WPP media agency network GroupM is starting a global consumer survey tool called Live Panel as part of a larger effort to make better use of its own data.
GroupM units will use the panel, which includes Kantar Media's Lighspeed sample of over five million consumers in 30 markets, to help determine which consumer segments to target with a digital ad buy, or to learn more about the behaviors of people they've already identified as likely to purchase the product. Users can then match that information with IDs from other data sources at GroupM and parent WPP, such as Kantar, to learn more about that consumer type and to track key performance indicators such as purchase intent, awareness or actual sales.
Kantar's existing data sources include BrandZ, TGI, Connected Life and Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
"What we're trying to do is create unique consumer insights, unique consumer segments and the ability to activate those segments and measure the results to increase sales or change attitudes or purchase intent," said Harvey Goldhersz, chief data officer and CEO of analytics for GroupM. "That's the ongoing effort and strategy. We're increasingly bringing tech and data together. This is one further step toward that. It's a significant step."
"We've had ongoing access to the Lightspeed panel," said Mr. Goldhersz. "What's different now is we're also using that to connect across lots of other Kantar sources. We also have a deeper understanding of the consumers within the panel, about [their] media habits, attitudes, preferences and brands and choices. If we want to understand about their retail behavior, we can look at Kantar retail data against those consumers. We can understand change in attitude and brand preference by looking at BrandZ data."
GroupM agencies Mediacom, Mindshare, MEC and Maxus can also run queries about which content is most effective for a group showing purchase intent, for example, and optimize that content accordingly, he said.
Elsewhere in WPP's project to better connect its various data assets, digital CRM giant Wunderman, GroupM and Kantar have teamed up to build proprietary technology enabling each to share data assets, according to people familiar with the project. Mr. Goldhersz declined to discuss the effort in detail, but said there has been quite a bit of collaboartion. "We're building technology to interconnect and enable consumer insights, audience segmentation, media activation and measurement against multiple outcomes to increase sales, attitudinal shift and others," he said.
WPP has long been investing in data and analytics tools and assets. A few years ago, it formed the Data Alliance, a network meant to help agencies lacking much consumer or behavioral data tap into other WPP sources of information, such as sibling agencies, GroupM's trading desk Xaxis and Kantar Media. "In the U.S., we have over 200 million [consumer] profiles, and we have a lot of info about each one of those profiles," said Mr. Goldhersz.
WPP is among the most aggressive of the holding companies investing in data and analytics technology -- the holding company last year reportedly bid on Tesco's coveted customer data unit Dunnhumby -- but it's not alone. Dentsu Aegis' Carat more than a few years ago launched a proprietary global consumer survey tool called CCS and has since grown its global sample size and introduced ways to fuse its own data with third-party media-buying databases.