Nielsen Partners With Credit-Check Giant Experian’s Marketing Side

Online campaign ratings will parse demos even finer

Ever gotten a credit report on yourself? If so, you probably used data mining company Experian to get the information. Now, the company will be providing specific consumer info to Nielsen for use in the latter's online campaign ratings (OCR), adding more measurements to Nielsen's data, which already includes info from Facebook. The partnership is with Experian's marketing side, Experian Marketing Services (their info is anonymized and uses a different data set from the credit report arm).

"Currently, Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings reports on the basis of age, gender and designated market area," the company said in a statement . "This effort will enable Nielsen to explore extending the solution to report campaign audience by additional demographic and lifestyle segments, such as estimated household income range, family size and education level."

Nielsen is currently locked in competition with analytics agency comScore, whose validated campaign essentials system has plenty of adherents among newer companies. TV networks frequently prefer the reliability that goes with the Nielsen brand, but as more pure digital market players choose VCE, Nielsen is obviously stepping up its game in order to attract a greater market share.

The program is in beta testing this fall, with a full release anticipated in 2014. “We are committed to bringing greater accountability to digital ad measurement, building upon the strong foundation of traditional demos as we respond to the industry’s need for television-like guarantees," said Megan Clarken, evp, global product leader for Nielsen.

Rarely has the industry shown a greater need for third-party measurement. Between questionable traffic from sites that exist mostly on paper and outright fraud, reliable delivery guarantees are essential for a market without rampant inefficiencies. With the price of digital advertising so far below comparable content on television, the industry is trying to demonstrate to clients that its kinks are ironed out, and while companies like Nielsen can't afford to expand their panels much further without charging their clients yet more money, data gatherers like Acxiom and Experian are able to sell on their measurements while sustaining the cost of the panel infrastructure.