Looks like TV rating whizkids Nielsen will now be stepping into the confusing world of internet marketing in an attempt to restore some order. Or at least, that’s what one hopes. Nielsen is, of course a major player when it comes to TV ratings, and their new product, the imaginatively named Online Campaign Ratings Service, will rate, well, online campaigns to provide data. Nielsen is touting this as a major step forward for online advertising in general. “This new system will provide marketers with a better understanding of their ROI, and will give media companies a much needed tool to prove the value of their audiences,” said Steve Hasker, Nielsen’s President of Media Products. He added “Perhaps most importantly, marketers and media companies alike will now have a simpler way to measure the combined reach of TV, the web and even mobile advertising. Reach alone doesn’t tell the whole story, however, and Nielsen intends to combine the ratings with cross-platform advertising effectiveness metrics to provide a complete view.”
So how does this product work? Well, according to the information we have, it will allow Nielsen to combine data they have in their panels with data from third-party partner websites (like Facebook) to accurately measure the behavior and profile of people clicking on and watching ads. So if you visit a website with an ad that is being tracked by Nielsen while you are logged on to Facebook, your information (like age and gender) will be sent to Nielsen. Although this does raise privacy related questions, something that has been in the news quite prominently in the last few months, the ratings company was quick to assure that the data they receive will be viewable only in an aggregate basis, and not an individual basis.
If you are still wondering, check out the video below to see how exactly the system works. And click here to read the press release about the product. The Nielsen Online Campaign Rating Service will be tested during the fourth quarter of 2010 with multiple leading companies.