The arrangement expands P&G's database with IRI from traditional data garnered through samples in food, drug and mass merchandisers to detailed movement data that can be broken down to the store-by-store level.
The InfoScan service covers 11,000 supermarkets and 7,500 drugstores, while IRI's sample data are garnered from less than 3,000 supermarkets and 600 drugstores.
Such data can help facilitate moves such as co-marketing-local retail brand-building campaigns to which P&G is already firmly committed-and micromarketing, using census data to project sales down to a city block.
ROLE OF CENSUS DATA
"Procter & Gamble's interest in census-based tracking and store analysis is further affirmation that census data will become the new industry standard," said Joe Battoe, president of IRI's solutions, product management and marketing divisions.
P&G observers, however, said the move is much more significant for IRI, locked in a competitive battle with Nielsen Marketing Research, than it is for the package-goods giant.
P&G has long employed micromarketing through services such as Spectra Marketing Systems, credited as the pioneer in census data gathering.
ALREADY INTO MICROMARKETING
Burt Flickinger, a consultant with Reach Marketing, said P&G has already been doing a great deal of micromarketing with chains such as Wal-Mart Stores through the use of Spectra data.
"What's happening here is that . . . IRI is closing the gap [with Nielsen] and using P&G as the lead client," Mr. Flickinger said.
But he added that InfoScan will help P&G expand its already strong micromarketing program.
"What it does is allow [P&G] to work . . . on geo-demographic marketing" with retailers that aren't as far ahead as Wal-Mart in this arena, Mr. Flickinger said, including chain drugstores and particularly supermarkets.
"It could have a big potential benefit to Target, K-Mart and Fred Meyer," he said.