One of the frustrations that marketers often have when allocating their advertising budgets is that the ratings for different media tend to be in siloes. They might know the audience of your television commercial, online banner and magazine ad separately but not the combined audience. Cross-media measurement has been talked about for years but the actual solutions have been somewhat patchy.
Now Nielsen is bringing out a tool that will measure the reach and effectiveness of a campaign that runs both online and on TV. The Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings aims to provide online data equivalent to Nielsen’s existing television ratings. As well as measuring reach, Nielsen plans to combine the ratings with cross-platform advertising effectiveness metrics to provide a complete view. Facebook is one of the early partners as Nielsen tests the system and has written about it on the Facebook Marketing Solutions blog. “Want to know how advertising on Facebook stacks up against advertising on television?”, the post asks.
Steve Hasker, president of media products at Nielsen, said: “This new system will provide marketers with a better understanding of their ROI [return on investment], and will give media companies a much needed tool to prove the value of their audiences. Perhaps most importantly, marketers and media companies alike will now have a simpler way to measure the combined reach of TV, the web and even mobile advertising.”
The way it works is that, at the invitation of a client advertiser or website, Nielsen will request a pixel when a particular display or video advertisement is displayed in a browser. The pixels do not pass any information about the identity of the user, the website on which the ads appear, the sites the user visits, or the identity of the advertiser. The contributors will provide aggregate-level reports containing reach and frequency information in anonymous age and gender buckets only. Nielsen will then combine these reports with data from its TV and online panels, resulting in a single report showing reach, frequency and gross ratings points (GRPs) for the advertisement. A second process will run in parallel to match the IP address of the pixel to one of the 210 Nielsen Designated Market Areas.
The ratings tool will be tested in the fourth quarter of this year with advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Verizon Wireless, and major media agencies such as Starcom MediaVest, as well as Facebook. Nielsen intends to submit this new system to the Media Ratings Council (MRC) for accreditation and expects it to be commercially available by 2011. It’s launching first in the US but intends to extend it to key markets around the world.