Nielsen buys Marketing Analytics

The Nielsen Co. acquired Marketing Analytics in a deal that closed August 8. Marketing Analytics tracks and correlates marketing initiatives and product sales to measure ROI.

Marketing Analytics will rebrand as Nielsen Marketing Analytics, said Dennis Moore, global president of analytic consulting at Nielsen. Ross Link, CEO and founder of Marketing Analytics, will become president of the rebranded firm, said Moore. He will report to John Lewis, president of Nielsen’s North American consumer division, and Susan Dunn, Nielsen’s president of consumer products.

Moore said the acquisition is part of the audience measurement company’s push to emphasize its analytics capabilities in addition to its data collection practices. He said Marketing Analytics’ software capabilities will bolster Nielsen’s offerings.

“When it comes to the methodology of modeling, we have good tools in the analytics space, but I don’t think we had the best tools in the analytics space,” said Moore. “Marketing Analytics has some great simulation software that allows them to take the marketing-mix models and enable the end-user to simulate the forecast and what’s going to be the impact so they can change their marketing plan.”

Nielsen will retain all 52 Marketing Analytics employees, who will continue to work at the company’s Evanston, Ill., headquarters, said Moore.

Nielsen said last month that it signed a deal with Wal-Mart to measure sales at the retailer’s US stores. Moore said there is no direct correlation between the Wal-Mart deal and the Marketing Analytics acquisition, but that the company will help Nielsen analyze Wal-Mart’s sales data. The company will reportedly expand its data and analytics offerings this month when it debuts a ratings system to measure Facebook campaigns.

“Our main tagline these days is we know what people buy and what people watch,” said Moore. “If you think of the intersection of what people buy and what people watch, the intersection of that is this analysis and predictive modeling of how marketing drives sales.”

“Marketing Analytics is about adding capacity so we can do more analytics in this space,” he said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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