US firm TRA, Inc. has today unveiled a system for measuring and reporting 'True ROI Accountability' for advertising spend. The firm plans to match ads actually received with products actually bought for a massive 1,000,000 plus US households.
TRA combines proprietary technology with a variety of sources and partnerships with information providers. Initially, software developed over a ten-year period will cross-tabulate second by second advertising audience data from television digital set boxes (DSTBs) with actual household product purchasing data for the same 1,000,000 homes, feeding the results to clients via a Web-based dashboard. Purchasing information sources include frequent shopper card data, audited print circulation by household, and advertisers' own household level purchase data.
The firm describes the offering as 'the first element in an in-depth research system that will ultimately measure the effectiveness of all significant advertising media, nationwide'.
The announcement may raise eyebrows at Nielsen and Arbitron, whose Project Apollo has been developing more openly over the past two years but currently only covers a pilot sample of 5,000 households. TRA's web site describes Apollo, along with IRI's BehaviorScan and Arbitron's ScanAmerica as 'important projects which, although ultimately not scalable solutions, have pointed the right direction for getting to true marketing ROI measurement and optimization'.
TRA says its 'breakthrough' is in the area of scalability: 'TRA is based on scalable singlesource, using a proprietary Privacy Shield which makes possible passive media and purchase singlesource data collection from massive near-census sample sizes, while maintaining consumer anonymity' - thereby delivering 'the huge sample sizes that are needed so that all brands (and not just the few largest brands) can be served with statistically significant insights.'
Founded by Chairman and CEO Mark Lieberman and ad industry measurement pioneer Bill Harvey, TRA closed its first institutional financing round last August, led by firms including Kodiak Ventures and WPP/Kantar Media Research. Says Lieberman: 'For several years, we've been quietly building the company, recruiting a world class team, entering into strategic alliances and specifically refining our technology platform to address an unmet need in the advertising industry.'
Harvey comments: 'TRA marks the passing of the media measurement industry from the Industrial Age into the Digital Information Age.'
Web site: www.traglobal.com.
All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.