Kicking the legs out from Media Metrix

The lead news story in this issue addresses a controversy in the Internet media community over the validity of Web site audience measurement data being provided by Media Metrix Canada - which issued its first audience report last month after opening...

The lead news story in this issue addresses a controversy in the Internet media community over the validity of Web site audience measurement data being provided by Media Metrix Canada – which issued its first audience report last month after opening shop here in Canada last fall. It seems there are a few major Web sites around that aren’t happy with the fact that Media Metrix isn’t yet measuring Web usage in Canadian workplaces or in French Canada.

Canoe, which has been the most vocal critic of Media Metrix thus far, claims that its own audience tracking systems show it’s getting nearly three times the number of unique visitors to its site than was reported last month by Media Metrix. Adding fuel to Canoe’s public indignation is the fact that its numbers have been audited and verified by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).

For its part, Media Metrix makes no attempt to hide the fact that its measurement data is currently limited to an analysis of the Web-surfing habits of a panel of 2,000 English-speaking consumers who surf the Net in their homes. It is, however, in the process of expanding the size of its panel to 5,000 consumers and adding a workplace component to its reporting process by next summer. In the meantime, Media Metrix is confident that it’s gathering enough relevant data from its existing panel to deliver a partial, but still meaningful, glimpse of Canadian consumer Web usage habits.

In other words, even in its current unfinished state, Media Metrix provides Web advertisers with an independent, across-the-board analysis of the Canadian Internet media industry – which is more than the industry’s had before. Certainly, the ABC methodology is a more comprehensive, and presumably more accurate, way of measuring the visitor activity on a single site. But, because of its highly focused nature, the ABC audit is not suitable for presenting an aggregate view of the Canadian Web scene.

The Media Metrix audience measurement process isn’t perfect now, and probably never will be. But until Nielsen Media Research rolls out its Net/Ratings system later this year, Media Metrix is all the industry’s got. Why not give it a chance to smooth out the bumps in its process?

After all, no one Web site is being singled out for unfair treatment – the same measurement model is being applied to all. If it’s ultimately proven that Nielsen or ABC or some other party has a better system, let that one become the standard. Just don’t kick the legs out from under them before giving them a chance to fully demonstrate their worth.

David Bosworth

Corner Officer Shifts: Martin Fecko leaves Tangerine

Plus, PointsBet Canada and Thinkific name new marketing leaders as Lole gets a new ecommerce VP.
Corner Office

Martin Fecko departs Tangerine 

After roughly two years of serving as Tangerine’s chief marketing officer, Martin Fecko has a new gig. And this time, the financial services vet will apply his marketing leadership to a new sector, having been named CMO of Dentalcorp.

Fecko will lead the dental network’s end-to-end patient journey, support its overall growth, and work to maximize patient experiences across every touchpoint, the company said in a release.

“Martin’s in-depth expertise in engaging and retaining customers through a digitally enabled experience will be valuable in realizing our vision to be Canada’s most trusted healthcare network,” said Dentalcorp president Guy Amini.

Prior to joining Scotiabank’s digital-only banking brand in late-2019, Fecko was country manager for Intuit Canada and spent 10 years at American Express in consumer and digital marketing.

PointsBet Canada nabs former Bell marketer as it pursues expansion

Dave Rivers has joined PointsBet, an online gaming and sports betting operator, as Canadian VP of marketing.

Rivers joins from Bell, where he was most recently director of brand marketing and sponsorship, responsible for driving the company’s national sponsorship strategy and portfolio. He will report to PointsBet Canada chief commercial officer Nic Sulsky.

According to Sulsky, Rivers will “play a key role as we prepare to launch a business that is unique to our roots here in Canada.”

PointsBet has a significant presence in Australia, where it was founded, and in the U.S. In July, it named Scott Vanderwel, a former SVP at Rogers, as CEO of its Canadian subsidiary, one of several hires aimed at establishing the company’s presence locally.

Thinkific names first CMO among other executive appointments

Vancouver’s Thinkific, a platform for creating, marketing and selling online courses, has appointed Henk Campher as its first chief marketing officer as it invests in marketing to support its growth plans. It has also upped Chris McGuire to the role of chief technology officer and moved former CTO and co-founder Matt Payne into the new role of SVP of innovation.

Co-founder and CEO Greg Smith said Campher and McGuire “will play key roles building high-functioning teams around them and optimizing investment as we continue to carve out an increasingly prominent and differentiated position in the global market.”

Campher joins from Hootsuite, where he was VP of corporate marketing. Before that, he was VP of brand and communications at CRM giant Salesforce.

Lolë names new VP of digital omni-commerce as parent company exits bankruptcy protection

The Montreal-based athletic apparel and accessories retailer has appointed Rob French as VP of digital omni-commerce.

French will lead Lolë’s efforts in consumer insights, supply chain-to-consumer models and online customer journeys. In what is a new role for the company, he will also work to grow the company’s retail brand. He arrives with sixteen years experience in ecommerce, having spent the last few years as chief digital commerce officer at sporting goods retailer Decathlon.

In May 2020, Lolë parent Coalision Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, citing several years of losses as a result of a downturn in the retail clothing market, increased competition and excess inventory – problems exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of the filing, Coalision was seeking an investor or purchaser of its assets.

It successfully exited bankruptcy protection last year and is currently rebuilding its executive team, according to a spokesperson.