comScore-GfK MRI Fusion — linking online and offline behaviors with consumer lifestyles and attitudes

Marketers often work in two silos: online and offline. But the consumers they're trying to reach seamlessly cross between both channels. To stay competitive, advertisers, planners and publishers need a holistic view of how audiences respond in a multimedia environment. The new comScore-GfK MRI Fusion delivers those insights.  

By fusing the Survey of the American Consumer® with comScore Media Metrix®, marketers have access to unduplicated cross-media audience reach. Information is available on consumers' use of more than 10,000 websites measured by comScore (across dozens of online publisher categories) and approximately 6,500 brands in 550 categories – as well as psychographics – measured by GfK MRI.

Advertisers and planners can apply detailed consumer insights from this fusion to optimize their marketing mix. For example, they can use it to:

  • Align marketing strategies with the interests and lifestyles of a target audience.
  • Build powerful media plans based on a deep understanding of the online behavior of an audience segmented by their offline activity.
  • Identify relevant online locations and measure any audience based on the needs of a specific media plan.

Publishers can use the GfK MRI-comScore Fusion to compare and show the value of their site to their competitors'. It can help them:

  • Command premium ad pricing by proving the relevancy of their site to advertisers.
  • Deliver more value to advertisers with a knowledge of the lifestyles, attitudes, demographics and product preferences of site visitors.
  • Learn where to focus marketing efforts to grow site traffic from a target audience.

To learn more about the comScore-GfK MRI-Fusion, please contact us.

Exercise — more than meets the waistline

Last month t'was the season to be jolly. This month 'tis the season to get into shape.

Exercise is a staple of life for four in ten U.S. adults. Our interest in fitness has remained constant over the past ten years with 41% of adults saying they exercise regularly, according to GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer®.

Adults who exercise regularly are 44% more likely than typical adults to diet with the help of structured programs like Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem.

Where they exercise has changed, however. Among those who work out on a regular basis, exercising at a health club has increased from 23% in 2002 to 32% in 2012. Ten years ago, 72% of regular exercisers worked out at home; that percentage dropped to 68% in 2012.

Top ranking exercise activities have not changed in ten years, although the numbers of adults engaging in those activities each week has shifted — fewer walkers and slightly more runners, for example.

Top-ranking exercise activities
  2012 2002
Walking 32% 39%
Weight lifting 16% 15%
Jogging/running 14% 12%
Aerobics 11% 12%
Swimming 6% 8%
Bicycling 6% 7%
Source: GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, Doublebase 2012, Doublebase 2002

Differences among adults who exercise regularly and those who don't

As we'd expect, sentiments towards self-image, food and health differ between adults who exercise regularly and those who don't. Distinctions also are seen, however, in attitudes towards shopping, advertising and media.

It's no surprise that adults who exercise regularly seek healthier lifestyles, eat right and feel better about their weight than people who do not exercise. In fact, those who exercise on a regular basis feel more in control over their lives than those who don't work out.

Health & lifestyle attitudes
Agree with statement: Do Not Exercise Regularly Exercise Regularly
I am always looking for ways to live a healthier life. 74% 84%
I try to eat healthy and pay attention to nutrition. 81% 89%
I try to eat a healthy breakfast everyday. 64% 73%
I always check ingredients and nutritional content of food before I buy it. 56% 64%
I am happy with my weight. 54% 58%
I don't pay much attention to my intake of fat. 45% 34%
I often feel like my life is slipping out of control. 37% 30%
Source: GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, Doublebase 2012

We also see how people who exercise regularly, compared to those who don't, possess different attitudes towards advertising and media. Looking at women and magazines, for instance, greater numbers of exercisers express positive sentiments towards magazines as a source for information, inspiration and relaxation. "While marketers are often adept at using the Survey to match consumer activities to media, many don't use our psychographics to connect all the dots," says Mike Drankwalter, EVP Media Sales at GfK MRI. "For example, if you look at women who exercise regularly and their attitudes about media, you'll see how much magazines matter to this group — whether it's to learn something new or to 'get away from it all'."

Women who exercise regularly & those who don't
Attitudes towards advertising and magazines
Agree with statement: Do Not Exercise Regularly Exercise Regularly
Magazines keep me up-to-date with styles and trends. 66% 77%
Magazines give me good ideas. 57% 68%
Advertising in magazines provides me with useful information about new products and services. 51% 56%
Magazines are a good source of learning. 44% 54%
Magazines make me think. 36% 47%
Magazines are a good escape. 34% 44%
Magazines provide pure entertainment. 32% 41%
Magazines relax me. 28% 38%
Magazines keep me informed. 25% 31%
Source: GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, Doublebase 2012
Julie says, "Get the right score"
Julie Erbe
Manager / Web Training & Advertiser Services at GfK MRI

To produce media usage scores, we aggregate responses from “time spent” and “media used” data. These scores are straightforward for all media except TV—here, clients often wonder why cable viewing and total TV hours do not appear to sync up.

The answer is simple: it's because there are differences in the way questions are asked for TV and cable.

We ask about time spent watching TV during the personal interview. The key here is that we ask only about watching television, and there is no mention of cable, network or broadcast. Respondents tell us about viewing from "yesterday" and from "last weekend," what dayparts they watched and how many half-hours per daypart they viewed. This method of questioning requires respondents to recall only as far back as yesterday during the week and as far back as the past weekend for Saturday and Sunday.

Here is how the television question for weekday viewing is asked in our personal interview:

And here's how it's asked for weekends:

For cable, however, respondents are asked about the cable networks they watched in the past 30 and past seven days, they are shown cable station logos and they estimate how many hours a week they view each station. For example:


We then add all the hours from every network and divide that by total cable viewers.

When analyzing viewing behavior, we tell clients to compare other cable — and TV viewing to other TV viewing. Otherwise, you're not conducting an apples to apples comparison. Here's an example of how the two comparisons look if you try to do an analysis in one MEMRI run:

Learn more about GfK MRI data — best practices, common mistakes, advanced uses and more by attending GfK MRI's online webinars led by me — Julie Erbe. Please send me a note if you would like to attend the webinars but have not received evites.

USA TouchPoints update — emotional primetimes in the c-suite

By Kevin Moeller, Executive Director, Research & Analytics, Media Behavior Institute

For many businesses, there is no more important, and elusive, target audience than the c-suite.  Given the high CPMs usually involved in reaching these executives, advertisers can’t afford to waste a penny. So it's important to know when CEOs or CFOs are in “c-mode” and when are they in a different mind-set — one where B2B messages are irrelevant and fall on deaf ears. Reaching the right target audience is critical, but also essential is understanding when they are most receptive to your messages.

USA TouchPoints provides a landscape of consumers’ lives. We can tell you where they are, who they're with, what they are doing and their moods and emotions. We can also tell you about all the media to which they are exposed — half-hour by half-hour through the waking day, over the course of a week. Marketers turn to USA TouchPoints to help understand the c-suite audience without having to conduct costly and time-consuming proprietary research.

USA TouchPoints uses the GfK MRI sample and includes access to the Survey of the American Consumer®. We frequently rely on GfK MRI variables to isolate target audiences of interest, and we can pull out respondents in any target defined by product usage, attitudes or demographics.  In this case we looked at job title to isolate members of this exclusive group.

On judgment, an advertiser might find c-suite executives receptive to a B2B message when they are in hopeful, confident moods. USA TouchPoints identifies when those moments of receptivity — those “emotional hot spots” — occur.

Some of our findings are not surprising, but others could not have been anticipated. In the following  "emotional heat map," the strongest moments of receptivity are shown in red, next most receptive in orange, then yellow.  The horizontal axis shows every half-hour of the weekday.

It's not surprising that these super-achievers feel most hopeful and confident during normal work hours. However, the extreme to which they don’t feel that way outside of work is remarkable. This dispells the strategy of reaching a CEO when they are home, relaxing. They are just not CEO at those times.

When the CEO is at home on the weekends, there are few moments of receptivity. It’s impossible to know if the “hot spot” at 7:00pm corresponds to cocktails before dinner, but that would be my guess. Targeting media at that time would be difficult, but one can imagine creative strategies to accomplish that.

So back to the issue of media and reaching this audience. An online strategy would be the first place to look as a B2B channel to the c-suite during the week. They’re in full c-suite mode and could be fully receptive to the right message. Finding them in a similar mindset during the weekend is a little more challenging, but TouchPoints can point the way to the right media mix, which could lead to enhanced advertising performance and improved ROI.

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