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Nielsen Rolls Out ID Resolution System for Global Attribution Measurement

5 minute read | February 2021

Enhanced solution delivers impactful metrics that enable advertisers to better evaluate ad effectiveness and optimize budgets across platforms

New York, NY – Feb. 18, 2021 Nielsen (NLSN) today announced a new approach that moves away from third-party cookies to privacy-centric, people-based identifiers for Attribution. This new technique ensures advertisers and publishers are able to understand the entire consumer journey across platforms, better optimize their spend and prove the impact of advertising.

To combat the issue of data erosion and prepare for an increasingly fragmented future, Nielsen’s previously announced ID resolution system utilizes persistent, device-agnostic identifiers, enabling Nielsen to verify demographic characteristics and media exposure over time across all media. By underpinning its audience and outcomes measurement products with this ID resolution approach, Nielsen is ensuring its products have the flexibility to adjust to ongoing technology and regulatory changes and support cross-media measurement.

Nielsen is transforming its digital data collection methods for Attribution to deliver a resilient, always-on solution for cross-device, person-level measurement. As part of this rollout, Nielsen is introducing the Identity Sync, the industry’s first non-campaign specific tag that doesn’t depend on device IDs or the browser ecosystem. This enables always-on, real-time collection of advertiser data associated with individuals, the devices they use over time and the online actions they take. In addition, it allows Nielsen to build deterministic matches between consumers and their ad exposures using persistent identifiers as the connector to each conversion event. 

Nielsen has completed several pilots with select clients. Early findings have shown that shifting from a cookie-based solution to Nielsen’s persistent, identity-backed solution provides more accurate marketing measurement. Barceló Hotel Group’s use of the Identity Sync provided a significant view of the customer journey, with 96% of conversions attributed to actual marketing touch points. With the new found read on customers’ behaviors, Barceló was able to effectively analyze its customers’ media touch points that led to bookings and sales, unlocking 9% of potential savings in key areas like paid search by shifting away from keywords not leading to conversions.

“Barceló tapped Nielsen for their expertise in attribution measurement to fulfill the gap of insights that were preventing us from fully optimizing our media activation. With Nielsen’s innovative approach, we were able to take into account all measurable interactions along our customers’ journey and uncover waste to better allocate spend in the future,” said Johanna Álvarez, Adtech, Analytics & Attribution Manager at Barceló. “The level of accuracy that Nielsen was able to produce using persistent identifiers was unmatched, and we feel more empowered than ever to make better marketing decisions as the industry moves away from cookies.”

The Identity Sync helps Nielsen solve for the ability to map digital footprints in the absence of third-party cookies. Among the key benefits:

“At Nielsen, we’re committed to helping our clients navigate the cookieless world and unlock the next generation of metrics that enable them to drive outcomes, maximize reach, and optimize their budgets“ said Matt Krepsik, GM of Planning & Outcomes Products at Nielsen. “With our transformed approach to Attribution, we’re turning data into actionable insights so advertisers can understand the impact of their marketing efforts and publishers can continue to prove the impact of advertising on their platforms.”

Nielsen’s ID System and modernized Attribution approach are backed by its unique internal assets, direct integrations with publishers and advertisers, and our comprehensive measurement graph. The Nielsen ID System will also utilize Nielsen’s panels to validate the graph and combine data across various data sources in a privacy-centric manner to map consumer journeys. Nielsen’s ownership of the technology stack, data science expertise, back-end infrastructure and data sources will allow the company to maintain independence and approach ID resolution with a resilient system that can ingest new datasets as the industry evolves and new sources become available.  

Nielsen’s next-generation approach to outcomes measurement is currently available globally for Nielsen Attribution.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. NielsenIQ (formerly known as Nielsen Global Connect) provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in nearly 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Sarah Muratore