TNS Forms Alliance With Integration

TNS is partnering with Europe-based Integration in a deal that will bring the latter company's Market ContactAudit to the U.S. The alliance will boost TNS' communications measurement capabilities as it faces off with Kantar Group's Compose. The new service will measure consumers' exposure to brand messages via different communications channels, in a bid to bring quantitative data to communications planning.

MCA first identifies all areas of message contact or consumer "touch points," then calculates the degree of influence each touch point has over the consumer to determine the impact of a brand message, via that channel. A consumer's total exposure to brand messages is expressed as the sum of "brand experience points," which correspond to the relative influence of different channels. These "points" serve as the basic currency of the MCA measurement system, allowing marketers to compare the effectiveness of various channels and conduct triage for a more optimal mix.

In the U.S., Integration has already put MCA to work for Procter & Gamble, Starcom and Universal McCann. Jeni Chapman, executive vice-president of TNS Advertising and Brand Performance, said, "Integration pioneered the idea of monitoring communications effectiveness from the consumer perspective... Common measurements and insights throughout this process mean clients can monitor, and thus manage, their brands more effectively."



In addition to bringing MCA to America's shores, TNS and Integration are planning to develop new business products for brand and advertising management, too.

In February, TNS announced its acquisition of Sorensen Associates, bolstering the firm's growing retail research capabilities. Sorensen's main products include PathTracker and video observation, which supplement attitudinal studies --including surveys and questionnaires -- with empirical data describing patterns of movement, shopping speed and purchasing speed. Such information can be used by manufacturers and retailers to plan promotional strategies, as well as new store design.

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