Nielsen buys Marketing Analytics


Nielsen continues to widen its business scope beyond media measurement and consumer information by adding planning software specialist Marketing Analytics to its offering. The Evanston, IL-based company is one of the pioneers of marketing mix modeling and a leader in analytics and advanced planning software. Marketing Analytics’ 52 employees will join the Nielsen team, and Nielsen will acquire all other assets including software and ongoing client projects.

Founded in 1991, Marketing Analytics specializes in pinpointing drivers of the latest trends in sales; forecasting sales from future marketing; determining why sales differed from plan and how to respond; and finding the most profitable allocation of marketing funds. 

“We are committed to providing insights and innovative solutions to help our clients drive effective marketing programs with quantifiable returns on investment,” said John Lewis, president and CEO, Consumer North America, Nielsen. “Fast moving consumer goods marketers require advanced, real-time, predictive analytic insight. By combining Nielsen’s global reach with Marketing Analytics’ expertise and advanced modeling and scenario planning applications, we can drive increased value for our global clients seeking the optimal marketing mix and spending level to maximize their sales.”

“Huge possibilities open up with the integration of our people, expertise and industry-leading software with Nielsen’s vast data assets and broad professional services footprint,” said Ross Link, founder and CEO, Marketing Analytics. “We’re joining a great team I am proud to be part of at Nielsen. Together, we can set the standard for helping clients examine what’s possible and what’s best for their marketing mix.”

Link will continue to lead the group and work to integrate these capabilities into Nielsen offerings. The company will remain in Evanston/Chicago. Nielsen, which has its regional HQ in Schaumburg, IL (also Chicago) says the buy gives it an edge over firms that only offer “what if” scenarios. This way, Nielsen can now take it one step further in predicting consumer behavior for clients.

In July, Nielsen signed a deal with Wal-Mart to provide sales info for U.S. stores, giving customers a more complete view of the retailer’s sales.

RBR-TVBR observation: The acquisition will now put Nielsen in competition with planning agencies by upping its turnkey menu to consumer goods marketers. A selling point will also be the timeliness of data turnaround when paired with its ratings offerings. Marketers want to know the impact of media before, as well as after, developing marketing plans across multiple media channels, in-store promotions and consumer promotions. This will help them execute plans as close to real-time as possible.