French company Netvalue will launch in the UK next month with a service to help businesses better target their Web ventures by tracking consumers' every move.
Netvalue has teamed up with Taylor Nelson Sofres, a company that ranks TV audience numbers, to measure the online behaviour of 1000 UK households.
The service monitors everything the panel does on the Internet, including software, audio and video downloads, email, chat and forums, as well as the websites they visit, according to Alki Manias, UK managing director of Netvalue.
"These are common internet activities so they're just as important to track as the websites visited," he said.
Manias said many businesses invest heavily in the Web with little or no accurate market information. This problem is exacerbated by industry analysts constantly urging Web businesses to provide true one-to-one marketing to their customers, but often they have to so while simultaneously running their business.
Companies sign up to Netvalue on a yearly basis and receive monthly and quarterly paper reports as well as an online service. The latter allows companies to view preset queries as well as enter their own queries on the data.
As Netvalue gives its customers access to independent research on who uses existing sites and technology, before they launch, companies can identify their customers while keeping track of the competition as well as discovering new markets, said Manias.
The company insists its monitoring is not intrusive as the panellist downloads the product and then just gets on with surfing.
"There is no big brother effect as every panellist is aware of what they're getting involved in," said Manias. "There is complete confidentiality, there is no way to trace back any individual."
He added that judging by some of the panellists' Web activities, they certainly aren't inhibited by Netvalue's presence.
Netvalue, founded by market research specialist Emmanuel Brizard and former European Netscape executive, Bernard Ochs, launched in France in 1998.
It plans to launch next month and already has Microsoft, France Telecom, online brokerage Etrade and Proctor and Gamble as customers.
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