Tools and measurement

Media exposure measurement

The media landscape has evolved greatly and advertisers have an incredible range of touchpoints and platforms at their disposal. Below are the key media metrics and how they are measured.

Offline touchpoints are based on standards. Major media players find a consensus on what determines the value of their inventory (the currency), measure that consensus in a consistent and qualitative way through a reliable partner like the Centre for Information on the Media (CIM, a non-profit organisation for the measurement of media in Belgium) and all sell their space in roughly the same way.

When it comes to digital touchpoints, things are different. There is no definition of what is sold and there is no uniform measurement. A computer (ad server) determines when and which ad is delivered to which device. Everything can be measured on that individual device. To make a difference, each provider collects as much data as possible from its offering and markets it to reach specific audiences.

In essence, the frequency of exposure can be controlled precisely, and acquisition is often automated (programmatic), while evaluation is done through activation KPIs such as conversion or acquisition (how many people clicked on my ad, which actions were taken on my platforms).

Online platforms are facing several challenges:

Digital fraud: computers provide conversion and contacts, which enables online scams (+/- 3% worldwide in '22 according to WFA).

Lack of quality control: 21% of all impressions are delivered on 'made for advertising' sites created to generate clicks with low-quality content (source: the American Advertisers Association or ANA).

No frequency control: it is becoming impossible to track real people throughout their digital consumption process because cookies disappear, making frequency control practically impossible.

No standardised measurement systems: all providers, such as GAFA, DPG Media, Ads & Data and others all measure in their own way, with their own data. Making standardisation impossible.

With two brand new initiatives, CIM aims to respond to prevailing challenges by bridging the gap between the two ecosystems:


A large-scale integrated survey will measure audio, video and publishing with the same media consumer in a digital way. This survey will also integrate print, cinema and OOH.


A large virtual population database will represent every Belgian and be fed with the research from the previous point and all the data provided by local players.

With these initiatives, CIM aims to:

Unify definitions of measurement and bring transparency to processes through standardisation, validation and certification of what is delivered in digital campaigns.

Provide an overview of a campaign in terms of reach and frequency by mixing current studies with digital data. Primarily for video and to evaluate a campaign.

Bring together relevant and accurate first-party data by initiating closer cooperation between media, advertisers and agencies with a view to unlocking that data in a practical, cost-efficient way.

Build a database of Belgian media consumers that can be used by all partners to onboard, map and connect data, anonymously and with respect for privacy.