Nielsen Rolls Out Multitouch Attribution System Using Krux

NielsenKruxNielsen unveiled a multitouch attribution (MTA) system Wednesday designed to help marketers optimize spend across all channels, from digital to television, using both Nielsen and marketer data.

Nielsen selected Krux as its data-management platform (DMP) partner to house and combine disparate data sources, according to Nielsen global President Steve Hasker.

Krux can combine Nielsen data like consumer media exposure and purchase data on some 70 million consumers through a joint venture with Catalina and credit card data from Nielsen Buyer Insights. It will also combine a marketer’s point-of-sale, CRM and channel data, including paid media, search, social and email.

The solution will be available to all Nielsen customers, although clients don’t have to be Krux customers to use Nielsen’s multitouch attribution since it can onboard data from other DMPs or databases. But they could reap the benefits of historical data if using Krux, Chief Solutions Officer Mike Moreau said.

Nielsen has been piloting the MTA product with select clients over the last 12-24 months, although the product is fairly nascent and not yet widely adopted. It has, however, seen “tremendous demand from advertisers to provide them with multitouch attribution as an optimizer of the total marketing spend,” Hasker said.

Nielsen’s solution may add another independent player to the attribution category, given Google’s acquisition of Adometry and AOL’s purchase of Convertro. While each remains a standalone solution, both have media owners as parents. 

Hasker said that while AOL’s and Google’s respective attribution solutions help show the value of their inventory, the neutrality of their measurements might be met with some skepticism.

“Moving large amounts of money based on captive metrics isn’t bound to happen,” Hasker added.

While the eXelate purchase in March included a DMP, Nielsen selected Krux because of its independent status.

That said, eXelate is a critical component of the MTA solution, providing “hundreds of [third-party] data attributes that can be appended to first-party data resident in Krux, or any first-party DMP,” Moreau said.

Using a DMP to achieve multi-touch attribution raises the value for data management platforms during a time many marketers are still figuring out how to use such tools.

Moreau acknowledged many marketers are still on a learning curve, but others “have very clear data strategies” in their data-management practices that use frequency management, creative sequencing or hypothesis testing to achieve ROIs. “Multitouch attribution is one more data point to inform where you spend media,” he said.

Ultimately, Nielsen’s blend of multitouch attribution and marketing mix modeling underpin its Marketing Cloud, Hasker said.

“You’re starting to see pieces being put in place by Adobe and Oracle to better serve chief marketing officers with data and our objective is to do as much of that as we can, but more importantly to provide quality data behind it,” he said.

Although Nielsen appears to be developing its own quasi-marketing tech stack, if a marketer wishes to use a competitor’s tools, Nielsen claims it will support it. Hasker said the company is trying to remain as open as possible, referencing partnerships with Facebook, Experian and Adobe for Digital Content Ratings.

“When others add to our data sets, we feel it adds to the usefulness and value of our data,” he added. While he declined to comment about Nielsen’s rumored interest in data onboarder Datalogix, which Oracle ultimately swooped in on in December, Hasker said players who integrate disparate sets of data will always be of interest to Nielsen.

Nielsen’s specialty, he added, is being a provider of high-quality panels in which to calibrate and correct those data sets at large, while supplying measurement cross-platform.

“If you look at TV ratings today, we realize they’re the same ones that were defined in 2006, so there’s definitely a catch-up process, but we’re working to redefine those metrics,” Hasker said. “We want to be able to tell marketers – if someone used Facebook, watched five TV networks and did a Google search, what influenced [them] to buy more of a particular product? And that’s an example of where multitouch attribution meets marketing mix modeling.”

Kelly Liyakasa contributed.

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