Nielsen To Acquire Indie Attribution Vendor Visual IQ

Nielsen entered into a definitive agreement on Wednesday to acquire indie attribution company Visual IQ.

Terms of the deal, expected to close in October, were not disclosed.

The 10-year-old Visual IQ should enhance Nielsen’s measurement offering with deeper multitouch attribution.

The goal is to give “advertisers, publishers and agencies a holistic platform that offers the transparency to optimize and improve the return on marketing investments,” according to Matt Krepsik, global head of product leadership for marketing ROI at Nielsen.

“The industry had matured in this space,” Krepsik told AdExchanger. “Attribution has held tremendous promise and, through our own research and development, we have seen that the best algorithms and math cannot close the gap on data quality.”

Visual IQ’s digital attribution offering, when combined with Nielsen’s marketing effectiveness solutions, should strengthen Nielsen’s capabilities in measuring display, online video and paid search by giving it access to new forms of digital and offline data.

While Visual IQ’s platform could link offline conversion data to digital attribution, it couldn’t see into traditional media channels – which is where Nielsen comes in.

By combining Nielsen Total Audience measurement with Visual IQ’s attribution solution, Nielsen will be able to back its panel-based data into deeper marketing effectiveness models factoring in sales and ROI.

Those metrics are increasingly important to Nielsen’s segment of “Buy” clients, many of which are CPG brands which subscribe to multitouch attribution and marketing-mix modeling to improve their bottom line.

Visual IQ also gives Nielsen the ability to “deliver ROI metrics that are refreshed on a daily basis,” rather than the weeks or months marketing mix models typically required, Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns said during Nielsen’s Advertising Week event on Wednesday.

Nielsen’s full-funnel solution now includes audience and media measurement courtesy of its Total Audience product, targeting and execution through the Nielsen Marketing Cloud and now, with Visual IQ, the ability to measure outcomes through its marketing effectiveness solutions.

“Our marketing effectiveness suite is part of our efforts to measure the total audience by identifying how to reach consumers through the Nielsen Marketing Cloud to ultimately uncovering the outcomes via our effectiveness solutions,” Krepsik added.

Visual IQ has reportedly been in play since at least 2014, when it was rumored to have hired a banker to kickstart a courting process with prospective buyers.

Instead, Visual IQ watched on the sidelines as its top two competitors, Adometry and Convertro, were snapped up by Google and AOL, respectively, on the same day.

Neustar and Rakuten followed suit with their acquisitions of MarketShare and DC Storm, and more recently, SAP bought Abakus.

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