But because advertisers are switching to audience-based buying – as opposed to buying based on program and day part – they are demanding richer data sets and audience attributes. Datalogix, founded in 2002 as NextAction and recapped in 2009 under its current name, helps advertisers attribute online ads to offline sales. One way in which it does this is partnering with dozens of retail and loyalty partners for offline purchase measurement, then hashing anonymously that information to online audience behaviors.
Nielsen may be looking to “get into the online/offline data and attribution business in a big way,” as one source noted, adding, “M&A would be the fastest and most certain path for them to get there.”
Nielsen’s global president Steve Hasker has also publicly expressed the company’s interest in investing in additional data sets “as advertisers are simultaneously blending customer segments and first-party data sets with data sets from Nielsen and others via their data-management platforms.”
Nielsen partnered with Datalogix in 2009 when the two jointly launched an ad-targeting platform dubbed the Datalogix Affiniti Data Platform combining Nielsen PRIZM lifestyle and demographic segments with offline behaviors and attributes.
According to one source, Nielsen’s offline data interests make sense, “but I would think they’d buy somebody like Polk,” the source said. “Datalogix doesn’t actually own its own supply chain, but somebody like a Polk has actual data from all the DMVs all over the country and they’d end up licensing that data anyway.”
Another potential caveat? Price. “It may be hard for them to pay the kind of premium that they would need in order to get a company like that,” noted one source.