Facebook and Nielsen Look for What Makes Consumers Tick

    September 22, 2009
    Chris Crum

Last week Facebook announced that it had surpassed 300 million users, and now the company has announced a strategic partnership with the Nielsen Company. This partnership is aimed at helping marketers better use the web for developing and marketing new products.

"Nielsen is the leader in measurement and is an excellent partner for us as we look to provide marketers with richer ad effectiveness data," said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. "The combination of our unique ability to quickly and effectively poll a sample of our more than 300 million users and Nielsen’s expertise in data analysis will give marketers access to powerful data they can use to understand and improve current and future campaigns."

The companies have already announced a new product called Nielsen BrandLift, which is designed to provide marketers with "effectiveness measurement" for Facebook advertising. The product will launch in the US with select test partners this week. It is expected to roll out to all Facebook advertisers within the next few months.

Facebook Sponsored Messages BrandLift will take the form of opt-in polls on Facebook’s homepage, which will let advertisers know more of what makes consumers tick, by the sound of it. It is described in the announcement: "Nielsen BrandLift measures aided awareness, ad recall, message association, brand favorability and purchase consideration via a set of short, specially designed one or two question surveys." The surveys will appear on Facebook’s homepage where ads normally appear.

"Facebook is an increasingly vital link between consumers and brands," said John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen’s online division. "We will now be able to add deep knowledge of this important social network to our unmatched media measurement and consumer insight across all three screens."

"Together we will be able to provide the missing elements to clients seeking better understanding of how Web content and online advertising affect consumer behavior," added Burbank.

Nielsen will be conducting hundreds of BrandLift tests over the next few months. Last month, Facebook had the 4th largest unique audience in the US among all web brands.