Thoughts about media in Canada

Online GRPs – is this the way to go?

At the last IAB joint agency/publisher council session; Brent Bernie took us through comScore’s Campaign Essentials which I found impressive. The way it brings together hybrid panel/server data with audience measurement and delivery verification is most certainly a step forward.

However the wholesale adoption of GRPs in their current definition as the audience metric is not something I look forward to. We have a lot of success with behavioural targets and re-targeting based on completely different criteria than the demographic targets used to define GRPS. Why buy adults 25-54 when you can buy “in market for a car”? So instead of fighting against GRPs why don’t we introduce Targeting Rating Points alongside GRPs for behavioural targets? If I am buying a behavioural target it would be immensely helpful in budget development and allocation to know how many “in market for a car” people there were so that I can understand what % I will reach through the buy. From there add frequency and I have my TRPs.

GRPs are coming to online media, make no mistake but let’s not apply them on everything for the sake of trying to line up with a television buying audience. Online media has very powerful targeting options that our clients like and use. We need a TRP method so that we can properly reach those targets.


  1. Shawn Hall

    Hey Chris,
    The original benefit of the GRP in broadcast buying was used for Market Equalization of the delivery of media weight. 100 GRPs in Toronto is equal to 100 GRPs in Calgary in terms of message exposure. Sure the number and frequency of “spots” were different in each market, but the overall brand presence was the same.
    If we dont use the GRP for market equalization in the digital world… then whats the point of using it at all. I see the benefit of an (as close as we can) apples to apples metric with TV… but I agree.. lets look at a TRP or eGRP.
    Digital media commoditization is something that is slow to come, but very badly needed; not only from an agency standpoint, but also from the publisher side. Agency digital media departments cant afford to staff correctly based on current workload. But they also cant neglect due diligence on base weight campaigns. When a TV group of 3 can run $50 million in TV spend… and it takes a group of 15 digital people to do the same amount… something needs to change.
    Not sure a GRP will solve the problem, but a TRP through the exchanges will help commoditize the base buy and free up more time for Digital planners to actually be creative with their executions.

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