They already know what you watch (and tweet). But now Nielsen, the biggest marketing research firm worldwide, has its eye on data from "virtually all" credit/debit-card purchases and bank statements, and they're looking for ways to use it.
"Basically, anything you buy, we now see," disclosed Senior VP Nada Bradbury. Nielsen wants to use this data in combination with its current tracking practices to pinpoint consumers' purchase activities even more exactly.
Nielsen's access to store receipts and household spending, together with its monitoring practices of the TV and Internet activity of "Nielsen families," led to the nickname "Big Brother" in a blog post by AMP, a digital marketing agency.
In an interview with AdAge, Bradbury said that Nielsen only tracks the purchases of users who have signed up for Nielsen's National People Meter TV ratings panel, and the bank information is not broken down by item, but rather by transaction.
Nielsen is expanding its targeting surveillance away from media that seem to be "losing relevance," such as traditional TV tracking.
Purchase-based targeting has yet to reach truly creepy levels — but it could later this year. According to CBS chief research officer David Poltrack, Nielsen plans to double the amount of projects that link our purchases to our TV and online habits. Marketing just got (more) personal.
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