Nielsen Seeds Cloud With Marketing Data

Nielsen, looking to make its data more useful and easier to access, is introducing a marketing cloud.

The cloud comes with tools that let marketers plan campaigns, activate them and then analyze the results. One tool would let cloud-users execute programmatic buying.

The announcement comes at a time when Nielsen is being challenged by a new rival, comScore, which moved into the TV market by acquiring Rentrak earlier this year. Both measurement firms are racing to provide cross-platform ratings that will tell clients how many people are watching programming regardless of platform or device.

The firms are also being pushed to provide not just viewing data but information about viewers that goes beyond simple demographics and can help point ad campaigns toward people who buy certain products.

The increased demand for data and managing information is good for business. Analysts say the measurement sector is the fastest growing sector in the marketing and media category.

Nielsen says its marketing cloud is currently being implemented by clients in food and beverage, personal care, pet care, wine and spirits, digital media, out-of-home, broadcast and retail. It helps those clients build and sustain an engagement strategy using both first-party and third-party data.

“Marketers today, there is so much data that they have to try to interpret. It’s a job in itself to turn big data into smart data and we do that very well,” said Megan Clarken, president of product leadership at Nielsen. “If we take the heavy lifting off markers from having to try to weave their way through big data sets then we’re alleviating the pressures of their jobs in an ecosystem that is getting extremely complex and difficult to navigate.”

In addition to Nielsen data, the cloud features what Clarken calls “world-class software,” some of which Nielsen has acquired. Those include media planning software from Pointlogic and a data management platform from eXelate that can execute programmatic campaigns across television, mobile, video and online media platforms.

The data and software are being offered to clients on an a la carte basis, Clarken said. Clients can either export their data into Nielsen’s cloud or important from the cloud into their own systems.

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“This environment allows you to work out exactly who you want to get to, and it will show you exactly where those people are so that you can target that message for your consumers plus prospective consumers in one place and then execute that campaign out of the marketing cloud,” Clarken said.

Although clients will be able to use and analyze a lot of data on their own, Nielsen will still be available to do custom research. And if it gets a lot of similar requests, those can been turned into new features inside the software, “so the service gets more intelligent and able to service the marketers in a way they would expect to see from us,” she said.

While the cloud is aimed at marketers, it should appeal to media-owner clients as well.

“What we do find is that media owners, rightfully so, do want to see what marketers are seeking so they’re speaking the same language,” Clarken said. The cloud will enable them to “see how they’re appearing on media plans and see how they’re stacking up.”

Nielsen says that clients who’ve been early users of the marketing cloud have gotten strong results.

A leading CPG client increased client acquisition ROI by 4.1 times by leveraging first-party and third-party online and offline data to identify and engage lapsed product category buyers.  A top 5 auto original equipment maker was able to decrease the estimated cost per acquisition by 20% with advanced audience modeling that identified potential test-drive prospects.

Nielsen also says a major CPG client found customer prospects that shared key traits with their best customers and experienced a 48% sales lift with improved media allocation and audience segmentation.

“We are very excited about the Nielsen Marketing Cloud. The In-Flight Analytics application gives us a real time view into consumer consideration, intent and purchase metrics,” said Michael Meah, director of digital ad products and sales research, Scripps Networks Interactive. “The tool enables us to better optimize our campaigns while they are running, from media allocation to creative versioning, and helps us close the loop, from exposure to sale, delivering on our advertiser's ultimate goal.”

“We are thrilled to be leveraging Nielsen to apply advanced data and technology strategies to our cinema-advertising network. With their data management platform and analytics capabilities, we are going to advance audience-based cinema-advertising in ways that are really transformative,” said Al Rosabal, COO, National CineMedia. “This will make advertising more relevant to movie-audiences and provide brands with the ability to match their message against the right audience far more accurately than they could before.”

Nielsen is still in the process of loading data into the cloud. Information from Nielsen Catalina is now being integrated, and Nielsen Media Impact for cross-platform media planning will be integrated in the coming months.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.