August 16, 2011 16:26 ET

GfK MRI, Nielsen Make Investments in Research Firm Media Behavior Institute

Media Behavior Institute to Launch Syndicated USA TouchPoints(C) Consumer Study

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 16, 2011) - GfK MRI and Nielsen have made equity investments in Media Behavior Institute, supporting the imminent launch of USA TouchPoints©, a cross-media research service that promises to improve the efficiency of marketing communications by delivering unparalleled day-in-the-life consumer insights.

GfK MRI and Nielsen each acquired 25 percent of Media Behavior Institute. This is the first time that both GfK MRI and Nielsen have invested in the same company.

Kathi Love, President & CEO of GfK MRI, and Matt O'Grady, EVP Media Audience Measurement for Nielsen, will join the board of Media Behavior Institute along with Jim Spaeth, Media Behavior Institute CEO, and Alice K. Sylvester, Media Behavior Institute COO.

"These investments from some of the biggest players in the international analytics business are ringing endorsements of the strategy we've pursued since conceiving Media Behavior Institute," said Spaeth. "No one understands our industry's need for innovative cross-platform measurement better than GfK MRI and Nielsen. We couldn't be more pleased that they've seen fit to take this step."

As part of the USA TouchPoints program, Media Behavior Institute will equip 2,000 U.S. consumers with smartphones containing a special app to record media use every half hour throughout the day, along with information such as who they're with, what they're doing, where they are and the moods and emotions they're experiencing while consuming media. By capturing this data in such breadth and granularity, and in near real time, USA TouchPoints helps advertisers and agencies identify the contextual factors that impact consumers' receptivity to their messages.

Uniquely, USA TouchPoints can be used to target purchasers of specific product categories and brands since respondents are drawn from a sample of consumers who have recently participated in GfK MRI's annual Survey of the American Consumer. The Survey of the American Consumer collects information on consumers' use of more than 6,500 brands across 550 categories.

"USA TouchPoints is the most creative sandbox the media and account planning worlds have had to play with in years. It provides an incredibly granular look at daily life. Now, creative messages can be fine-tuned to relevant, precise situations and integrated marketing communications plans can be designed to reach consumers in the right place at the right time and when they're in the right frame of mind," said Sylvester.

"We've supported USA TouchPoints since 2009 when our companies conducted an early pilot test of the smartphone diaries," said GfK MRI's Love. "Based on the results of that test and the potential that USA TouchPoints has to make a significant contribution to understanding consumers' cross-media habits, it makes sense for GfK MRI to deepen its commitment to the initiative."

"In today's dynamic media environment, providing our clients an ever-greater level of understanding of how consumers watch, buy and connect anytime, anywhere and across a multitude of devices is more important than ever," said Nielsen's O'Grady. "USA TouchPoints represents a significant advancement in cross-platform research and a fitting complement to Nielsen's far-reaching cross-platform metrics."

The investments follow a successful proof-of-concept study of USA TouchPoints that was funded and supported by the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM). CIMM is a group of the country's biggest advertisers, agencies and media owners committed to supporting advances in media measurement techniques.

Said Jane Clarke, managing director for CIMM: "We are extremely pleased at the prospect that Media Behavior Institute will now have enhanced means to take USA TouchPoints from its proof-of-concept phase in the United States to the next level, which includes broader and large-scale implementation. CIMM was established to help foster development and innovation in media measurement, so it's always gratifying when an endeavor we have helped nurture is embraced by the industry."

About MBI

Established in 2008, Media Behavior Institute, LLC. was formed to address the industry's need for enhanced multimedia measurement. MBI's mission is to bring new and actionable insights about the context of daily life to the U.S. market. For further information on Media Behavior Institute, visit our Web site:

Contact Information

  • Press Contact:

    Mike Bloxham
    Executive Director, Marketing
    Media Behavior Institute
    Email Contact


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