comScore Unveils New Targeting Platform

At the Ad Tech conference in New York City Monday, comScore Networks President and CEO Magid Abraham unveiled a new targeting platform for publishers and ad network providers. Called MindScore, the new product adds data from comScore's Global Network panel to publisher audience segments, giving advertisers information about their shared characteristics.

Abraham said the new product, MindScore, "maximizes advertisers' utilization of a particular publisher's audience." He added: "Based on the content someone reads, you can predict how a user will respond to certain types of ads. MindScore essentially creates the custom model that predicts those responses."

Graham Mudd, a comScore analyst, said after the panel that cross-referencing allows marketers to make connections that might be counterintuitive. "Everyone knows that you can find auto buyers on auto sites," said Mudd. "But maybe you didn't know that auto buyers are also disproportionately more likely to visit personal finance sites."

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To illustrate MindScore, Abraham presented data about acid reflux disease. He said that by studying panel data about Web users with the condition, he was able to determine that online traders were more likely to suffer from it than any other professionals, followed by real estate brokers.

Abraham then cross-referenced the index data with health information he found that links acid reflux disease to stressful lifestyles. Among the high-stress activities listed were stock trading, real estate, and taxes. "But I never saw an ad for Nexium on a real estate or personal finance site," he quipped.

"Implementing this requires significant undertaking," Abraham added. "You'd have to profile users at significant level of detail in order achieve the granularity and variance required," to build both high and low targets. While Abraham acknowledged that mining the data initially takes a lot of effort, once it's done, he said, "the ability to target can be second nature" for publishers.

comScore's Global Network panel consists of over 1 million consumers. Abraham said that every quarter, comScore polls its panel on 600 different variables. He said that MindScore, which can segment its data both by publisher and behavior, adds information to the existing behavioral segments advertisers want to use for campaigns, thereby enhancing targeting in some cases and expanding reach in others.

comScore has yet to widely announce the new targeting product. "It's something we've been doing research on, and are only now looking at introducing," Abraham said, adding that they have briefed several publishers and advertising networks about MindScore, but have no announced customers at this time.

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