Measurement and definitions are inseparable

Date of publication: June 15, 2016


We cannot measure properly, if we don’t know what we want to measure. It sounds so simple and it looks boring to pay attention to the issue of definitions in media and market research. But we run into useless discussions if we do not understand exactly what we want to measure, what reason we are measuring it and that we all agree on the definitions we are using. Over the last 10 years we have seen that innovations in media require the use of new concepts, and the innovators have the tendency to avoid the old silo words for their new babies. So new forms of usage of television screens are often not called television, but are called streaming or OTT. And even if we watch old television on a tablet we have the tendency to use the new definition. “If we restrict the name television to old television, than any new form of television is not television any more”. This presentation is about sharing these misunderstandings in our professional discussions and to try to form a common understanding, about new and old, and where old silos are meeting each other and are causing measurement problems. We need new definitions, but that is not enough. Sometimes we cannot measure what we want to, sometimes we technically measure things we do not want to measure. That all has to do with definitions!

Leendert van Meerem


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