How Nielsen Helps Publishers Prove Their Value

December 10, 2019 Ginna Hall

The digital publishing industry is more complex than ever—and facing new challenges. Cutting through the clutter, improving revenue streams and models, dealing with ad blockers, keeping pace with a “mobile-first” culture, and evaluating new technologies are just a few of the hurdles.

Constant shifts in the market are forcing publishers to focus on much more than just creating great content and delivering relevant audiences. They’re feeling pressure to deliver measurable business results.

To this end, publishers must convince advertisers of their value—companies who are also under more pressure than ever to prove the business impact of their efforts. Every organization wants to understand what’s working and spend efficiently for the best outcomes.

Many of these marketers rely on third-party measurement providers to assess the impact of their advertising. They need access to insights and learnings about how campaign executions perform. But many publishers lack the transparency into performance they need to support advertising recommendations with objective data.

This is because most publishers don’t have visibility into how advertisements on their properties drive offline sales for brands, or how well they work relative to other media types such as television or radio. They need to understand this information to be able to show which ads drive results, identify where improvements can be made, and help advertisers get the most value from investments in the platform.

Getting Insights from Marketing Mix Modeling

In an effort to deliver maximum value to advertisers, many publishers have commissioned marketing mix modeling studies to understand how their campaigns are driving value and return on investment. Nielsen, known for its leading statistical approaches and extensive datasets, is a perfect fit for the role.

Nielsen’s Marketing Mix Modeling solution provides publishers with clear and actionable performance insights they needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of their platforms and deliver optimized plans for advertisers.

Marketing mix modeling uses aggregated historical performance data to calculate the total effect that every channel has on sales and other performance metrics, while controlling for exogenous factors like weather and holidays that impact performance. 

See how three high-profile publishers—Pandora, Buzzfeed and Snapchat—use Nielsen’s solution to prove their value.

How Pandora Proves the Value of Audio

Pandora is the largest streaming music provider in the U.S. With an industry-leading digital audio advertising platform, it reaches over 100 million unique listeners every month. Pandora advertisers have the opportunity to reach their audiences through ad solutions including audio, video, display and sponsored content.

Pandora participates in Nielsen’s Marketing Effectiveness Publisher Program, sharing granular, impression-level data with Nielsen to ensure accurate representation and measurement within its models, and providing training on its ad products to build internal Nielsen expertise.

Nielsen conducted a two-year marketing mix modeling analysis of the carbonated soft drink category. The study included three manufacturers, over 60 Pandora campaigns, and a total of $1.3B media spend across tactics.

For the carbonated soft drink category, the Nielsen analysis showed how brands can see significant improvement in sales impact by optimizing their plans for reach, while managing campaign frequency levels. For example, Pandora received less than 1% share of total category advertising spend, but generated 22% share of ROAS. 

>> Watch our on-demand webinar: Measuring the Effectiveness of Pandora Advertising

How BuzzFeed Quantifies the Impact of Its Advertising

BuzzFeed made a name for itself with a cross-platform distribution model that largely ushered in the era of “viral media.” Since then, the platform has grown in popularity among millennial audiences and now reaches 83% of millennials per month.

To help consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and others tap into this large and powerful generation of buyers, BuzzFeed expanded its catalog of advertising options. Offerings now range from lists and quizzes to custom native content, branded videos, standard and programmatic display, commerce offerings and more.

Nielsen conducted a meta-category marketing mix modeling analysis of ten brands in the prepared foods and liquor categories. The advertising tactics analyzed in the study included BuzzFeed’s native content, display and custom video offerings.

With its favorable CPMs, BuzzFeed media was the strongest driver of ROAS when compared to other media – increasing return by more than 2x in both the prepared food and liquor categories.

Leveraging insights from the marketing mix modeling analysis, BuzzFeed is now able to make more informed, data-backed optimization recommendations for CPG advertisers so they can make the most out of their investments in the platform.

“CPG brands rely on Nielsen for its currency-quality data and trusted, independent measurement. By commissioning our own MMM analysis, we were able to pull back the veil to see how BuzzFeed's cross-platform approach compares to other marketing channels,” said Josh Peters, Director - Data Partnerships, BuzzFeed.

>> Read our case study: Nielsen Helps Buzzfeed Quantify the Impact of Its Advertising

How Snapchat Helps Big Brands Unlock Potential

Launched by Snap Inc. in 2011, Snapchat has experienced tremendous growth and innovation. The mobile app lets advertisers reach a highly engaged audience in new ways. But first-time advertisers can find it challenging to accurately measure the impact of Snapchat.

Over the past two years, Nielsen has conducted multiple studies to reveal the impact of Snapchat advertising. Because of this track record, Snap selected Nielsen to conduct a comprehensive meta-analysis for the Alcoholic Beverage category. 

Nielsen measured activity for five top brands in the beer category using marketing mix modeling, a regression-based analysis of weekly, store-level data. The analysis looked at 52 Snap campaigns with a spend of $12 million and 1.2 billion impressions. The study assessed the impact of Snapchat, TV, print, radio, OOH, display and video advertising

Nielsen found that Snap advertising was more effective and efficient than either traditional or other digital media. In fact, Snap advertising was almost twice as effective in generating revenue versus other digital channels. While the average CPM was 42% higher, this cost was offset by a 33% increase in efficiency. 

These findings help marketers in all industries understand Snap advertising, improve their execution, and get the most out of Snap.

Getting the Most Out of Ad Spend

Marketers in every vertical have adopted marketing mix modeling because it both serves their business' operating cadence and supports strategic planning. Publishers like these use marketing mix modeling to support advertisers with fact-based budget allocation insights, allowing them to divide limited resources as efficiently as possible and with the highest ROI.

Competition is steep, and marketers must make every dollar count. But shifts in media consumption behavior to digital has made getting insight into marketing effectiveness more difficult. Marketing mix modeling can help brands optimize their tactics on Pandora, Buzzfeed, Snapchat or other publishers to drive the greatest returns.

Learn More

Download a copy of our ebook: Quantifying the Value of Snap Advertising

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