eXelate’s Zagorski Discusses Nielsen PRIZM Offline Data Integration, Looks At Impact

eXelate and Nielsen PrizmeXelate announced a new partnership with Nielsen which will enable its PRIZM (and P$YCLE and ConneXions) offline segmentation through eXelate’s online data exchange for digital marketers. Read the release.

eXelate’s CRO Mark Zagorski discussed the impact of offline data in the online world and its integration into eXelate’s data exchange business model.

AdExchanger.com: What makes offline data so powerful online?

MZ: I think the power in offline data is in its ability to translate commonly used targeting attributes to a new medium. As an industry, we have always been trying to force advertisers to use a new lexicon to understand how they would reach a specific audience and in what manner they should define success. Offline data enables marketers to use the same targeting criteria that they have been using for a broadcast buy in an online world — basically allowing us to push online buys “up the funnel” out of DR and into the branding world.

How does using Nielsen’s PRIZM and eXelate work for brand marketers? Can you take us through a scenario?

Brand marketers will have the ability to target consumers online who fit into one of PRIZM’s 66 lifestyle clusters — the same type of characteristics that they have been using to direct their offline buys. For example, let’s say that a marketer was looking to reach a target audience of young families who may be interested to promote the upcoming launch of a new mini-van model. They could target PRIZM cluster 18 (Kids & Cul-de-Sacs) to get a group of potential buyers at the top of the purchasing funnel rather than have to build an audience of prospects based on context and other factors which are fuzzy. If they wanted to move down the funnel to drive transaction, the marketer could look at applying other filters such as in-market auto purchase activity to move past awareness and into lead generation. The solution really helps move online ad targeting out of the purely transactional mode and into the brand building zone.

In terms of personally identifiable information (PII), how do you manage PII when offline data is involved?

Privacy is of utmost importance to both companies, which is why eXelate clearly allows for consumer opt-out from any targeting as well as engage and support groups such as the NAI. Additionally, neither eXelate nor Nielsen have access to any PII data in the process that we have set up in which no individually identifiable information is included in the cookie that is delivered to the user. Only the general PRIZM cluster that they belong to is ever delivered by Nielsen and identified by eXelate in its targeting cookie.

Do you think attribution models are in place that effectively show online campaign’s effect offline – as in in-store? This would appear to be a critical element for using PRIZM segments through eXelate, correct?

I think that there is still work to be done on that front, and the impact of really solid attribution for online branding efforts in the offline transactional world will go far beyond this relationship. I believe a great deal of online advertising’s value has focused on the “click” and “conversion” and its power to create awareness has been grossly under-represented. That however, won’t be the first step in evaluating campaign success in the case of using this type of targeting. What will be an evaluator, will be seeing how leveraging PRIZM data online performance compares to the proxy of contextual targeting (in all of its forms) which has been used to date to reach specific audience groups. If advertisers find that they can take data (which is transportable) and apply to different types of media (that may not fit the classic audience context they were targeting) at a much more efficient rate, we have nailed it. At the end of the day, what I hope relationships like this do is start to get online media a seat at the same table as the offline media when it comes to building brand.

By John Ebbert

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1 Comment

  1. I love PRIZM clusters; but I have to say I’ve had a tough time convincing online clients who don’t come from the direct mail world to use it. I had this issue at Jupiter Media Metrix, when we had ratings data overlaid with PRIZM that nobody ever used it seemed, then when I was at Nielsen/NetRatings it was same story. Cool data, potentially very powerful, but hard for people to wrap their heads around and build into their models unless they already had. Blue Blood Estates is much better though than age+income IMO.

    I hope we and others in our industry on the media/optimization side can change this by working closely with data providers like eXelate and helping to educate clients. It’s going to take some time.