Tag Archives: insights

Online Ad Effectiveness Research Grows Up

 This article is
brought to you by Survata.

The days of giving
digital a pass are over. It’s time to grow up.’- Marc
Pritchard, Chief Branding Officer, Procter & Gamble, January 2017
When the CBO of P&G tells us to grow up,
we listen. And after speaking with clients at last month’s Media Insights
Conference, it’s clear that there’s consensus: online advertising research
needs to get more sophisticated.
We’re here to help. IAB breaks research down into phases: design, recruitment & deployment, and
optimization. We’ll walk through each phase and determine what’s most in need
of ‘growing up.’ We’ll also include questions to ask your research partner to
help increase the sophistication of your ad effectiveness research.
Design

Let’s start by acknowledging that
statistically sound online ad effectiveness research has not been easy to
implement at reasonable cost until recently. As IAB notes, ‘Questions around recruitment, sample bias and deployment are
hampering the validity of this research and undermining the industry as a
whole.’
Just because perfect research design is
challenging to achieve doesn’t mean that advertisers should settle for studies
with debilitating flaws, leading to biased, unreliable results. In addition to
challenges inherent to good research design, most ad effectiveness research
partners have systematic biases due to the way they find respondents, which
must be accounted for in the design phase. There has been innovation in this
space within the past year using technology to reduce or eliminate systematic
bias in respondent recruitment. 
Assuming you’re able to address the systematic
bias of your research partner’s sampling, the major remaining challenge is how
you approach the control group. At Survata, we think about this as a hierarchy: 
Using a holdout group is best practice, but
implementing it requires spending some portion of your ad budget strictly on
the control group. In other words, some of your ad budget will be spent on
intentionally NOT showing people an ad. A small portion of people in the ad buy
will instead be shown public service announcements to establish the control
group. We love the purity of this approach, but we also understand the reality
of advertising budgets. We don’t view holdout as a requirement for sound online
ad effectiveness research. Smart design combined with technology can achieve
methodologically sound control groups without ‘wasting’ ad budget.
Along those lines, the Audience Segment
approach has become de facto best practice for many of our clients. Basically,
you create your control group from the same audience segment that you’re
targeting in the ad buy. This isn’t perfect, as there could be an underlying
reason that some people in the segment saw the ad but others didn’t (e.g., some
people very rarely go online, or to very few websites), but it’s still an excellent
approach. It’s the grown-up version of Demographic Matching.
Demographic Matching, in which the control
group is created by matching as many demographic variables as possible with the
exposed group (e.g., gender, age, income), is still a very common strategy.
It’s straightforward to accomplish even using old online research
methodologies. As online data has allowed us to learn far more useful
information about consumers than demographic traits, this approach is dated.
Simply sampling GenPop as a control is
undesirable. The results are much more likely to reveal the differences between
the exposed and control groups than the effectiveness of the advertising.
Questions for your research partner:
  • What are known biases among
    respondents due to recruitment strategy?
  • What is your total reach? What
    percentage of the target group is within your reach? Is it necessary to
    weight low-IR population respondents due to lack of scale?
  • What’s your approach to creating
    control groups for online ad effectiveness research?
  • For Demographic Matching, how do
    you determine which demographic characteristics are most important to
    match?
  • How do you accomplish Audience
    Segment matching?
Recruitment/ Deployment

Historically, there were four methods to recruit respondents / deploy the
survey: panels, intercepts, in-banner, or email list. To stomach these
methodologies, researchers had to ignore one of the following flaws:
non-response bias, misrepresentation, interruption of the customer experience
or email list atrophy. In our view, these methodologies are now dated since the
advent of the publisher network methodology.

The publisher network works by offering
consumers content, ad-free browsing, or other benefits (e.g. free Wi-Fi) in
exchange for taking a survey. The survey is completed as an alternative to
paying for the content or service after the consumer organically visits the
publisher. In addition to avoiding the flaws of the old methodologies, the
publisher network model provides dramatically increased accuracy, scale, and speed.
Questions for your research partner:
  • What incentives are offered in
    exchange for respondent participation?
  • What are the attitudinal,
    behavioral, and demographic differences between someone willing to be in a
    panel versus someone not interested in being in a panel?
  • What are the attitudinal,
    behavioral, and demographic differences between someone willing to take a
    site intercept survey versus someone not interested in taking a site
    intercept survey?
  • How much does non-response bias
    affect the data?
  • Are you integrated with the
    client’s DMP?
  • How long to get the survey into
    the field, and how long until completed?
  • How does the vendor ensure that
    exposure bias doesn’t occur?
  • How does the vendor account for
    straight-liners, speeders, and other typical data quality issues?
Optimization

An optimal ad effectiveness campaign returns results quickly, so that immediate
and continuous adjustments can be made to replace poorly performing creative,
targeting, and placements with higher performing ones. We call this real-time
spend allocation. It’s analogous to real-time click-through rate optimization,
as it relies on solutions to the same math problem (known as the multi-armed bandit).

By integrating with DMPs, ad effectiveness
research can be cross-tabbed against even more datasets. The results will yield
additional insights about a company’s existing customers.
Questions for your research partner:
  • Are results reported real-time?
  • How much advertising budget is
    wasted due to non-optimization?
  • How can DMP data be incorporated
    to improve ad research?
Conclusion

Flawed research methodologies can’t grow up,
they can only continue to lower prices for increasingly suspect data. For
online ad effectiveness research to grow up, new methodologies must be adopted.

To learn more about
conducting your own ad effectiveness study, visit Survata

Must See Talks from KNect365′s Spring Insights 2017 Events

From former gang leaders, to cyborg anthropologists, to
biomimicry experts- KNect365′s Must See Talks will challenge you to look at
problems in a whole new way and become an ignitor of change for your organization.
‘The Centrality of a Detailed Understanding of your
Audience’ ‘ Haile Owusu, Chief Data Scientist, Mashable
Marketing Analytics & Data Science
April 3-5, 2017
San Francisco, CA
Use code MADS17LI for $100 off.
Buy tickets to see Haile: https://goo.gl/YqXZdx
‘The Consumer Influence ‘ and Impact ‘ of Virtual
Reality’ ‘ Jeremy Bailenson, Founding Director of Stanford University’s Virtual
Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University
TMRE in Focus
May 1-3, 2017
Chicago, IL
Use code FOCUS17LI for $100 off.
Buy tickets to see Jeremy: https://goo.gl/c2UdIv
‘Originals: How Non-Conformists Rule the World’ ‘ Adam
Grant, Professor, Author of Give and Take and Originals at The Wharton School
of Business at the University of Pennsylvania
OmniShopper
June 20-22, 2017
Minneapolis, MN
Use code OMNI17LI for $100 off.
Buy tickets to see Adam: https://goo.gl/oUB85g
‘Underdogs, Misfits
& the Art of Battling Giants’ ‘ Malcom Gladwell, Best-Selling Author of
Outliers, The Tipping Point and David & Goliath
TMRE: The Market Research Event
October 22-25, 2017
Orlando, FL
Use code TMRE17LI for $100 off.
Buy tickets to see
Malcom:
https://goo.gl/gM7Dtv
We hope to see you this
spring!
Cheers,

The KNect 365 Event Team

The OmniShopper 2017 Full Keynote Lineup

You’ve already heard about some of the biggest changes we’ve
made to OmniShopper for 2017 ‘ moving the
event to June, away from your summer vacations and changing the location to
Minneapolis, home of the Mall of America, the retail mecca.
But, what you may not have heard about yet is the FULL
keynote lineup ‘ it’s completely different from what you’ve seen before.
Covering everything from marketing in the Trump era, the future of retail, the
human side of selling, data informed design and more:
??        
Originals: How Non-Conformists Rule the World
Adam Grant, Professor, The Wharton School of Business at the University of
Pennsylvania, Author, Give and Take and Originals
??        
Marketing in the Trump Age: New Rules for a New
Reality
Peter Horst, Former Chief Marketing Officer, The Hershey Company
??        
Digital Humanism & Recoding Culture: Moving
Toward the End of Demographics, Evolution of
??        
Psychographics and the Rise of the Individual
Edwin Wong, VP Research & Insights, Buzzfeed
??        
CX Sells: How to Win with the Human Side of
Selling at Brick & Mortar
Bridget Brennan, CEO, Female Factor, Author, Why She Buys
??        
Moments Matter… Make Yours Iconic
Soon Yu, Former Global Vice President of Innovation, VF Corp, Author, Iconic
Advantage
??        
Data Informed Design: How the Evolution of Data
Science Has Permeated into Product Vision & Design
Charlie Burgoyne, Principal Director of Data Science, Frog Design
??        
Winning in Her Purse: How the Rise of Technology
has Caused Far-Reaching Disruption Even in the Most Ubiquitous Fashion and Life
Accessory
Kelley Styring, Principal, InsightFarm
??        
Panel: Shaping the Future of Retail with
Science, Technology & Consumers
Lakshmi Venkataramani, Senior Director,
Customer Insights & Analytics, Walmart eCommerce
J Lynn Martinez, Vice President & Team
Lead Kroger, Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr. Duane Varan, Chief Executive Officer,
MediaScience
View the OmniShopper
agenda for full session details:
https://goo.gl/EqFq4h
Use exclusive
LinkedIn discount code OMNI17BL for $100 off the current rate:
https://goo.gl/EqFq4h
Subscribe to our monthly insights newsletter, The Insighter:
http://bit.ly/2m9UIoG
We hope to see you in Minneapolis!
Cheers,
The OmniShopper Team
@OmniShopper

#OmniShopperEvent

Image Recognition and the Future of Digital Analytics

This post was originally
published
on Kelton Global’s Blog.

The days of text-centric social feeds are officially long
gone. A whopping 1.8 billion images are uploaded to the Internet daily
and of those, 350 million are shared on Facebook. Instagram recently
surpassed 500 million active users, and Snapchat now has more active users than Twitter. The content that flows
into our social feeds is more heavily optimized than ever to deliver more of
what people want’less text and more visuals.
Brands have adapted their social content strategies
accordingly by delivering more visually immersive experiences. And while we’re
seeing significant shifts in branded content, this influx of visual content has
yet to herald a commensurate change in social analytics. Accordingly, few gains
have been made to measure and derive insights from the contents of images or
video. Social listening has historically focused on the challenges of text-based
analysis’specifically, the challenge of determining the context and meaning
behind posts. But as social media habits evolve, it’s clear that deriving
insights from pictures is an increasingly important aspect of understanding
consumers. That’s where image recognition comes into play.
Brands have adapted
their social content strategies accordingly by delivering more visually
immersive experiences.

Simply put, image recognition is the process of translating
images to data. Photos and images can reveal a wealth of data
points’demographics, purchases, personalities, and behaviors (just to name a
few). Through next generation image recognition, a mere selfie may reveal a
person’s gender, approximate age, location disposition, and even the clothing
brands that the person is wearing. As text-centric media takes a backseat to
image and video, the opportunity to understand the contents of these formats
grows. These insights represent a veritable treasure trove of actionable data
for brands.
Tools that analyze image and video-based content are still
in development, but increased investment in research is already impacting
commercial products and how they’re advertised. One example is brand logo
recognition’scanning images for brand logos, and flagging them with the
corresponding brand names. This tool is especially powerful considering that 80% of photos shared online depict a brand logo but don’t
explicitly call out the brand’s name.
 This fact points to a sizable
opportunity for companies to measure and understand the impact of these formerly
inaccessible data points.
Photos and images can
reveal a wealth of data points’demographics, purchases, personalities, and
behaviors (just to name a few).

As an example of how this applies to brands, Kelton’s
Digital Analytics team took a look at the scores of backyard BBQ photos that
flooded public forums, blogs, and social feeds over the recent 4th of July
holiday. We experimented to see which of two quintessentially American beverage
brands’Coca-Cola and Budweiser’netted more published images of
patriotically-themed bottles and cans (as well as other forms of branding) on
social media.

In the end, Coca-Cola branding was twice as prominent as
Budweiser’s. We found that Coke bottles and cans popped up in more diverse
settings such as public parks and inside motor vehicles, whereas Budweiser was
predominantly found in bars and house parties. Coke also aroused greater
sentiment around the theme of Americana, as many consumers
photographed vintage Coca-Cola gear and opted for bottles over cans. This might
explain why Coke captured a significantly greater share of social mentions than
Budweiser.
This example illustrates several ways that brands can
leverage image recognition technology to build actionable insights:
??        
Ethnographic data ‘ Identify where, when
and how often brands are showing up in people’s lives.
??        
Updated brand health analysis ‘ We now have
a more comprehensive point of view of brands’ online footprint.
??        
Sponsorship and Branding ROI ‘ Extend the
value of branding and sponsorships shared via online news, blogs and social
media through a multiplier effect.
??        
Influencer identification ‘ Find authentic
brand advocates who consume and spotlight your merchandise.
??        
Misuse use of brand iconography ‘ Surface
content that depicts improper usage of brand’s logo or other creative assets.

In today’s ever-shifting social media landscape, it’s never
been more important for brands and their partners to stay aware of the new and
emerging capabilities that can help better understand consumers’ behavior
online. Image recognition is just the beginning. From AI startups to instant
objection recognition devices
, the mobilization and fusion of research,
tech, and capital is quickly reshaping the way we think about analytics. These
new tools will add even more contextual understanding to sentiment on social
platforms, empowering brands to understand consumers like never before.

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2017 Recap

By: Jim Bono, Vice President, Research, Crown Media Family Networks 
Nearly 300
research and insights executives from over 140 different organizations in the
media industry gathered in Fort Lauderdale seeking to overcome measurement
challenges, uncover the next generation of research methodologies, and create
new engagement strategies.
Day 1 recap
MI&E
Conference Coordinator, Rachel McDonald, started off the day welcoming this
year’s attendees and introducing this year’s co-chairs: Janet Gallent
(NBCUniversal), Rob McLoughlin (POPSUGAR) and Bruce Friend
(Maru/Matchbox).
OPENING KEYNOTE
INTERVIEW – RE-IMAGINING THE FUTURE OF TELEVISION
Bruce sat with
Turner’s Howard Shimmel for a one-on-one discussion about the future of the
industry.  Recently, at a Cynopsis
conference, Shimmel said “we’re at a measurement crisis.”  Elaborating on that comment, he explained how
it’s 2017 and we still do not have a robust cross-platform solution for our
industry. Advertisers want an infrastructure that allows more exposure than
just reach and frequency.  With Total
Audience, we still don’t know what to do with it.
They also
discussed the Turner Ad Lab, and how people go to Netflix, Hulu, etc., to watch
content without ads. What can we do to make the advertising experience better
for the consumer?
Howard believes
that the industry should have a published document that mandates what currency
data research vendors should provide for the content providers. As new
platforms are emerging, we need to better understand where those consumers are
going to find content.
Bruce asked
about big data and how it’s all the rage. As an industry where do we go from
here?  Howard explained how there is an
abundance of research tools out there. 
We just haven’t done a good enough job telling our clients that we have
all these tools.  Big data is a component
to an overall data framework. We need to know when to use it and not to use it.
Sometimes Big Data can be wrong data.
Bruce also
questioned how new companies are great with tech but don’t understand the data
they deliver. However, other great long-time research companies are very good
at analyzing data but don’t have the tech. 
Howard feels that there’s nothing wrong with using a combination of data
sets like Nielsen, MRI, and panel data to come up with the best solution.
Unfortunately, there are too many companies that reach out and don’t really
understand our businesses.
He still
believes that survey research is important to our industry as data tells what,
but not why.
KEYNOTE 1 – THE
IMPORTANCE OF RACE AND ETHNICITY IN REACHING MILLENNIALS
Cathy Cohen,
Professor at University of Chicago, gave us a very entertaining look at
millennials and the importance of race and ethnicity among this group,
especially regarding this year’s election. The majority of Millennials in the
US are Hispanic and African-American, and by 2060 White will be a minority.
In this past
year’s election, more African-American and Latino Millennials voted for
Democrats, while there were more white Millennials voting Republican. However,
in the 2016 primary vote the choice among all Millennials (regardless of
ethnicity) was Bernie Sanders.
Cohen’s
presentation covered
??        
The complexity of Millennials through a racial framework
??        
Researching race and Millennials
??        
Rise of Millennials in the workforce
??        
Importance of Millennials in the Political force
Millennials are
becoming an increasingly important electoral demographic.  The share of eligible voters that are
Millennials has grown during last 3 elections:
??        
2008 – 23%
??        
2012 – 29%
??        
2016 – 36%
Cohen also
addressed the six key problems with studying Millennials:
1.      
 Generational frames /
over-representation of white Millennials
2.      
 Under investigation of
white Millennials
3.      
 Homogenous communities of
color missing Millennials
4.      
 Segmentation of Millennials
of color – pick one!
5.      
 Millennials as experts of
Millennials – homophily
6.      
 One-offs or waves – assumes
stability in taste, preferences and decisions
KEYNOTE PANEL -
HOW CONSUMERS ENGAGE WITH PROGRAMMING ACROSS SOCIAL PLATFORMS
‘ moderated by Sean Casey, Nielsen Social Guide
o  
Brian Robinson (Facebook)
o  
Tom Ciszik (Twitter)
o  
Guy Ram (NBC)
o  
Leslie Koch (HBO)
Insights from
this panel discussion focused on the evolution of social media and how quickly
it’s grown.
Consumers spend
5.5 hours per week using Social Media on their smartphone.
64% of
consumers use smartphone while watching TV. 
1.2 billion
interact on Social referring to TV.
After breaking
for lunch hour afternoon consisted of Concurrent
Tracks
.  These case studies were
broken into three groups:
??        
Track 1 -
Targeting Viewers
??        
Track 2 – Audience
Insights
??        
Track 3 – Innovation
in Media
The Audience
Insights
breakouts were:
?? 
REVOLUTIONIZING
HOW THE WORLD SEES MILLENNIALS AND GEN Z
‘ Rich Cornish and Tasja Kirkwood, Viacom
?? 
HOW STARZ
STRECHES RESEARCH FURTHER
‘ Kendra Sindleman, Starz Entertainment
?? 
PUT A SEXY SPIN
ON YOUR SALES STORY
‘ Karen Ramspacher, David Tice and Jola Burnett, GfK MRI
?? 
LEVERAGING FAN
PASSION IN COLLEGE SPORTS
‘ Keith Friedenberg, WME/IMG
?? 
EMOTIONAL
CONNECTION: A MEASURE BEYOND RATINGS FOR TELEVISION
‘ Lauren
Zweifler, NBCU
The Innovations
in Media
breakouts were:
?? 
MAXIMIZING AD
ENGAGEMENT IN TOTDAY’S CROSS-PLATFORM WORLD
‘ Jon
Giegengack and Peter Fondulas, Hub Entertainment Research, and Richard Zackon,
CRE
?? 
EXPLORING THE FUTURES OF STORYTELLING AND ENGAGEMENT THROUGH SLOW
INNOVATION
- Sam Ford, MIT Comparative Media Studies
?? 
VOICES OF MADTECH: HOW MARKETERS & AGENCIES SEE THE MADTECH WORLD ‘ Sherrill Mane, Ipsos
Connect
?? 
LEVERAGING AUDIENCE
VIEWERSHIP & BEAVIORAL INSIGHTS FOR LINEAR MONETIZATION
‘ Shiv Sehgal,
RSG Media
Below are the Track 1 – Targeting Viewers case
studies:
FROM ORDINARY
TARGET TO PERSUADABLE TARGET
David Kaplan
from Bravo, along with Zach Schessel from NBCU and Peter Bouchard from Civis
Analytics, discussing how to hit the right target audience and
“swing” viewers. The presentation also looked at how to attract
casual viewers without alienating the core viewers.
Key takeaways
were:
??        
The different creative approach is often required for on-air vs.
off-channel to drive maximum impact with loyal and casual viewers
??        
Casual Bravo viewers may all have some affinity for the network
but only the “swing viewers” in this group can be readily persuaded
to deepen their commitment and watch more
??        
 An ad’s positive persuadability
should be balanced with any potential backlash effects to ensure a net positive
effect
??        
 Not all swing viewers are
created equal, e.g. consumers in different DMAs can have a varied response to
creative hooks
VIEWING
PREDICTIONS & INVENTORY OPTIMIZATION: THE SECRETS TO SUCCESS IN AUDIENCE
TARGETING
Steve Schmitt
of TiVo showed us how TiVo is helping clients get from traditional linear to
non-linear content, and how they improved campaign performance using optimizers
and brand targeting. His presentation focused on how:
??        
 TV consumption has
undergone profound changes, especially Millennials age 18-34
??        
 Total video consumption
continues to expand with DVR, VOD, SVOD and online/mobile viewing extending the
power of linear TV
??        
 Linear TV has majority share,
but it is declining as on-demand options expand
Concepts on the
rise are binge viewing, on-demand, cord-cutting and cord-shaving, while things
like appointment viewing and one-size-fits-all on decline.
ONLINE VIDEO IN
THE TOOLBOX: A MUST HAVE
Darlene
LaChapelle and Maya Abinakad from AOL talked about the top drivers for video
growth, with “social media video offerings” and “better quality
creative” leading the way, and how online video growth is driven by mobile
devices.
??        
Online video viewing on a smartphone is on par with that of a
computer
??        
 Consumers indicate they
have few technical barriers watching online video on their smartphones, but get
the convenience of watching anywhere, anytime
??        
 62% said I watch more
online video today than one year ago
??        
 62% said in the next 6 months
I expect to watch more online video
Laptop/desktop
(70%) is still the leading device on which online video is watch daily, just
edging smartphone (67%)
HOW TO ENGAGE
MULTICULTURAL MILLENNIAL INFLUENCERS IN 2017 AND BEYOND
Our afternoon
continued with our only Track 1 panel. 
The panel was moderated by Horowitz’s Adriana Waterson, and we heard
from Michele Meyer (Univision), Tom Kralik (Revolt) and Lia Silkworth
(Telemundo) as they discussed their key takeaways about multicultural
millennials and the importance of this audience in our business today, as
leading consumers of cross-platform media.
??        
 Hispanics are leading the
charge in cross-platform media consumption
??        
 Millennial and Gen Z trends
ARE multicultural trends
??        
Gen Z is more diverse and multicultural and are digital natives
??        
 If you join a multicultural
network, your general market skills may not “translate”
THE NEXT
GENERATION OF AD EFFECTIVENESS
Our first day
concluded with this presentation from Chris Kelly at Survata.
Day
2 recap
Co-chair Rob
McLoughlin opened the morning with a recap for Day 1, and a look at what to
expect for Day 2.
KEYNOTE 1: MULTIDIMENSIONAL MEDIA & THE FUTURE OF
ENGAGEMENT
Amber Case,
author of Design for the Next Generation of Devices, gave us a comical look at
connected devices and how the average consumer has become dependent on them.  She showed us products like PetNet, and how
the Web and technology play a major role in self-development.
In this world
of ever changing technology, we need to make sure that ‘machines shouldn’t act
like humans, and humans shouldn’t act like machines.’
KEYNOTE 2 – DIGITAL HUMANISM: THE COMING AGE OF CONTENT
Edwin Wong of
Buzzfeed gave us his insights on Recoding Culture.  We got a look at Millennials and how culture
is being reshaped and where it’s headed.
76% of Gen Y
say “it’s the norm to be radical” (as opposed to 60% of Gen X).
Buzzfeed conducted
a study breaking millennials into 4 groups:
o  
Omegas
o  
Sigma’s
o  
Cult Kids
o  
Nichesters
And we found
that there are strong overlaps between these groups.
Wong stressed
how we’re moving towards the end of demographics, evolution of psychographics
and the rise of the individual.
He ended his
keynote with a very touching video about Asians and their stories about the sacrifices
their parents made for them.
KEYNOTE 3 – BEYOND
THE STORY: WHY YOU NEED A NARRATIVE
Tobin
Trevarthen of 21st Century Narrative and author of Narrative Generation was our
next keynote speaker and covered:
??        
what is a narrative
??        
why you need a narrative
??        
story vs. Narrative
??        
building a narrative
A narrative
differs from a story.  More directly, a
narrative is a mosaic of related, contextual stories that inform and define
one’s perspective.
A story has a
beginning, a middle and an end.  A story
has a plot, and acts as a one-way monologue.
A narrative is
endless, and has a more interactive dialogue.
Tobin showed
how Tesla automotive expanded the brand narrative to reach consumers.
KEYNOTE 4 – ADDRESSING
TRUST AND TRANSPARENCY WITH BIG DATA IN TV MEASUREMENT
Mainak
Mazumdar, CRO of Nielsen, was our last keynote speaker of the morning.  Mazumdar explained how recently data sets had
errors and inaccuracies in station crediting, time shifted content and missing
live viewing.  He addressed 2 key
questions:
??        
what is our “ground truth?
??        
how do we understand and correct for biases?
Nielsen used
RPD data along with 200,000+ high quality person’s panel to address methodology
challenges.
His RPD data
and panel findings showed that:
??        
20% of live RPD minutes were credited to the wrong station
??        
25% of live viewing in the RPD was missing
??        
40% of time shifted viewing was credited to the wrong content
Nielsen is
working hard to understand and correct these inaccuracies.
The Day 2
afternoon Audience Insights breakouts were:
?? 
comScore SHARES
THE KEY TO UNLOCKING AUDIENCE INSIGHTS
‘ Carol Hinnant, comScore
?? 
WHY CO-VIEWING
MATTERS

Marc Normand, Disney-Freeform and Brian West, Disney ABC
?? 
AUDIENCE
INSIGHTS FOR 2017 AND BEYOND
‘ Rick Kelly, FUEL CYCLE
?? 
ADVANCE YOUR
INSIGHTS BY REBUILDING YOUR COMSUMER COMMUNITY
‘ Jim Powel,
Comcast
The Innovations
in Media
breakouts were:
?? 
INSIGHTS OR
INSANITY IN THE AGE OF COMPLEXITY
‘ James Petretti, Sony Pictures Television
?? 
HOW BBC AMERICA BROUGHT THEIR AUDIENCE TO LIFE THROUGH ETHNO-SEGMENTATION ‘ Courtney
Thomasma, BBC America and Robert Miner, Miner & Co.
?? 
MARKETING TV NEWS RELEVANT TO NEW GENERATIONS ‘ Kimberly
Maxwell, NBC News, Sam Ford, MIT Comparative and Peggy Einnehmer, LRW
?? 
FUTURE OF
ONLINE VIDEO
‘ David Dowd, Tubular Labs
Below are the Track 1 – Targeting Viewers case
studies:
CHANNEL ME
Jason
Shalaveyus from Starcom and Nicole Tramontano from Turner showed us how agencies
and media companies need to understand how consumer video ad experiences keep
pace with content experiences. 
Despite the
industry pendulum swing away from engaged reach towards efficiency and
programmatic buying in recent years, Starcom and Turner set out to determine:
??        
Relative importance of contextual factors that influence ad
receptivity
??        
Range of impact for individual factors
??        
Net effect of multiple factors
??        
Prevalence of optimal contexts among segments
??        
Whether contextual relevance can improve upon category relevance
??        
If ceding even more control to the viewer improved the overall
viewing experience
Top findings:
??        
Easy wins where you have high control over highly influential
factors are hard to come by
??        
Life environments affect receptivity more than ad environments
??        
Content has a stable shelf life, but ads spoil quickly
??        
Relevance is important both in the market and in the moment
??        
The cat is out of the bag as far as control, but leashes can work
In summary:
A rising tide
lifts all boats.
Don’t neglect
the impact of context.
Be selective.
Be Flexible.
GEN Z: DIVING
INTO THE YOUTH GENERATION
Armida Ascano
and Gil Haddi from Trend Hunter are helping clients find the stories that
connect them to Gen Z (infants to 17) – what defines them and what they mean to
Media.  They are not as big as
Millennials, but they are just as important. 
By 2020, Gen Z will be 40% of the consumer base.
They explained
the overall differences between to two age group.
Online
Presence:
??        
Gen Y ‘ Facebook (overshare)
??        
Gen Z ‘ Snapchat (private)
Media
Consumption:
??        
Gen Y ‘ Love content
??        
Gen Z ‘ Really, really love content
Outlook on
Life:
??        
Gen Y ‘ Laissez faire
??        
Gen Z ‘ Cautiously planning
Gen Z is the
most diverse generation, and they are underrepresented in the mainstream media.
As a result, they turn to influencers who look and speak like them.
They already
have the tools, creativity and desire to create, but do not enjoy passive media
consumption.
This generation
is swapping in aspiration for realism.  As
content providers, we need to choose influencers and messaging with this in
mind.
VIEWER CHOICE: PRIMETIME
ALL OF THE TIME
A nearly packed
room showed up to see Melanie Schneider (AMC) and Stephanie Yates (WE) present
their case study.
‘TV is Dead! Run for the Hills!’ ‘Cord-cutting Means the End of Linear!’
‘Cable TV as We Know it is Dying!’
These are the comments we hear in the press everyday about our
industry.  And it’s true that TV viewership
has shown downward declines over the past 5 years.  However, content is up more than ever.  How are we able to watch all this content?  Technology has propelled viewer choice.
AMC Networks
did a study focusing on content, taking a deeper dive into Nielsen respondent
level data exploring viewers, their habits, and how they watch content.
THE OTT
CONUNDRUM: USING PSYCHOGRAPHICS TO UNDERSTAND CROSS-PLATFORM VIDEO CONSUMPTION
Tamara Barber
from Simmons Research gave us a presentation explaining that video consumption
is not just linear and live anymore. 
The majority of
the share of Broadcast viewing still comes from Live (35%) and DVR playback up
to 7 days (34%).  The same holds true for
Cable, with 43% viewing done Live and 26% coming from DVR playback in the first
7 days.  However, there is still a large
market opportunity for DVR after 7 days, VOD after 3 days, and OTT.
Simmons looked
at comprehensive video measurement across linear, SVOD, OTT and other connected
devices.
OTT users are
psychographically different. The Top 10 OTT user attributes included:
??        
more digital
??        
more social media
While the Top
10 attributes for non-OTT users included:
??        
use cell phone for calling only
??        
read newspaper daily 
Simmons is
hoping to use psychographics to optimize Media planning and buying.
Day
3 recap
Day 3 started with co-chair Bruce Friend recapping Day 2,
then introducing today’s first keynote speaker.
KEYNOTE 1 – MONEYBALL:
THE ART OF WINNING AN UNFAIR GAME

Paul Depodesta, CSO of Cleveland Browns,
engaged the audience with an overview that there’s a certain way that things
work.  Whether baseball, black jack, or
other situations in life, there’s always that ‘rule of thumb’ that we are
taught to follow.  However, sometimes the
‘rule’ doesn’t always work.  It’s all
about the process. Paul described a process/outcome quad:
??        
Good process/ Good outcome =
success
??        
Good process/ Bad outcome
= just unlucky
??        
Bad process/
Good outcome = get lucky once, but then rely on that luck to be successful
again
??        
Bad process/
Bad outcome = recipe for failure 

So, how do you
win with a lack of resources? 
Putting together a championship team is like cooking a
gourmet meal – you need the right ingredients. 
We’re always asking the naive questions- why is the market
down, why is this player struggling? We need a reason, but there not always is
a reason, so we try to explain by creating our own cause and relationships.
As with The
Oakland A’s in Moneyball, sometimes we need to throw out the old metrics, that
‘rule of thumb’ and start new.  Key
takeaways he learned from testing these new metrics were:         
??        
Find skillful
affordable talent to replace high priced starts
??        
Statistics can
be misleading
He drew
comparisons of scouting baseball players to testing programs.  Emotions drive our decisions, and we tend to
look for data to support and confirm these decisions, while dismissing any data
that contradicts what we believe.

Paul left us
with these 3 points: 
??        
become aware
of biases
??        
become
relentless in asking the naive question
??        
in the game of
uncertainty, how can we beat the house? Learn by previous failures to better
hit success.
KEYNOTE 2 – INSIGHTS
FROM THE 2016 ELECTION

The late morning keynote was actually broken
into 3 parts.  Robin Garfield of CNN
spoke first, and then we heard Dr. John Lapinski from NBC News, followed by a
Q&A with our 2 speakers.

Millennials told us they wanted a candidate who has a plan
to:
?? 
Create good paying jobs
?? 
Make healthcare more affordable
?? 
Do something about the soaring
costs of higher education and student debt
Millennials also told us they didn’t want a candidate who:
?? 
Represents ‘more of the same’
They were looking for a transformational candidate – someone
who will ‘change the government’, and that they were ‘done with the Clintons
and Bushes.’
Most Millennials liked Bernie Sanders, and both
Trump and Clinton were viewed negatively.

Not only was 2016 the most watched year on record in cable
news (with over 3 million total P2+ aggregate audience), but more people came
out to vote in 2016 than ever before.
??        
2000 ‘ 105.4
million total turnout (54.2% of eligible population that voted)
??        
2004 ‘ 122.3
million (60.1%)
??        
2008 ‘ 131.3
million (61.6%)
??        
2012 ‘ 129,1
million (58.6%)
??        
2016 ‘ 136.6
million (59.0%)
We were show examples of ‘what-if’ scenarios, that
demonstrated how close the election really was.
While Clinton’s popular vote lead was just shy of 3 million
(65.8 million for Clinton compared to 63.0 million for Trump), the red/blue map
showed that the majority of Clinton’s popular vote came from New York and
California.  And the 2016 Electoral
College hinged on a handful of states, with Trump taking Florida and the Rust
Belt states (Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin).
KEYNOTE PANEL
- CROSS PLATFORM MEASUREMENT AND THE FUTURE OF MEDIA
Jane Clark, from the Coalition for Innovative Media
Measurement, moderated this panel which included:
Jed Meyer (Univision), Jonathan Steuer (Omnicom),
Carol Hinnant (comScore), Steven Schmitt
(TiVo) and Kelly Abcarian (Nielsen).
The panel gave us a perspective of the industry from the
network, agency, and measurement side.  They
addressed the integrity of data and optimizing tools for better plans.  They talked about how there’s a constant
struggle trying to bring all measurement across all platforms together.
Kelly stressed how measurement needs to be a team sport.  Media companies are more and more starting to
own their own data, and that changes the dynamic of the industry.
There is a call from the network and agency side for duration
weighted viewable impressions across all platforms, and the measurement
companies just aren’t there yet.  The
question remains ‘ how do we get there?
The Day 3
afternoon Audience Insights breakouts were:
?? 
MULTICULTURAL
TV AUDIENCES ON TWITTER
‘ Meghann Elrhoul, Twitter
?? 
FULL SPECTRUM:
ILLUMINATING THE CONTENT PREFERENCES OF MULTICULTURAL AUDIENCE
‘ Thomas
Grayman, SpikeTV
The Innovations
in Media
breakouts were:
?? 
USING TRENDING
DATA TO UNCOVER THE WHITE SPACE
‘ Rob McLoughlin, POPSUGAR
Below are the Track 1 – Targeting Viewers case
studies:
QUANTIFYING
CROSS-PLATFORM ADVERTISING IMPACT IN LATIN AMERICA

ESPN’s David Hobbie gave us insight to David’s study focused on an advertising
campaign during this past year’s Olympics in Rio, and the impact and brand lift
experienced on ESPN Latin America.
THE STORY OF
KIDS MEDIA
The last case study track of the conference had Theresa
Pepe of Viacom give us an in depth look at kids’ data and… The
Story of Me.
We learned about kids under 11 and how they are the most
diverse kids ever. They make up 15.4% of the US population, and are extremely
persuasive. 
Theresa showed us a breakdown of these kids
focusing on:
??        
My beginning
??        
My world
??        
My family
??        
Myself
??        
My friends
??        
My tech
??        
My dreams
??        
Me in a nutshell. 

Since they were born these kids experienced: 
- The
first Black president 
- Terrorism
- Marriage equality 
- Great recession 
- YouTubers 
- On demand 
- Social Media 
- Device overload 
- Gender neutrality 

Their role models are their families’ and some
celebrities.  While 78% of girls look up
to mom, on 58% of boys look up to dad. 
26% said the look up to a grandparent, while the rest of their role
models included YouTube/Vine stars (19%), teacher (18%), brother (17%), sister
(15%), aunt/uncle/cousin (13%), actor/actress (10%), athlete (10%).
And they are busy!  6.2
hours of the day they are in school, while the rest of their day entails
sleeping (8.7 hours), eating/traveling (1.7 hours), organized sports/activities
(.9 hours), doing homework (.8 hours), and 6.4 hours going towards leisure (26%
of their day.)
In their free time, they watch TV (48%), play with toys
(43%), play video games (33%), and play outside (18%).
CONFERENCE
WRAP-UP

The Conference concluded with a wrap-up with the year’s
co-chairs and the advisory panel giving their feedback of the sessions,
discussing plans for next year’s conference, and taking questions from the
audience.

Marketers and the Future of DMP Insights

By: Hannah Chapple
Advertisers, agencies, and publishers are swimming in data.
They have so many data points, from a variety of sources, that they are simply
overwhelmed by it all. Website (cookie data), social data, CRM data, you name
it, and they’ve likely got it. Sorting all of this data from various (often
siloed) sources, in a timely and efficient manner is a near impossible human
task.
We all know that the role of a marketer is to reach the
right consumer, at the right time, with the right message. But to do this
effectively, marketers are challenged with interpreting their mass amounts
of data and uncovering actionable insight, at speed and scale.
Interpreting mass
amounts of data is no easy feat.
As the demand for digital marketing and
programmatic/real-time ad buying rises, marketers face more pressure than ever
to target audiences faster, and with laser-precise, data-driven insights. We
know that consumers will only respond to the messages that speak to their
interests, passions, wants, and needs. And in the world of real-time bidding,
technologies only have milliseconds to get that messaging right. And guess
what? These messages cannot be crafted with broad categorization methods like
demographics alone. Demographics as a stand alone are limiting and tell you
nothing about what an individual is interested in, passionate about, or value.
To fill this gap, we have seen marketers seek more and more
data resources. That’s why we see marketers not only trying to make sense of
their first-party data but also second party data (from partners) and purchased
third-party data. Can you understand why marketers are swimming in data? It’s
a vicious cycle. So again, we arrive at our original problem: how can
marketers turn mass amounts of data into actionable insight, at speed and scale?
Are DMP’s the magic
solution in the advertising ecosystem?
To better target potential consumers, many advertisers rely
on Data Management Platforms (DMP’s) to collect their mass amounts of disparate
audience data (including the first, second, and third-party data we spoke
about) and interpret it. In short, DMP’s are cloud-based warehouses used to
generate an audience segment(s) based on patterns and trends set within defined
parameters. The goal, of course, is to deliver high-quality, accurate audience
segments to marketers, and all other players in the advertising ecosystem, like
DSP’s. When placed into action, these audience segments (generated by the DMP)
should result in smarter optimized ads, efficient media spend, and less ad
waste. But is this actually the case?
Marketers are sitting on a wealth of data, with a goldmine
of potential insights to derive from that data. That’s why more and more
companies are investing in DMP’s for their business and are hiring
highly-qualified, expensive professionals to manage them. However, while DMP’s
are used to extract insights, there is still a lot of wasted potential in these
tools.
Here’s a quick DMP lesson: DMP’s operate on a ‘hypothesis’
basis. DMP users must set conditions or a query to break down the data sources
and form a specific audience segment they want. For a DMP to work properly
(with speed and accuracy) and know what data to segment or pair, a DMP user
must understand many factors including media, marketing, analytics and of
course data. The DMP will then do its best to match data and form an actionable
audience segment for the marketer to leverage.
For example, a marketer could leverage behavioural cookie
data to build an audience of males in Nova Scotia, over 30 who browsed a car
website on their mobile device. This audience can then be used for ad-buying,
media placement, etc. 
But marketers don’t
know, what they don’t know.
But what does this marketer really know about this audience?
What are their interests and passions, outside of cars, and how can they be
determined? This is why, despite the integration of DMP’s, marketers still
aren’t getting it right. While automated, there is still a human error in how
DMP’s select which data to process and interpret.
Don’t get me wrong; there is incredible value in DMP’s but
there is also an incredible opportunity present. Ultimately, the goal of
leveraging a DMP is to provide a personalized consumer experience by relating
to their interests and behaviours. But marketers are only grasping at the data
that they are currently able to understand. Like I said, DMP’s operate on a
hypothesis basis, contingent on the user’s understanding of the data.
We, as marketers, haven’t even scraped the surface of what
is possible with DMP data. Marketers need a solution that looks beyond
predetermined hypothesis and attributes. Instead, we need a solution that
interprets unsupervised data and can discover the hidden relations and insights
within audiences that marketers don’t yet know.
How do you foresee 2017 shaping up? How will DMP’s evolve?
Share what you think down below: [Read
more on the Affinio blog]

About the Author: Hannah
Chapple is the Marketing & Content Coordinator at Affinio, the marketing
intelligence platform. Hannah holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with
a major in Marketing from the F.C. Manning School of Business at Acadia
University. 

Sleep Loss in Teens Linked to Social Media

by Yamilex Batista

In this generation, teenagers are becoming so addicted and
obsessed with social media that it can potentially affect their ability to
focus in school. Instead of getting nine hours of sleep, most teenagers
dedicate their time to use social media during the night.
According to a recent article in Media Post, ‘Sleep
Loss in Teens Linked to Social Media
,’ a survey from the Wales Institute
for social & Economic Research revealed that one-fifth of 900 students,
ages 12 to 15 years old, reported to ‘almost always’ waking up during the
night. Moreover, the study found that teenage females were more likely to use
social media more often than teenage males during the night time. This
emphasizes that teenagers are developing a sleep disorder because of
uncontrollable social media use. As a result of this sleepless pattern,
students tend to feel tired and less motivated during class time, which negatively
affects their academic performance.
The article also links social media to sleep disruption by
referring to the study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
However, this survey aimed to target adults ages 19 to 32 within the United
States instead of middle school teenagers. Out of 1,788 adults surveyed in the
study about 30% pointed out to experience sleep disturbance. The study also
pointed out that adults who were constantly using social media tended to feel
three times more tired, compared to adults who use social media at a lower
rate.
However, studies in an article from the Medical Daily, ‘Sleep
and Social Media: New Study Finds Link Between Facebook Use and Lack of Sleep
,’
aim to indicate people tend to check social media late at night as a result of
a previous sleep disturbance. The research demonstrated that sleep disruption does
not arise from social media use during the night. The study revealed that the
use of social media during the night is increasing because students tend to use
it to control their disrupted sleep schedules. Students believe that using
Facebook during the night might help them fall asleep faster. At the same time,
students developed the habit of constantly checking social media pages or
Facebook to stay informed and to relax their mind.
Overall, this research reveals one of the many outcomes and
factors contributing to uncontrollable social
media
use. Young people in the U.S. are devoted to spending most of their
time on social media, instead of focusing in school and the real-world
environment. High use of social media or Facebook can cause sleep disruption,
but at the same time, the lack of sleep can influence to the use of social
media.
About the Author: Yamilex is currently a Marketing Intern at
Knect365 where she assists in social media research & management, blog
writing, and various marketing tasks. She is also a student at the Renaissance
Charter High School for Innovation. She hopes to attend the University
Pennsylvania or Boston College to major in communications with integrated
marketing.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with $200 Off an Insights Conference You Love!

Dear
Insights Community,
Roses
are red’
Violets
are blue’
It’s
Valentine’s Day’
So
here’s $200 off a conference just for you!
As
valued reader of our blog, in true Valentine’s Day
fashion, we want to share the love! So please take your pick of our 2017
conference lineup and take $100 off using the blog discount code, plus an
additional $100 just for Valentine’s Day:
1)      Marketing Analytics & Data Science
Data science and
marketing analytics are transforming every industry. There is a reason why it
is being called the sexiest job of the 21st century. Calling all professionals
that want to harness analytics and data science! Do you realize how critical
you are to the future of your organization?
April 3-5, 2017
San Francisco, CA
Use code
MADS17BL for an additional $100 off
Buy tickets: https://goo.gl/mqkbYk
2)      TMRE in Focus
Take Command of
Technologies Shaping the Future of Market Research. TMRE in Focus helps you
understand how technology can be used, together, with your traditional MR
skills, to deliver better insights, faster to your customers.
May 1-3, 2017
Chicago, IL
Use code
FOCUS17BL for an additional $100 off
Buy tickets: https://goo.gl/7lPOK5 


3)      OmniShopper
At OmniShopper
brand & retail leaders reveal the latest insights and activation strategies
to Dominate at Retail. It’s time to throw out the traditional shopper
“rule book” out the window. Hear from those who’ve mastered
end-to-end omnichannel strategies to deliver seamless shopper experiences.
June 20-22, 2017
Minneapolis, MN
Use code
OMNI17BL for an additional $100 off
Buy tickets: https://goo.gl/zO6nd4
4)      TMRE: The Market Research Event
Insights is under
pressure. Pressure to reduce cost. Pressure to cut timelines. Pressure to not
only produce numbers, but a story that can be sold into the business. TMRE
helps you exploit insights as a vehicle for influence. The best in the industry
will converge to talk technology, disruptive trends, professional skill
development, hot new sectors, and the future customer.
October 22-25, 2017
Use code
TMRE17BL for an additional $100 off
Buy tickets: https://goo.gl/lp4c1z
Love,
The KNect365
Marketing, Insights & Innovation Team

The Media Research Industry has More Opportunities Than Ever Before

Insights have become a vehicle for influencing marketing and
ultimately, the world. That’s why next in our Insights as a Vehicle for
Influence interview series, we sat down with Sam Ford, a media executive,
consultant, and research affiliate with MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing. In
our conversation, he shed some light on how the media industry has changed and
how media companies can do a better job at reaching the ‘new age’ consumer.
What is the state of
the media research industry in 2017?
Media research is in an interesting state at the moment. On
the one hand, there’s more to potentially research than ever before. Quantitatively,
there’s more to research than ever before, and organizations are finding new
ways to collect, synthesize, and make sense of all the data they are bringing
in.
However, with that influx of data, there still remains a
certain surety in what it’s saying, without necessarily enough questioning of
whether we’re asking the right questions. I feel like we’ve spent a lot of time
in the media industries gathering the data that is easiest to gather, or that
feels the most similar to what we’ve always gathered, leading organizations to
continue to be driven by impressions-and-reach-based models, when they may
often not be serving the needs of media companies, advertisers, or audiences
all that well.
Meanwhile, there are more opportunities than ever to do
great qualitative research, from audience experience projects to netnography,
but organizations often have not prioritized/invested in these methods. Many
organizations are making deeper investments into digital research, but all too
often the teams aren’t connected in the ways they should be to maximize
effectiveness and minimize redundancy. And, most importantly of all, the sort
of pattern recognition most important for good insights work may not be
positioned in many media companies in a way that allows it to contribute all it
can. After all, gathering data, qualitative insights, benchmarking, and
thoughts about future trends are all only useful if there are ways all of this
is being synthesized, analyzed, and brought to the table for key decisions being
made across the organization.
What have been the
biggest changes in the industry since you started your career?
I’ve spent years on different sides of these questions. I
began my career as a journalist. For the past 12 years, I’ve tackled these
questions most consistently from an academic’s perspective, looking at these
questions from outside the day-to-day needs of a particular media organization.
I have spent many years consulting with big brands from a marketing and PR
standpoint. And I spent much of the past two years working at a media company
operating in the network television, cable television, digital publishing, and
digital video distribution spaces.
Across all those vantage points, I’ve seen an industry
weathering a prolonged period of massive change, largely by finding ways to
hold as closely as it can to an ongoing semblance of normalcy’which is to be
expected in an industry where businesses can never truly close up shop. We’ve
seen an acceptance that you can’t fight change throughout the media industries,
but it has come along with a desire to cling to the broadcast model.

Have the influx of
social media and mobile made your job easier or harder?
Media companies, and advertisers, used to have very few
methods to really understand and listen to their audiences. We have all sorts
of new methods to be able to do that now. So, rather than having to create
aggregate stand-ins like customer segmentation profiles for our audience, we
have more access to those real people than ever before.
However, with that overabundance of information, we’ve
strangely found ourselves in a similar position as when we didn’t have enough
information’relying too often on ways of understanding audiences that may not
be the most insightful. In this case, it’s what’s easiest to collect or feel
concrete about, in a world where the overabundance of potential information
gives us the feeling of chaos.
How has the media
consumer changed in the past few years?
I don’t suppose people have changed all that much, in the
sense that the way audiences are using technology often mirrors things people
have always wanted to do but couldn’t necessarily do so as easily, or’if they
did’happened in ways that media companies or advertisers couldn’t easily
detect. People want to keep media content. People want to share media content.
People want to talk back to media content. People like to have as much control
as they can over their choices. Now that those options are becoming easier,
viewers have to think even more deeply about how they want to engage with
different types of programming.
If I can watch a series at my own pace, what do I want that
pace to be? Do I watch different types of programming at different types of
paces? When do I want to engage more deeply with media content, versus when do
I want to engage more passively? As media organizations put more effort into
engaging active audiences, it leaves those audiences to think about when,
where, and how they want to participate.

How can media companies do a better job
reaching the new age consumer?
I think we are only scratching the surface of what we can do
to really resonate with audiences. Most importantly, I believe, is finding as
many ways as possible to put ourselves in the shoes of the audience members who
are coming to us on purpose. As we get away from reach metrics as the
cornerstone of our business models, it allows us to think about how we as an
industry build around the sort of CRM models that drive subscription-based businesses’that
lead to fostering an active audience base engaging with you on purpose, and
with purpose.
No matter what type of media company you are, it seems that
this is the most important, stable, and lucrative part of the audience, but the
one that business models have all too often driven companies to neglect and
take for granted. When we are imagining each month’s digital traffic goals or
viewership goals as tabula rasa, then everything becomes focused on driving as
much general-audience interest as possible in what we do.
And for those organizations that do, for instance,
serialized programming or subscription models, there’s still a lot of work to
be done to really understand and think about everything the media company does
from the shoes of that active audience. How do they want to engage with the
content? What else do they want from the media brand? Why do they become
proselytizers? How do you identify audiences already engaged in similar content
but who haven’t yet found their way to you? In such a cluttered media landscape
as we have today, we can’t take for granted that people will quickly find us.
What is the biggest
challenge in the media industry today?
We have machines built around pushing what’s on/coming out
now, not for maintaining the longevity of content that has the potential for a
long shelf-life. In an era where a good portion of media content is available
for on-demand engagement later, we have to think about how we support machines
that are much better at monetizing media products over time, thinking about
investments in content for which the ROI may come slowly but which may continue
on for years, if supported in the right way.
We see glimpses of this in how subscription services think
about investment in original content production’and I recommend everyone read
Amanda Lotz’s new treatise Portals as
a way to dig more deeply into these questions. But media businesses, and the
research teams that support them, have to think about how to recalibrate the
machines we’ve built over the last few decades to these new types of questions.
Where do you see
media research moving in 5 years?
I hope to see media researchers continue to make great
strides in helping organizations create meaningful media texts which
demonstrate an understanding of what audiences want and how audiences want to
engage them. I hope to see research and insights work, as a function, taken
increasingly serious by corporate decision-makers who need the expertise that
the best of the research & insights field have to offer.
In an era where so much remains up in the air about the
media industries, and where trust in media companies has been a topic of common
popular discussion, it’s up to media researchers to think about the role they
can play as catalysts for a discussion about how we build models that serve
content producers, media companies, advertisers, and audiences better than what
we have right now. If we don’t take advantage of the current liminal moment for
the television industry (See M.J. Robinson’s work on this in the forthcoming
book, Television
on Demand
), then I don’t know what will make us seriously tackle these
questions until models start falling apart.

Sam Ford is a media
executive, consultant, and research affiliate with MIT Comparative Media
Studies/Writing. He also teaches in the Popular Culture Studies Program at
Western Kentucky University. In 2015-2016, he founded and ran the
Univision/Fusion Media Group Center for Innovation and Engagement, as VP,
Innovation & Engagement, for Fusion. He is also co-author of the 2013 book, Spreadable
Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. More on his
work here.