Nielsen//NetRatings, Spectra Integrate Marketing Data

Nielsen//NetRatings and Spectra, both divisions of Dutch information giant VNU, on Thursday agreed to merge their consumer data in an effort to help traditional marketers better find advertising opportunities on the Internet.

The deal brings together Nielsen//NetRatings information about consumer Internet usage with Spectra’s highly-localized data about other consumer habits and media use.

The agreement could increase advertising on the Internet by traditional marketers, as it will provide Spectra clients with information on Internet use that may lead them to make purchases on Web sites.

A traditional marketer accustomed to using Spectra’s grid system would discover that, if he wanted to reach 35- to 54-year-old suburbanites with kids, he could do that at CBS.com.

The agreement won’t really result in any new data being generated. It’s just aimed at making things easier for traditional marketers to integrate what they already know about their target market, with Internet data that’s updated monthly.

“Many brand marketers are struggling with the Internet, because they have no objective way to identify sites that will make a meaningful difference for specific brands,” said John Larkin, president and chief executive officer of Spectra.

“Through this new partnership, we’re going to give them the most powerful decision-making context possible — reports that quantify the difference in value between sites in the same framework they use to establish and manage the 4Ps of brand marketing.”

The merging of these databases is one of the consequences of VNU’s acquisition of Nielsen//NetRatings late in 1999. Yesterday, Nielsen//NetRatings agreed to work with Scarborough Research on local market data. Scarborough is a partnership between VNU Marketing Information and The Arbitron Co..

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