UKOM’s objective is to set and oversee the delivery of a credible industry standard for internet audience measurement.

This means quantifying audiences in terms of people, not browsers or machines.

In an era when there’s so much focus on the potential of automated systems and programmatic advertising, there is, in some quarters, an assumption that machine-driven data will go a long way towards meeting advertiser needs.

In many cases, though, this isn’t true.

People matter. Advertising is still about changing people’s perceptions – or driving actions.

It is therefore UKOM’s policy to select a provision partner who can deliver a hybrid approach – harnessing machine-driven analysis but also delivering audience data from a people panel.

This gives us the best of both worlds.

A people panel will never be large enough to derive a picture of all activity in the digital universe – and may be particularly limited when it comes to specialist channels, niche sites and certain environments, typically work-based usage where corporate policy forbids external software installation and firewalls are in place.

A tag-based census network solution makes sure we have this ‘long tail’ covered. When this is allied to a people panel we are able to deliver demography – and it also means that a calibration exercise is possible. Using our panelists as a benchmark, a ‘cookie per person’ ratio can be calculated and then applied to census-only data. This counters the main drawback of machine-only data – over-counting due to people deleting cookies or accessing sites from multiple locations, machines or different browsers.

In summary, advertising is about communicating with people: UKOM places people at the heart of measurement.