Nielsen Builds Media Planning Tool For Agency Data Platforms

Nielsen Audience Planner
Media buying has gone far beyond age and gender – with agencies betting on their first-party data platforms as the new secret sauce to guide planning and activation.

But the tools to plan campaigns using advanced segments across mediums like TV, digital and radio often involve slow, manual matching and lots of grunt work.

To solve for these issues, Nielsen built Audience Planner, which helps buyers take an advanced segment – like “in-market auto” – and find out what networks and programs work for that audience. They can also get a snapshot of the reach curve for that audience and see the “top 20” most interesting things about that audience, like how it skews in terms of age, income level and gender.

“Onboarding first-party segments has always been something we have been able to do,  but it’s very manual and laborious,” said Jay Nielsen, SVP of product and global media planning. Nielsen added in automation and built a UI around the planning, making it much more turnkey for buyers.

Audience Planner is designed to help agency holding companies use the first-party data platforms they’ve acquired in recent years, like Acxiom and Epsilon.

“As agency holding companies have invested a ton in first-party data stacks, we’ve tried to figure out how to onboard those first-party audience in a quicker, more effective way,” Nielsen said.

Audience Planner is also designed to be interoperable with other systems. So once a campaign has been planned with the tool, it can be pushed to third-party buying platforms like OpenAP or Clypd.

Audience Planner was first envisioned in the middle of last year and entered a testing phase two months ago, in the midst of the pandemic. Ideally, it can be used this year to inform upfront buying decisions.

In the past, Nielsen would wait to release products until they “were a completely baked cake,” Nielsen said. This time around, the goal was to get a product to market that would start to make a difference for buyers and then add “small slices of value” from there.

The faster pace is reflective of the approach CEO David Kenney advocated since taking on the top role at the end of 2018. “In the old Nielsen, getting a decision made was hard,” he told AdExchanger in January. “I’m still very focused on picking up our velocity. We have to run faster than our clients.”

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