New Partnership Measuring Online Ad Impact on CPG Sales: IRI, Comscore, AOL, [x+1], and Dynamic Logic

A recent spate of press releases (HERE, HERE, and HERE, among others.) announced a partnership that will offer measurement of online advertising’s sales impact for consumer packaged goods companies. What does this mean to online content providers, agencies and ad networks? If there is a credible way of measuring the impact of online advertising on the sales of snacks, beverages, health and beauty aids, OTC pharmaceuticals and household products, this will unlock huge CPG money that has been held back from full adoption of online advertising because of uncertainty about its relative effectiveness compared to channels CPG companies have used for decades. Did I say “huge money”? I meant to say HUGE MONEY.

This will ultimately have a secondary effect that is good for the analytics business – it will raise the bar. CPG companies have long used analytics to plan and measure impact for their media spending, and as a result, they are data and modeling savvy. They will not blindly accept whatever someone pulls from Atlas, DoubleClick, Google Analytics, Omniture or WebTrends. The CPG paradigm is one where the cross-effects and tradeoffs between different media channels are measured and modeled, and nothing gets the big spend unless the numbers support it. This goes way beyond just throwing some tags in some ads and counting impressions, clicks and conversions. This entails starting with capture of how marketing dollars are spent, and then modeling how the spending does or does not move total sales (not just the sales from online). Things are about to get even more interesting.

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