NetRatings, ACNielsen Team for CPG Analysis

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NetRatings and ACNielsen will release a market research tool analyzing how Web behavior ties to product consumption, the companies said yesterday.


Homescan Online will combine data from ACNielsen's Homescan consumer-purchasing information with Web user data from Nielsen//NetRatings. More than 12,000 of Homescan's 60,000 panel participants have agreed to let Nielsen//NetRatings track their Internet browsing activity while they record their purchases via a Homescan product scanner.


The service is to launch in January with information from 12,000 consumer packaged goods brands and 1,000 Web sites. In addition to custom reports, Homescan Online clients will receive quarterly updates on Web use and purchasing habits. The companies said the service would give CPGs insight into how to reach potential customers while providing Web sites with information about their visitors' purchase habits.


"The big question marketers have been asking is, 'How do I link online behavior with offline purchasing?' " said Manish Bhatia, Nielsen//NetRatings' senior vice president for products and services.


According to Jupiter Research, CPGs accounted for just 4 percent of online advertising spending versus 16 percent offline. Jupiter attributed the slow uptake to the inability to track online advertising to offline sales.


ACNielsen released a similar product this summer in conjunction with Yahoo. That service, Consumer Direct, combines Homescan data with Web activity on Yahoo, giving CPGs information on how their Yahoo advertising resulted in sales.


CPGs use Homescan to gauge everything from the introduction of a product to what ends up in a shopping basket. Bhatia said Homescan Online could tell a company like Maxwell House where coffee drinkers are online in order to target its marketing better, then help the company gauge its campaigns' effectiveness in getting them to buy the coffee.


ACNielsen is owned by VNU, which also owns 64 percent of NetRatings.


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