of a new tool called Campaign IQ.

Chartbeat already launched native ad analytics earlier this year, but Alex Carusillo, who leads the company’s ad product team, told me that there’s still a mismatch as publishers promise advertisers that they can get sustained engagement from premium audiences (and charge rates accordingly), then report on those campaigns using “legacy metrics” that don’t reflect any of those new ideas.

As a result, Carusillo said his team would get “frantic phone calls from someone in client services or someone in research” who didn’t have “a coherent story” to tell advertisers. With Campaign IQ, Chartbeat is trying to deliver that story — in other words, it’s moving away from a giant dashboard of numbers and towards specific facts that illustrate how a campaign is performing.

So when a publisher opens the Campaign IQ section of their Chartbeat report, they’ll get a general summary talking about how many people have seen a given ad campaign and how much time they spent reading the content. There’s also a section of “supporting insights” that back up the overall conclusions, a column with additional highlights, and an opportunities section that points out ways that campaigns could be expanded and content could be added. (You can see a sample report in the screenshot at the top of this post.)

It’s all presented in straightforward language, and Carusillo emphasized, “These aren’t mad libs.” In other words, Chartbeat isn’t just creating a template and then dropping in the updated numbers. Instead, there are “thousands and thousands of options”, and the tool selects the data that’s most relevant. (And Carusillo said the data is updated every day.)

The Financial Times has been moving in a related direction, announcing recently that it will be selling ads based on blocks of time. Jon Slade, the FT’s commercial director of digital advertising, told me that it’s important to have this data as he’s convincing advertisers to think in terms of “a new language, a new currency.”

Specifically, his team uses Chartbeat data combined with the FT’s own demographic information to report back to advertisers — so they can say, for example, that a campaign could reach “five years of chief executive time.” He described the Campaign IQ tool as particularly useful since the FT works with “clients across the spectrum of digital advertising,” making it important to find easily understandable data that can be quickly shared with advertisers: “The worst thing we can do is give them spreadsheet after spreadsheet, number after number after number.”

Update: An earlier version of the headline stated that this was product for native ads, which is incorrect. It’s actually for display ads.