ACNIELSEN MARKET DRIVERS WILL GAUGE PROMOS' PUNCH: RESEARCHER, RIVAL TEAM TO OFFER NEW SERVICE

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Two research companies are collaborating on a service to help marketers measure the potency of advertising and sales promotions.

ACNielsen U.S. and IPSOS-ASI in April will roll out Market Drivers, a new marketing mix service that ties together promotion modeling with ad evaluation. Typically, marketing mix services focus on one or the other.

UNDERSTANDING PRODUCTIVITY

"This can help marketers understand sales productivity from dollars invested," said Jim Spaeth, president of the Advertising Research Foundation. "The importance of these techniques is rising."

The fact that two competitors like A.C. Nielsen Corp. and IPSOS-ASI would team up indicates the growing need for such services, Mr. Spaeth said. He noted Information Resources Inc.'s collaboration with Carat International unit Media Marketing Assessment to study the impact of TV advertising on package-goods sales as another example (AA, Oct. 20).

The two companies have been working on the marketing mix service for about a year.

Essentially, Market Drivers marshals Nielsen's store data and IPSOS-ASI's copy testing to measure the effectiveness of sales promotions and ads in pushing products.

DECIDING MEDIA WEIGHT

The service can perform such tasks as identifying strong TV ad markets, analyzing coupon drops and recognizing the effects of discounting. Marketers can then use the information to decide how much weight to put behind promo and ad efforts.

"This provides a modeling capability to maximize the use of spending," said Steve Schmidt, managing director of ACNielsen U.S.

Companies can use the service either in preparing a marketing plan or in measuring the success of an ongoing program. The turnaround time on a project runs 10 to 14 weeks.

The base price for the new service would run about $100,000 per project, a spokesman for ACNielsen U.S. said.

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