Shopper Data Juggernaut Nielsen Catalina Migrates To Mobile

NCSAs it nears its fifth birthday, Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS), a joint venture between Nielsen and Catalina, is making moves to marry shopper marketing data with mobile ads to determine the sales impact.

“Mobile is a huge area for us and we expect it to be 50% plus of digital media buys in the future, so that’s central in our plans,” said CEO Mike Nazzaro.

While the term “shopper marketing” historically referred to in-store activities and consumer influence at the point of sale, the lines have blurred as more consumers shop online or on mobile.

A 10-year Procter & Gamble brand manager, Nazzaro was CEO of marketing intelligence firm Intelliseek at the time of its sale to Nielsen in 2006. He ran Nielsen’s North American Consumer Panel services business for three years before helping get NCS off the ground in 2009.

“Our proposition was, once you have single-source data and you know what media people are exposed to and what they buy, you can use that to inform advertising buys,” he said, referring to a concept Nielsen, Facebook and Oracle/Datalogix are all collectively pushing.

Nazzaro and VP of Marketing Adam Paulisick spoke with AdExchanger. An edited interview is as follows.

AdExchanger: What are Nielsen Catalina’s assets?

MIKE NAZZARO: We largely serve consumer goods companies and the media companies that serve them. We have a 70 million household shopper data set that we get off of the point of sale, and are collecting data in very real time that we’re marrying with a variety of media data. We have 1.5 million universal product codes, representing over 120,000 brands in over 350 categories.  

In the case of television, in addition to our Nielsen TV assets, we have relationships in place with a handful of set-top box players, and can match that data with shopper data. We also have a 100 million-ish cookie pool we match with shopper data to inform digital advertising and we have direct matches/direct relationships in place with a handful of publishers.

How are you working with agencies?

MN: We have a pretty significant critical mass of the CPG ad industry using our tool for television. One of the challenges is you want to make sure your data works seamlessly within the ecosystem, which is something you get coming from digital. Introducing yet another software tool that sits on the side creates additional workflow challenges for agencies, and one of the deals we instated was with Starcom MediaVest about six months ago, which had a back-end technical integration where our data feeds seamlessly into their TARDIIS planning system.

What kinds of insights or data can you draw on?

MN: We built a software tool [where] you can get very granular around [something like] heavy-laundry households, and use a combo of a demo-based target or a purchase-based target. We can incorporate psychographic targeting if the client wants to import custom segments, and we essentially score every program on how it over or underdelivers on that target. We produce an index that says, “Does this program over- or underdeliver on the [parameters] you selected?” to make better, smarter media allocation decisions.

How many campaigns have you facilitated?

MN: Any given year, we’re doing more than 1,000 [CPG case] studies, which is why we can offer norms and benchmarks to every one of these advertisers and categories. We’re moving to a world where the advertiser has strong views on what data they want to use, what vendors they want to use and so on. Companies will be enabled to work with more than one vendor as long as the ecosystem remains open.

Can you perform media executions?

ADAM PAULISICK: You could consider us a consumer packaged-goods DMP. We view buying as a subset of planning, so we are definitely a planning tool with flexibility to push/import that data wherever somebody needs it. We are happy to work with most advertisers around all their databases, assuming they have the permissions to do so. …We’re enhancing their CRM or data platforms with perspective on something else the consumer might be buying or how close to the category limit they are. So a big brand manager question is, “If this person is spending $30 a year on detergent, are they actually spending $9 somewhere else?” The other side is, reach that same consumer through a mobile channel or radio buy or digital buy and that’s really where we get most excited.

Do you see Walmart Exchange as competitive to Nielsen Catalina?

MN: I won’t claim expertise on the Walmart Exchange, but I think a lot of the focus there is about how you market at Walmart. There certainly is some overlap, but if you go back to my P&G days, there are two different large budgets that each have ad dollars. One is the national advertiser budgets and the others are deployed to the sales teams for coops – the local shopper dollars. So the Target team will spend on activities that direct people to the Target, and it may involve co-branded advertising with Walmart. I think the Walmart Exchange is clearly playing there. We’re solely playing on the national level. We want to invest in cross-media decisions, cross-platform decisions and where is that incremental dollar best spent?

Is it accurate say your data set is more diversified?

AP: For every major retailer, the No. 1 priority is to drive sales within their own footprint. We don’t really feel we’re in a position to comment on Walmart, but when you have a retailer that extends their data into any type of a public or sharing environment, the goal still remains drive sales at the retailer.

When we did the deal to cover 10,000-plus stores, to be connected to [their] point-of-sales systems, we knew it was because all retailers need to be covered from the point of view from the advertiser. We’re working with a base of 70 million households, so all of those grocery and drugstore retailers get appended and mixed together. We have additional access to Nielsen data sets that include things like Walmart, Target and Sam’s Club, which enhance that target.

How are you working with other data marketers and onboarders to tighten the link between media exposure and sales?

AP: We are in the process of being able to do cross-device and cross-media campaigns, and the majority of the measurement in the newest chapter of NCS is in-app inventory. LiveRamp is making sure we can see all devices – anything served digitally to a computer screen, a laptop, tablet or phone – and bringing that back to a household level.

[We work with] Experian, which talks to LiveRamp. And in the US, there’s a ZIP code plus a six-digit number that references every household. Experian lines that entire US household table up to LiveRamp’s total US household table and that’s how we get a joint but anonymous ID to understand the exposure of media and tie it back in a closed loop to purchase information.

How does that manifest in an execution?

AP: In mobile, you [can compare things like] creative one vs. creative two, or app A vs. app B. With Verve, iAd and 4Info now serving media within one mile vs. five miles in a geofence, it’s much more accurate. And the same metrics we discussed apply no matter what the execution element is. We can tell incremental sales, how many people bought, how big was their basket and how many times they went to the store and ultimately what that led to from a sales perspective.

 

 

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