Mandel Returns, Former Buyer Turns 'Buyometric' TV Targeter

Jon-MandelJon Mandel, the veteran top media-buying executive and former chief of a Nielsen arm, has taken over as CEO at PrecisionDemand, a Seattle-based firm that looks to apply online and direct-marketing techniques to upgrade TV-buying ROI.

Unlike some emerging measurement systems that examine how ads in a TV program drive purchases, PrecisionDemand moves in reverse -- starting with specific audience targets and mining set-top-box data to find TV shows where the viewers are most likely to respond.

A PrecisionDemand client’s audience targets can involve immense specificity, culled from hundreds of demographic and psychographic segments or “buyometric portraits,” using data from Acxiom. For example, a company selling motorcycle insurance might not target all potential customers, but can drill down to ones that are price-sensitive or have other preferences.

“We can empower the CMO to think and talk like a CFO,” Mandel said. “We can turn advertising from an investment of unknown return into an actual business lever.”

Swift adjustment to creative and ad load based on delivery can result. “You can adjust it up and down,” Mandel said. “It’s like a thermostat.”   

Mandel said his principal aim is to sign up marketers as clients, and perhaps agencies -- but to stick with the “buy side” rather than approach networks.

Mandel also sits on the board of PrecisionDemand, which is backed by venture capital. His new role was first reported by Ad Age. PrecisionDemand’s former CEO Tyson Roberts has moved to chief revenue officer.

Before joining Nielsen in 2006, where he remained as CEO of NielsenConnect until 2009, he spent years at various divisions of Grey Global Group and helped establish the dedicated media agency MediaCom, which he led for years as chairman.

At NielsenConnect, he tried to establish a sturdy single-source measurement service that would tie the impact of TV viewing on customer-purchase behavior.

Multiple companies have been trying to command leadership in the single-source business, which has been helped along by the availability of set-top-box data.

Recently, Mandel has been operating a consulting business with clients ranging from eXelate -- which works in online targeting -- to TiVo to place-based media network IndoorDirect.  

Three executives handling research and analytics at PrecisionDemand helped build the Microsoft AdCenter: CTO Brian Burdick, chief scientist Brendan Kitts and vice president of data architecture John Sobieski. PrecisionDemand’s principal scientist Dr. Al Lee was a Duke professor of particle physics.

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