Nielsen to Expand In-Store Marketing Initiative

NEW YORK -- The Nielsen Company here and the In-Store Marketing Institute said yesterday that they have entered the national expansion phase of their combined effort to measure the size and composition of the audiences for in-store marketing media. The initiative is called P.R.I.S.M., or Pioneering Research for an In-Store Metric.

During this phase, Nielsen In-Store will extend P.R.I.S.M.'s coverage to all in-store marketing media, among them merchandising activity, retail TV and radio networks, shelf talkers, cart talkers, digital signage and other point-of-purchase displays. The research also will be expanded to a national sample of about 200 stores. Final specifications for linking information about consumer traffic and the presence of in-store media will be defined over the following six months, and the first robust reach-and-frequency measures are expected by the close of the year.

The expansion marks a major advance in the P.R.I.S.M. initiative, which is headed by Nielsen, the Institute, and a consortium of manufacturers, retailers, and media and promotion agencies. The first phase of P.R.I.S.M. was conducted in 10 stores over four weeks and showed the feasibility of accurately measuring consumer traffic in the store, aisle by aisle and category by category.

"This new phase of research will demonstrate in a larger and more diverse store sample that we can link consumer traffic to specific in-store media and marketing conditions, and create an entirely new and powerful opportunity-to-see measure for advertisers, retailers, media companies, and media and promotion agencies," noted George Wishart, global managing director, Nielsen In-Store, in a statement. "Knowing the reach and frequency of an end aisle display will be much more valuable than just knowing the display was there."

"This is a service that has the potential to transform the way the industry markets to consumers at the point-of-sale," added Peter Hoyt, executive director of the In-Store Marketing Institute. "For the first time, marketers will have the opportunity to understand which consumers are exposed to their in-store messages and promotions, and how often. Retailers will gain a new understanding of how effectively their in-store media convert shoppers to buyers, by category and in comparison with their competitors."
"We think P.R.I.S.M. is going to help us work more closely with our manufacturer partners to drive more value and growth out of our in-store marketing practices," said Jeff Weidauer, Director, Brand Advertising at Supervalu, one of the consortium members. "We're going to be able to establish the value of our stores as a marketing medium and gain much better insight into what really works with shoppers."

Nielsen and the Institute also announced that the consortium taking part in P.R.I.S.M. now consists of over 30 companies, including Coca-Cola, ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft, P&G, and Unilever, in addition to 16 retailers.

According to Wishart, the consortium will work together over the next six months to review the results of the new phase of P.R.I.S.M. and complete the development of the Nielsen In-Store service. Audience measurement under P.R.I.S.M. began April 29, and actionable data will be delivered to consortium's members during the fourth quarter of 2007. Nielsen In-Store expects to make its data available on a broader basis to the industry next year. Nielsen also expects to offer service in additional retail channels and other countries.

The Nielsen Company, a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information, media information, business publications, trade shows, and the newspaper sector, is the parent company of Progressive Grocer.

The In-Store Marketing Institute, based outside of Chicago, is a global organization of brand marketers, retailers, agencies, and manufacturers focused on improving retail marketing strategy worldwide.
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