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CBS touts new research tool

Net, Nielsen aim to give advertisers more detailed viewer data

CBS has developed a new research tool with Nielsen Co. intended to give both the network and its advertisers a deeper understanding of its audience beyond basic demographics.

The network used its TCA presentation on Wednesday to share the results of a survey of unusually comprehensive scope — 7,000 respondents answered more than 150 questions about their media habits in late 2010 and early 2011. Those findings were used to create a taxonomy of six basic types of viewers that can be cross-indexed with Nielsen data encompassing TV and online to yield psychographic insights.

For instance, marketing can be targeted to reach either “media trendsetters,” known to be early adopters of TV fare and technology who tend to use social media, or “program passionates,” viewers devoted to specific selections of programming who tend to time-shift their consumption.

Advertisers can take this research to as granular a level as identifying which groups over-index among a particular program and marry that information to other consumption habits that mark viewers of that program. For instance, a studio can discover that fans of “The Good Wife” see or intend to watch movies with marital themes, making that show a valuable target for marketing more of such movies.

There is a growing advertiser demand for viewership data that reveals more than just age and sex. And it becomes especially important as the target 18-49 demographic comprises less and less of the overall audience pie.

David Poltrack, chief research officer for CBS Corp., estimated that the demo will slide from 62% of the audience to 55% by 2015.

“Marketers across all categories recognize they cannot continue to target a decreasing portion of the population,” he said. “They have to broaden their sights.”

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