Research firm Information Resources Inc. has introduced a platform for measuring the effectiveness of online advertising against offline sales. The move comes as packaged-goods marketers spend more ad dollars on the Web, but keep a close check on ROI.
The service was created in collaboration with research companies comScore, Dynamic Logic and [x+1], a digital marketing solutions provider. It allows companies in CPG, retail and healthcare to measure the effectiveness of online campaigns among shoppers most likely to buy their products.
ComScore and Dynamic Logic both offer proprietary methods for tracking and improving the effectiveness of online ads. But IRI claims its service is different because the collected data spans the Internet, enabling companies to analyze online consumer behavior and exposure to ads across multiple sites.
For example, a marketer could run a targeted campaign on ESPN.com, Martha Stewart.com and The Food Network, but reap ROI stats across all of these properties, explained [x+1] CEO John Nardone. (His firm’s product, CPG Connect, is the tool that allows IRI to create consumer profiles and make ROI assessments.)
Similar attempts have been made before. In 2003, Yahoo teamed up with Nielsen’s ACNielsen division to launch Consumer Direct. The goal was essentially the same: Analyze the shopping and purchase behaviors of more than 15,000 consumers taken from Nielsen's Homescan panel, and then find out how online advertising stacked up vs. in-store sales. The service attracted advertisers like Unilever, Kraft and Pepsi -- all of which participated in the project’s beta stages. The platform, however, was specific to Yahoo only. (Adweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.)
IRI’s digital media solutions suite is the latest extension of that process. And with packaged-goods marketers investing more money in Internet advertising, the industry has moved beyond “accounting and proof,” and now wants to know the “how’s and why’s” driving the success or failure of online and social media campaigns, said Ken Mallon, Dynamic Logic’s svp of custom solutions, and a former co-developer on the 2003 Yahoo-ACNielsen project.
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