NewYork, 25.09.2019

GfK, BrandTotal partner to track “dark” marketing that targets key consumer segments


For the first time, brands can see competitive digital, social campaigns through the lens of their most important consumers

With "dark” marketing – highly targeted campaigns invisible to the general public -- now accounting for 88% of social media spend, marketers often have little knowledge of the campaigns reaching their most important consumer segments.

To break through this measurement roadblock, consumer insights leader GfK and digital measurement innovator BrandTotal have joined forces, allowing marketers to track social campaigns – including dark marketing -- that target clients’ custom segments. 

The new offering empowers marketers to:

  • track competitor activities – including dark campaigns – across multiple platforms
  • optimize digital campaigns in real time for custom consumer segments
  • benchmark target activities for goal setting
  • compare interactions and effectiveness across digital and social channels
  • identify and address sentiment changes to campaigns over the course of weeks or months

The new partnership leverages BrandTotal’s innovative digital marketing intelligence solutions and intuitive reporting platform, which utilizes the power of artificial intelligence to identify, aggregate and analyze marketing campaigns across the digital and social media ecosystem. GfK brings client segments into the BrandTotal environment by leveraging MRI’s market-leading Survey of the American Consumer® database, which captures the attitudes and activities of consumers nationwide through 24,000 interviews annually and allows the BrandTotal data to be weighted to reflect the US population.*

With its data science and modeling expertise, GfK can enhance client learning with consultative reports and expertise that reveal the significance of campaign activities for their brands, campaign best practices, and current market events that may be driving segment behavior.    

In an analysis focusing on Android smartphone gamers during a seven-day period in August, GfK and BrandTotal found:

  • roughly 9 out of 10ads being served to the segment across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and YouTube are dark
  • 891 unique brands targeted the Android gamers audience across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in that timeframe
  • 87% of the social media ads from mobile carriers that ran across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn were part of dark campaigns
  • of the brands targeting Android gamers, the average audience composition by platform was 76% Facebook, 20% YouTube, and 3% Twitter

“By bringing the unique assets of BrandTotal and GfK together, we can answer one of the questions our clients ask most often – are my social campaigns really reaching my target customers?” said Natasha Stevens, GfK’s EVP of Strategy and Innovation. “BrandTotal has developed an extraordinary system for shining light into the hidden worlds of social media activity, and GfK’s consumer data can deliver that information for the specific consumers brands care about most. We see this as a breakthrough not just for advertisers, but also for the social media marketplace, which now has a powerful tool to support its continued growth.”

“Competitive intelligence and measurement across digital and social media are a major focus for us, and the driving force behind our strategic partnership with GfK,” said Alon Leibovich, CEO & co-founder of BrandTotal. “By integrating GfK’s world-class consumer data into BrandTotal’s marketing intelligence platform, marketers can gain insight into brand messages and campaigns that were once completely invisible, or ‘in the dark.’ We are committed to developing new and innovative products to empower the digital and social media marketing ecosystem.”

* MRI is part of MRI-Simmons, a joint venture owned by GfK and SymphonyAI Group, with GfK as the majority partner. 

About GfK

GfK connects data and science. Innovative research solutions provide answers for key business questions around consumers, markets, brands and media – now and in the future. As a research and analytics partner, GfK promises its clients all over the world “Growth from Knowledge.”
For more information, please visit
or follow GfK on Twitter:

About BrandTotal

BrandTotal’s marketing intelligence solution and intuitive reporting platform provides marketers with insights to accurately plan, execute and analyze campaigns across the digital and social media landscape. With BrandTotal, marketers can gain insight into brand messages and campaigns that were once completely invisible, or ‘in the dark.’

The company was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in New York, with offices in Tel Aviv.
For more information, please visit


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