Thought Starters from IRI at ARF's AUDIENCExSCIENCE 2021

IRI's Media Center of Excellence presented three sessions at the recent ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE 2021 event. Below are summaries of those sessions, along with some other info to boost your campaign success. To learn more, get in touch with your IRI representative or

Achieve Better Cross-Channel Measurement Amid Data Collection Challenges

Did you know that the average American home has over 300,000 items? We clearly like to buy a lot of stuff! And, in today's choice-rich omnichannel landscape, many of us often have varied buying patterns even for our repeat purchases. Consumers' media consumption is even more fragmented, with the average person exposed to between 6,000 and 10,000 ads a day. Getting prospects to pay attention to your ad is an uphill battle, to say the least, as IRI's Jennifer Pelino discussed in her keynote session at ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE.

CPG companies are responding to this challenge by doubling down on media spending. According to IRI research, CPG spending increased in 2020 from the previous year on digital ads (+31.7%), mobile ads (+32.4%) and video advertising (+38.2%). But brands still don't always know whether this spending is really impacting sales and how to effectively measure that impact.

While 43% of marketing professionals agree that data quality is currently a barrier to successful revenue attribution, the pending data deprecation and destruction of third-party cookies will only make this obstacle more imposing over the short term.

In this environment, CPGs can look to many sources for audiences, but the key to success is to use high-quality data to find them. And the highest-quality option is household-level transaction data collected passively through loyalty cards. This source facilitates more accurate and granular insights that can produce three to four times the sales lift of traditional demographic approaches.

Quality data supports a more complete attribution picture. But CPGs still need to use these loyalty card datasets and sophisticated measurement solutions to tie purchase behavior back to the offline conversions and offline channels that still account for over 90% of sales for many CPG companies.

At IRI, our retailer partnerships enable us to capture in-store purchase data to complement our comprehensive data coverage and feeds. We offer a holistic view of purchase behavior using shopper loyalty card, point-of-sale and breadth of exposure data to provide the most expansive and truest view of consumer purchasing and exposure available today.

Using this methodology, you can also accurately assess how your marketing is performing across channels and how specific creative is performing. This helps you understand what messages and channels to prioritize during times of shifting consumption and for specific occasions.

With this approach, you can optimize your marketing investment to the right channels, messages and frequency to maximize your return on advertising spend and marketing's contribution to incremental sales. And the data you get in measuring these efforts creates a virtuous cycle that gives you ongoing feedback to continually improve your campaigns over time.

Find the "Digital Invisible" to Improve Your Return on Ad Spend

IRI's David Kingsbury continued the discussion at ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE by presenting on the “digital invisible.” These are households lacking in certain measures of personally identifiable information (PII) that prevent them from showing up when a company does measurement or activation advertising with loyalty cardholders. Many of these are households that have recently moved.

These households are more likely to skew low income, childless and under age 34. IRI research found that 17% of frequent loyalty card shoppers are among the digital invisible — we know their loyalty cards are being used, but they are not attributable back to a household.

In recent research, we combined the limited PII information available on these digitally invisible households with mobile ad IDs and device IDs. This enabled us to link 27% of these previously invisible frequent shoppers to specific households. A subgroup of 9% of those shoppers was linkable to our purchase data

IRI's analysis showed that this subgroup responded better in terms of sales lift than the digitally visible shoppers.

As the advertising industry worries about oversaturating consumers with messages, this population remains underserved by ads and atypically responsive to them. Uncovering and including these audiences in campaigns offers marketers a tremendous opportunity to boost their return on advertising spend.


How Mountain Dew Improved Sales Lift
with IRI and LoopMe

IRI's Joe Conte joined Carlos J. Cruz of LoopMe at AUDIENCExSCIENCE 2021 to share how PepsiCo used both companies' solutions to increase Q4 2020 Mountain Dew sales by attracting new buyers. Using the LoopMe platform and IRI's Campaign Conversion Feed (CCF) solution fueled by over 500 million retailer loyalty cards, Mountain Dew was able to optimize its campaigns in-flight by linking weekly deterministic UPC purchases to exposure to specific ads.

LoopMe's artificial intelligence learned which tactics drove offline sales conversions and auto-allocated more budget to higher-performing tactics. The CCF feed helped the platform predict and identify the most likely purchasers for the product and find more of them for each new campaign impression. IRI's Household Lift solution then quantified the sales lift from the campaign for closed-loop measurement.

LoopMe's in-flight optimizations and IRI's verified conversion sales data helped PepsiCo increase dollars per household sales lift by 40% and generate a return on advertising spend (ROAS) of $1.28, outperforming category sales lift benchmarks by 12%. The campaign showed the power of these technologies to expose new consumers to programmatic advertising and boost sales lift even in a highly penetrated category.


Measure and Optimize Your Advertising Impact on Facebook

It's important for CPG manufacturers and retailers to know how their advertising campaigns across Facebook and Instagram affect offline sales. But getting good data that measure this impact accurately has traditionally been difficult.

That changed with the recent launch of IRI Lift™ for Facebook. This new solution combines Facebook's media exposure data with IRI's vast point-of-sale, frequent shopper and causal data to provide accurate, granular, household-level insights. It enables advertisers to maximize their Facebook advertising learning; quantify the true return of various activation elements; and evaluate their campaign strategy, messaging and audiences to drive better performance and deliver a more relevant ad experience to consumers.

The new solution builds upon IRI's existing measurement partnership with Facebook that includes marketing mix data. It also incorporates insights from IRI's 100% deterministic, purchase-based audiences derived from over 500 million retailer loyalty cards for the highest targeting accuracy. The combination of lift, marketing mix and audience data provides a multifaceted view that allows for more effective media allocation across platforms, better consumer targeting, and closed-loop campaign measurement at the household level.


Turn to IRI Audiences for Spooktacular Sales

With Halloween around the corner, there's nothing more bone-chilling for a marketer than wasting valuable ad dollars on people who don't and won't buy. IRI Lifestyle Audiences enables you to stop haunting phantom targets and start treating verified buyers of relevant products with sweet offers that resonate. Just a sampling of our known buyers for the fall and winter seasons includes:

  • Back-to-School Shoppers (nearly 17 million households)
  • Halloween Candy Shoppers (Over 10 million households)
  • Halloween Family Bakers (over 2 million households)
  • Adult Beverage Halloween Celebrators (over 2 million households)
  • Thanksgiving Hosts (over 7 million households)
  • Cold and Flu Preppers (over 10 million households)

Learn more about how our Audiences can boost your sales this holiday season here.

Do you have questions about IRI Lift for Facebook, IRI Audiences or anything else you've read above? Please reach out to your IRI representative or email us at We'd love to hear from you!