Compiled ByJill Jusko Two big names in market research and online media have united to help consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies measure the offline sales impact of their online marketing efforts. Improved returns on investment for CPG marketers is the hoped-for result. ACNielsen and Yahoo! have launched Yahoo! Consumer Direct, Powered by ACNielsen, a marketing service that works this way: About 18,000 members of the ACNielsen Homescan consumer panel have granted permission to allow their offline purchasing to be analyzed in conjunction with their activity on the Yahoo! Network. ACNielsen and Yahoo! will use those findings to locate groups with similar interests among Yahoo!'s millions of visitors. Then, in combination with CPG clients, Consumer Direct will market to those consumers via customized online media campaigns. "Linking online media to offline sales is a strategic imperative for Kraft," says Kathy Riordan, vice president of e-commerce for Kraft Foods North America. "We were pleased to be involved in the earliest stages of this groundbreaking work." As a final component of Consumer Direct's offerings, the ACNielsen Homescan panel is used to evaluate campaigns' ROI, including metrics surrounding the impact on retail sales and brand loyalty.