I feel similarly about the ads I see online. I remain focused unless I see an ad for something I simply must have. It happens. It may happen more often now that eXelate inked a deal with consumer research firm Nielsen to integrate offline audience data segments into the eXelate's Targeting eXchange. I'm sure others will follow eXelate's lead.
The agreement gives media agencies and advertisers the ability to use Nielsen's household segments -- PRIZM, P$YCLE and ConneXions -- alongside anonymous online data from cookies that represent consumer interest and purchase intent, for the more than 150 million unique U.S. Internet visitors that are part of the eXelate eXchange. The company will combine the information with Nielsen's database, which spans 115 million American households. Advertisers and agencies will have the same frame of reference when buying online impressions that tap into Nielsen data as they do when buying offline media. Mark Zagorski, chief revenue officer at eXelate Media, agreed to provide some additional fodder to the news. Here's what he had to say:
MediaPost: What type of data will Nielsen provide, and how current is the data?
Mark Zagorski: Nielsen will make available PRIZM cluster data that covers 66 distinct demographic segments describing lifestyles, purchase behaviors and media preferences. The clusters are based on Nielsen's data pool compiled from multiple sources. EXelate refreshes the cookie pool daily.
MediaPost: Who owns the offline data provided by Nielsen?
Zagorski: Nielsen owns their data and eXelate merely enables the advertisers, agencies, ad networks and demand-side platforms that participate in our eXchange to access the data in targeting cookies. This empowers our partners to leverage anonymous PRIZM cluster data in their online marketing campaigns. All of the relevant targeting information lives in the consumer cookie. This means we do not store data. The consumer has full control and can opt out of any online activity we may have captured.
MediaPost: How will eXelate integrate that data?
Zagorski: The integration is currently done through our open eXchange platform that allows buyers to use the data multiple ways. For example, they can use their own ad servers with the direct purchase of a specific PRIZM targeting cookie. They can also access the data through one of our demand-side platform partners with technology that plugs into the major media exchanges. They also can access the data through our real-time data protocol. They can access eXelate on the ad call and we return the data, so they can make targeting decisions.
MediaPost: What additional information will the data provide clients using eXelate's technology?
Zagorski: Clients now have access to Nielsen offline data for the first time. This gives them the ability to target consumers online who fit into one of 66 Nielsen-Claritas PRIZM lifestyle clusters, which enable delivering their ad to a relevant audience -- regardless of Web site context. Nielsen has been an expert at compiling offline data for years. Another first is that the addition of the new PRIZM data enables marketers to take advantage of different targeting strategies during multiple levels in the purchase funnel. This ensures messaging, regardless of the goal.
MediaPost: What are the challenges for eXelate customers when integrating the data into ad targeting?
Zagorski: In the past, one of the challenges was creating a common language between our data and the company's internal data. This is one of the main benefits of this partnership. Most marketers have been relying on the data segment parameters defined by Nielsen for more than 30 years. Now they can take those same definitions and use them online. Reach is another main challenge, which we hope to address with a larger data player like Nielsen.
MediaPost: What benefits can eXelate customers gain by integrating the data into ad targeting?
Zagorski: The initial benefit for this type of partnership resides in the ability for online marketers to use targeting data to move up the marketing funnel... As an industry, we have been focused on driving transactions. This has helped promote online and online data use as a venue for direct response marketing, but not much else. The introduction of branded, premium targeting data into the mix allows marketers to begin considering targeting in a way that corresponds with their awareness and brand-building goals, not just their conversion goals.
MediaPost: Does eXelate have a mobile application for this, and if not, when?
Zagorski: No mobile applications at this stage. We are still exploring ways that data can be used in this environment while still maintaining very strict privacy guidelines.
MediaPost: How are you stripping out personally identifiable information (PII) from offline information?
Zagorski: Neither eXelate nor Nielsen is involved in the transfer of PII. Neither company has access to any PII data. We set up a process that doesn't require PII data. Only the PRIZM cluster in its targeting cookie has this information. EXelate, which enables consumers to opt out from targeting at any time, supports groups [like] the NAI, and has been regularly cited as being one of the most transparent companies in how we deal with consumer privacy and data control.