What The New IAB/Nielsen Ratings Mean For Marketers: Google’s Chief Marketer

What The New IAB/Nielsen Ratings Mean For Marketers: Google’s Chief Marketer

This past week saw the IAB and Nielsen launch a new ratings system designed to provide a holistic view for advertisers of their digital audiences, Digital Ratings (Monthly). In this guest piece, Google’s Aussie marketer Lucinda Barlow explains why they’re critical for marketers.

Smartphones have changed the way we communicate, make decisions, find things out, and spend our time. These supercomputers in everyone’s hands have changed consumer behaviour forever—and with it, our marketing should change as well.

IAB and Nielsen’s new Digital Ratings (monthly) show that Australians spend more time online on their smartphones (over 28 hours per person per month) than they do on any other device, and over 60 per cent of digital content consumption in Australia now happens on mobile. With access to the web anytime, Australians no longer go online in long sessions on desktops, they live online in short mobile moments.

Some of those mobile moments are routine, like checking the news or messaging a friend. Others are intent-rich moments when people turn to their smartphones to learn something, go somewhere, watch something, or buy something. Consumers have learnt to expect instant gratification from our smartphones. It’s critical for brands to show up and be relevant in these moments of consumer need, because these are the moments in which decisions are made and preferences are shaped. We call these micro-moments, and they’re the battleground for brands today.

Where do people turn in these moments of intent? Everyday billions of searches are performed on Google around the world and YouTube has over a billion users who watch hundreds of millions of hours every day, giving marketers unprecedented insight into the questions on consumers minds in these micro-moments.

How do you pinpoint what consumers need in these micro-moments? We break it down into four categories: I-want-to-know, I want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy. Here’s an example of each:


As marketers, you want to win these intent-rich moments when people turn to Google and YouTube. Here are some principles to follow:

Be there: Anticipate micro-moments your potential customers might have and commit to being there in those moments. If you’re a beauty brand, for example, consider building your YouTube channel with tips on the latest trends and beauty tips. Showing up in popular search results gets brands in the game to be not just be seen, but chosen.

Be useful: Use insight and empathy to ensure you’re serving relevant and real-time content for consumers when they need it. A new surfer may be looking for more than logistical information; she may also need tips on how to prepare and what to bring on her first day. Connect people to the answers they’re looking for.

Be quick: Smartphone users want to know, go, and buy quickly. If someone is looking for your brick-and-mortar store, make it simple to find your location and business hours. If speed thrills, friction kills, so provide a fast and seamless experience.

Connect the dots: Measure the impact of your digital spend not just by final conversions online, but by how all channels move consumers through the path to purchase. Someone could find just what they’re looking for on your website, and then call or visit a physical store to make the final purchase.

With more Australians spending more time online and on their smartphones, there are extraordinary opportunities for brands to really be there and help people, intimately taking part in people’s lives as they’re living them.

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