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Outlook for 2010 Get Ready for the Audience-Centric Web
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Outlook for 2010 Get Ready for the Audience-Centric Web

John Burbank, CEO, Nielsen Online Division

This week, Nielsen announced the creation of a joint venture with the Catalina Marketing Corporation. This venture is a major advancement for marketing ROI as well as a milestone in the evolution of online advertising. The next phase of the Internet— what we call the “audience-centric Web”— will be characterized by three things:

  1. The audience is the center of everything. Small wonder that many brand advertisers only dabble with the Web; we’ve given them metrics—clicks, impressions, page views—but those metrics lack context and value and don’t relate to their customers. In the audience-centric Web, metrics will answer traditional marketing questions: Who saw my ad? Did I affect the way they think about my product? Did they actually buy more?
  2. Online is no longer an island. Sophisticated marketers will be able to advertise across channels, supported by the transparency and efficiency of consistent media metrics. A brand’s measure of online impact will be the same as on TV or mobile or print. Online publishers will be able to compete—on a level playing field—across media.
  3. The richer the consumer data, the richer the business opportunity. Nielsen has helped the largest and most successful marketers and media companies in the world grow their businesses. Their market shares have grown through a richer and deeper understanding of their consumers. Whether it’s reaching men aged 18 to 24, women with incomes of over $150,000, heavy users of Tide or Hispanic teens, the match of consumer need to marketing message starts with the audience. In the audience-centric Web, that richness of insight will now be available to online marketers, just as it has been offline.

Nielsen has been the pursuing this for years: we have invested more than a billion dollars acquiring companies and developing products that help our clients better understand and measure their online audiences. In everything we’ve done, we’ve had an unwavering commitment to data quality and an openness to working with others who bring assets or capabilities we don’t have ourselves.

We’ve been a pioneer in online/offline CPG sales measurement since 2004. We acquired engagement-leader IAG in 2008. We launched a brand effectiveness partnership with Facebook.

Most recently, we announced that Internet meters would be added to our television panel. This is a huge step forward in understanding and measuring Web audiences, as every demographic and geographic group in America is carefully recruited in proportion to the population. Matched with hundreds of thousands of other online panelists, Nielsen will now be able to even more precisely report usage of the Internet, TV and games—and give new insights to advertisers on how these platforms work with one another.

Our joint venture with Catalina will be the most robust effectiveness measurement platform in the industry. It will allow Nielsen clients to match online audiences with a representative base of 50 million shoppers from a cross section of retailers from across the country. Not only will advertisers know where their potential customers like to surf, but also they can measure whether exposure to online advertising turns those consumers into actual buyers.

By anonymously matching Nielsen’s data with Catalina’s, we can be even more granular than ever before in our description of the offline purchase behavior of online audiences.

Now, advertisers will be better able to measure who actually saw their ads, and how effective they’ve been in driving purchases.

And publishers – particularly those who invest in quality content or services – will now be able to deliver confidence to their advertisers that online advertising plays a fundamental role in meeting their overall brand objectives.

More information will be forthcoming throughout 2010 and beyond as this joint venture continues to innovate, and enrich the solutions we offer clients.

Meanwhile, get ready for the audience-centric Web!

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