As the number of measurement services providers continues to grow exponentially, one of the main points of differentiation is determining who controls the tone of coverage: a human or a machine.
“The biggest difference is that machines take longer to program,” says Katie Paine, CEO of KDPaine & Partners. “Also, the problem with computer coding is that [computers] don’t think like customers; they think like pseudo-humans.”
In the case of the United Service Organizations ’ (USO) measurement initiative, Mark Phillips, USO’s VP of communications, says deciding between human and computer coders was essential.
“Although some organizations currently offer automated coding, we decided to have human readers assess each print article or broadcast story,” he says. “We did this for two reasons. First was the belief that the automated processes are not yet sophisticated enough to accurately differentiate nuances in the coverage. Second, the readers were provided with clear criteria for each of the assessments, and results are rigorously checked for rating consistency across readers and over time.”