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Project Apollo pinpoints media strategies that generate sales among both heavy and light purchasers of a CPG food brand


Frequency found to drive sales among heavy purchasers;
recency moves the sales needle among light buyers
of a brand with a frequent purchase cycle

Project Apollo has just released findings that identify how frequency and recency of ad exposures among both heavy and light category purchaser segments can generate sales for a specific CPG food product.

Heavy and light category purchasers of a CPG food product with a frequent purchase cycle were analyzed for their responsiveness to the frequency and the recency of brand messages. Among heavy buyers, those who purchase the category 35 times per year or more, frequency is a bigger driver of “Brand X” purchase likelihood. Conversely, for light category buyers, recency of media exposure is a more important contributor to “Brand X” purchases.

In the study, purchase behavior for “Brand X” rises with more TV exposures for heavy category purchasers; however, purchase probability continues to rise though at a diminishing rate after two ad exposures. For recency, probability of purchase was highest one day after the last TV exposure, with likelihood to purchase showing a distinct drop-off at three to five days after the most recent exposure.

“For this particular brand, a food item with a frequent purchase cycle, Project Apollo points to the effectiveness of heavier ad flights to generate more frequent exposure to advertising to sustain regular purchases by loyal consumers,” said Sharon Ameri, senior vice president, Nielsen Analytic Consulting, who conducted the analysis. “To increase purchases among light users, media schedules that generate exposure close to purchase, with more continuity to influence impulse buys, are indicated as more effective.”

“This case study underscores how Project Apollo data can be used to frame media plans to optimize purchases through effective media weights and targeting of purchasing audiences,” said Linda Dupree, executive vice president, New Product Development, Arbitron Inc. “Advertisers need to be aware that Project Apollo delivers singular data for each brand. There is no reason to use generic learnings when specific, targeted data can be generated for each brand.”

“Every brand analysis will look different. Project Apollo provides distinct insights for each brand across a spectrum of consumers in a continuum of market conditions. Insights from these complex short-term and long-term relationships are not available outside of single source,” said Dave Thomas, president, Media Client Services, The Nielsen Company.

Project Apollo data provides customized analyses for products with differing characteristics and consumers. Media continuity, customer loyalty, competitive environment, purchasing cycles and other factors will affect the impact of Frequency and Recency.

The insights in this case study are the product of an extensive analysis of Project Apollo data by Nielsen Analytic Consulting , a division of The Nielsen Company located in Stamford, CT.

The Frequency and Recency case study is available, along with other studies produced from Project Apollo data, from Project Apollo representatives.

About the ‘Project Apollo’ Pilot Panel

The Nielsen Company and Arbitron have deployed a national pilot panel of more than 11,000 persons in 5,000 households as a demonstration of the ‘Project Apollo’ national marketing research service. The pilot panel is delivering, to a select group of charter supporters, multi-media and purchase information from a common sample of consumers.

Seven advertisers are members of the ‘Project Apollo’ Steering Committee, a group of marketers who have signed agreements for the ‘Project Apollo’ pilot panel data. In aggregate, these seven advertisers spend more than $6.8 billion for advertising on measured media.

The pilot panel is intended to show advertisers how ‘Project Apollo’ enables a better understanding of the link between consumer exposure to advertising on multiple media and their shopping/purchase behavior. The pilot also showcases the enhanced ability of the ‘single-source’ marketing research service to measure the return on investment for marketing efforts.

How the ‘Project Apollo’ Pilot Panel Works

The panel members are being given incentives to voluntarily carry Arbitron’s Portable People Meter, a small, cell phone-sized device that collects the volunteers’ exposure to electronic media sources: broadcast television networks, cable networks, and network radio as well as audio-based commercials broadcast on these outlets and on additional media. Consumer exposure to other media such as newspapers, magazines and circulars is being collected through additional survey instruments.

Data on consumer preference and purchases for a wide range of services and products are also being collected from panelists via ACNielsen’s Homescan technology, which tracks packaged goods purchases, and by means of additional surveys. Data are being collected in aggregate form to provide a holistic understanding of participants’ media interactions and their resulting shopping and purchase behavior.

About The Nielsen Company

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Computing, Intermediair) and trade shows. The privately held company has more than 42,000 employees, is active in more than 100 countries, and has headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA.

About Arbitron

Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving the media – radio, television, cable, online radio and out-of-home – as well as advertisers and advertising agencies in the United States and Europe. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The company has developed the Portable People MeterTM, a new technology for media and marketing research.

Arbitron’s marketing and business units are supported by a world-renowned research and technology organization located in Columbia, Maryland. Arbitron has approximately 2,100 employees; its executive offices are located in New York City.

Through its Scarborough Research joint venture with The Nielsen Company, Arbitron provides additional media and marketing research services to the broadcast television, newspaper and online industries.

Portable People MeterTM and PPMTM are marks of Arbitron Inc.


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