Pure single-source data and take-off time for Project Apollo

Rachel Kennedy, Colin McDonald and Byron Sharp

Even marketers who eschew soft measures of advertising effects are being routinely led astray by correlations between aggregate (weekly/monthly sales) data and their advertising spend. But change is afoot in the world of advertising research, due to the unobtrusive collection of individual-level single-source data. 'Pure single-source' data record households' (or individuals') buying behaviour – brands bought and associated universal product code (UPC) information – and simultaneous exposure to advertising, ideally across multiple media, continuously for the same people.

Marketers of the future will use pure single-source data everyday. Their modelling, metrics and decision-making will be based on it. Such data will revolutionise marketing effectiveness research, so today we discuss where this revolution stands.