Tag Archives: television

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.

Free Webinar: Not So Fast – The Benefits of Fast Forward Disabling

Last month at the Media Insights & Engagement Conference, we launched the first annual Case Study Competition. Voted by an audience of their peers, A&E’s Julya Fridman, Vice President, Business Development & Distribution Analytics and Duane Varan, CEO, MediaScience walked away the winners.

If you weren’t able to join us onsite, or if you had to catch an early flight, we’re happy to bring you the full presentation: ‘Not So Fast: The Benefits of Fast Forwarding Disabling’ on Friday, March 20th at 1:00 PM EST.

Reserve your seat now: http://bit.ly/1w7IWeC

Video-On-Demand (VOD) has emerged as a key platform for program monetization by networks and distributors. Although there are clear benefits of disabling fast forward for advertisers, it was not clear what the potential consequences would be for programming and distribution. If disabling fast forward, for example, resulted in viewers having a less engaging program experience or being less likely to use VOD for future viewing, than any potential gains for advertising would be compromised. A&E Networks needed to form their own strategic position on the issue, and commissioned MediaScience to help inform that position.

In this webinar, you’ll hear how A&E and MediaScience worked together to:

??         Demonstrate the potential value to advertisers of disabling fast forward in terms of improving ad impact (i.e. evaluate value to advertisers)
??         Determine whether disabling fast forward had any adverse consequences for viewers in terms of the program viewing experience (i.e. evaluate potential cost to programming)
??         Determine whether disabling fast forward would have any adverse consequences for distributors, such as reducing likelihood of using VOD in the future (i.e. evaluate potential costs to disruptors)
??         Explore whether patterns observed in response to the above three objectives were similar for normal viewing vs. interrupted viewing (where viewers see a part of a program, then return later but are forced to start at the beginning of the program again because their spot in the program is not bookmarked. 

To reserve your spot, register here: http://bit.ly/1w7IWeC

We hope you enjoy the presentation!

Cheers,
The Media Insights and Engagement Conference Team
@_MediaFusion
digitalimpactblog.iirusa.com

Smart Viewers with Smarter TVs

Today, smart TV is dominant in home television viewing. In fact, according to research by Discovery Communications, 90 percent of viewers prefer the smart TV for watching TV and they like to watch it with other people. One third of people would actually prefer to do all of their interacting on their Smart TV and not have a second screen.
At The Media Insights & Engagement Conference in San Diego this afternoon, Beth Rockwood, SVP Market Resources and Advertising Research at Discovery Communications spoke to us about her recent research that highlights how smart viewers favor smart TVs.
She and her team at Discovery Communications spoke to viewers about why they would be interested in buying a smart TV and what features they would want. Rockwood and her team conducted an online survey of about 1,000 people probing into expectations, behaviors, and desires around smart TV.
Key findings include:
??         Most viewers use smart TV as an enhanced TV ‘ an all in one hub with TV at the center.
??         Smart TV is the go to hub to access variety content. The screen is large enough to be enjoyed without strain.
??         Viewers watch televisions shows more often when using a smart TV.
??         Watching video on a subscription streaming service is high on a smart TV.
??         A top benefit of owning a smart TV is not having to use a tablet or phone to watch videos or TV.
The research shows that smart TV makes viewing social again. Being together in a group, it gives the opportunity for people to chat about the TV show together. In fact, 62 percent agreed that they watch TV together with others more often because they watch on a big screen.
Additionally, with a smart TV you have more control over the content you can access instead of having to pay for products you don’t want. It allows content discovery that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. According to the research, viewers are watching more now than before they had a smart TV.
Further, with smart TV’s viewers expect smart advertisements. They are looking for ads that are less intrusive, more relevant, provide an interesting story, and teach them something.
Overall, according to Rockwood, smart TV will change the way viewers are viewing, so there is a huge opportunity if high consumer expectations can be met.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

The Changing Face of America

Did you know that one in three people in the United States is a minority? The nation’s population is drastically changing.
At the Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2015 this morning in sunny San Diego, Moderator Marilyn Stephens, Data Dissemination Specialist; Media Lead, US Census Bureau, kicked off the Keynote Panel entitled, ‘The Changing Face of America’ featuring panelists Michele Meyer, VP, Network Research, Univision, and Julie Zwissler, SVP, Marketing and Partnerships, MNet America.
These three dynamic women discussed the different ways people in which different cultures in America, specifically Asian and Hispanic cultures, are consuming mutlimedia content today. Univision and MNet America are both seeing a major shift in how media is being consumed differently.
When it comes to the Hispanic culture, the younger Hispanics want to watch novellas because it’s a connection to their family and brings them together.  In their culture, the TV is a family experience in a multi-generational household, maintaining that family feel.  Meanwhile, in the Asian culture, when the parents get older, the children move back home while graduating from a great university and working a great full time job.
Across the board in an American household, families are watching TV, while Millennials are on their phones, tablets, or laptops playing games while also watching TV. More and more, Millennials and younger generations are watching media on multi-devices. They are early adopters and they want something new that no one else has discovered yet. Millennials in America are all about early discovery.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

Twitter Could Increase TV Premiere Audience Sizes

For millions of media companies, the fall TV season is critical and can be stressful. Networks and agencies anxiously wait to see if audiences love or hate new programs. While agencies are watching to see what adjustments they need to make, viewers truly hold the cards, offering plenty of critique along the way.  So, what role does Twitter activity around new shows play in it all?
Social TV is no longer a new phenomenon as millions of people use Twitter to share their opinions about favorite TV shows. The majority of the conversations happen during live broadcasts, but as networks look to build and boost audience engagement, they can identify how much of the discussion happens outside of the live airing window.
Now that the 2014 fall TV season has concluded, Nielsen evaluated how Twitter TV activity could be used to anticipate the sizes of the audiences that watched the premiere episodes of those programs. Nielsen analyzed 42 broadcast and cable series premieres, from late August through early November, looking for a correlation between how many times viewers 18-34 saw TV promotions for a specific program and the size of that program’s audience for the premiere episode. They expected highly promoted programs to garner larger audiences, and that is in fact what they saw.
While the findings do not mean that Twitter TV activity causes larger audience sizes, the ratings group found that brands could have used Twitter promotions to boost awareness, and in turn, boost audience.
“This is notable because if Twitter TV activity could be used alongside other data sources to help determine TV audiences, then agencies could fine-tune their buys before the premieres,” Nielsen said in a recent blog post. “Networks could identify potential winners and challenges earlier to maximize ad sales and course-correct marketing activities. And, to the extent that social media leads people to become aware of new shows, networks could leverage Twitter TV activity to better reach their intended audiences.”
Since social TV happens around the clock, networks and agencies now have the opportunity to explore how and why audiences engage on Twitter. The findings from this recent study highlight the opportunity for networks to boost audience engagement in between episodes through repeat program airings, stars and promotions.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

Earn a FREE Pass to The Media Insights & Engagement Conference – Become a Guest Blogger

Earn a complimentary all-access pass to The Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2015by serving as a Guest Blogger at the event. As a Guest Blogger, you’ll have access to the event’s comprehensive agenda attracting the best in insights from around the world, right in San Diego, California in February.
You’ll get a free pass to the annual Media Insights & Engagement Conference plus exclusive access to a networking community and on-demand webinars, to help you grow and learn throughout the year.
Guest Blogger responsibilities will include submitting one post per week to the Digital Impact blog between now and the conference and attending specifically assigned sessions at the event and blogging live or same day.
By participating as a Guest Blogger leading up to and at the event, you’ll receive an all-access pass for the entire event, taking place February 3-5, 2015 at the Westin San Diego. In addition, Guest Bloggers are responsible for their own travel and lodging. Learn more about the event by visiting our website:  http://bit.ly/1s6bjb0
Apply today by sending your name, title, company, short biography and links to your blog or writing samples, along with a few sentences about why we should choose you to be our 2014 Guest Blogger to Amanda Ciccatelli at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. We will review your submission and contact the chosen Guest Bloggers directly with more details.
All readers of our blog receive an exclusive 15% discount off the standard registration rate with code MEDIA15BL Register here:  http://bit.ly/1s6bjb0
We hope to have you join us in San Diego!
Cheers,
The Media Insights & Engagement Team
#MediaInsights15
@_MediaFusion
Digitalimpactblog.iirusa.com

Top Digital Impact Blog Posts of 2014

We’ve published a lot of interesting, innovative, and inspiring blog posts about digital impact and media insights this year, so we wanted to take a moment to look back on the most popular posts of 2014. Here are the topics our readers enjoyed the most this year:
GfK’s SVP of Media & Entertainment On How Viewing Devices and Services Impact Audience Measurement: We sat down with David Tice, senior vice president, Media and Entertainment at GfK Custom Research, to discuss how the explosion of devices and services for viewing is impacting audience measurement. According to Tice, the two screen environment has made it easier for people to see an advertisement on TV and then go onto their smartphone or tablet and visit the website if they are interested. And, this in turn, has been really helpful to advertisers. ‘People’s use of television, whether it’s younger or older folks, hasn’t changed a lot. What’s changing is the source of what they are watching,’ he said. ‘In the past it was your broadcast or cable networks, now people are using their TV sets to watch Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, because they want to use that bigger screen, that better quality sound than just watching it on a laptop or a tablet.’ To read the full post, click here.
TV is a Key Player in The Future of Media Planning: The Television has been homes for over 60 years and it’s still not time it out just yet. Thanks to the drastically changing ways we consume content these days, TV advertising is at a crossroads: advertisers are now planning integrated TV and online video advertising campaigns. Today, TV is one of the fastest-moving areas of advertising, with new campaigns aiming to capture the massive opportunity of linear TV, smart-TV, and online video viewers. Advertisers are looking for holistic campaigns that capitalize on the opportunities of engaging with consumers across multiple screens. To read the full post, click here.
10 Things You May Not Know about Binge Watching: Binge watching has become a new norm and the negative connotation of a “couch potato” is fading along with the term itself. The term came from Urban Dictionary and used to refer to watching a TV series on DVD in succession. Now the term has changed to include watching online on sites such as Netflix or Hulu for days on end. Earlier this year, Theresa Pepe, VP of Ad Sales Research at Nickelodeon, told us, “binge and TSV will continue having an impact on networks.  The overall time it takes to gauge a show or network’s performance no longer fits into a 3 or 7 day window.” To read the full post, click here.
World Cup With a World Problem: Illegal Streaming: The 2014 World Cup started in the middle of June and ended on July 13th. This was to be a memorable World Cup not only for the play on the pitch but for the illegal streaming as well. It is estimated that 500,000 people watched the Russia vs. Belgium game illegally. While this number was high, the more important games had even more viewers. Even though there were legal live streams viewers still watched illegally. According to a poll by The Washington Post, one in five watchers went on “some shady website.” To read the full post, click here.
Report: Mobile Technology is Transforming the Face of Creativity and Design: The New Creatives Report, a U.S. survey of more than 1,000 creative professionals and 500 students in creative disciplines, found that 77 percent of creatives believe change within the industry is happening rapidly, with two-thirds expecting their role will be significantly different within three years. Additionally, 87 percent of those who create mobile content believe doing so has had a positive impact on their work. ‘Creatives are going mobile, and this means a sea change for the creative process,’ said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media Business Unit at Adobe. To read the full post, click here.
Technology is Changing How We Understand the World:  Magnus Lindkvist, Trendspotter & Futurologist, discussed how technology is not only changing how we do things, but also how we understand the world, business, and people as well as the emerging space of marketing science. According to Lindkvist, technology is changing how we do things and how we understand the world, business, and people. It visualizes the fringes of society in a new way. Before, the mainstream was dominant by its strength in numbers, but in the ‘thoughtsphere’, a Minnesota flute tribe or Namibian upstart company can have the same perceived presence as a king or queen. To read the full post, click here.
Best Use of Social Media for Television: The finalists for the 2014 Shorty Awards are in and here’s a look at the finalists in the Best Use of Social Media for Television. Candidates were chosen by examining the best TV Show Twitter accounts that share updates, behind the scenes videos, commentaries and even some insight to future episodes and connect and engage with their fans. We took a closer at the Finalists, how they use social media and their accomplishments. To read the full post, click here.
Social Television: How Social Media Changed The Way We Watch TV: Social media has revolutionized the way we watch television. In the past few years, social media and Internet usage around the world has skyrocketed. Despite initial fears from some professionals in the TV industry who wondered if social media and the web would drastically reduce the amount of time people might spend in front of their television screens, the television industry has actually been able to effectively adapt to meet the needs of today’s social-savvy viewers. In fact, more Americans’and more of the world’are now turning to their TVs to watch shows and programs that offer unique, socially integrated viewing experiences. To read the full post, click here.
HBO Research Director Tackles Cross-Platform Media Consumption: Jason Platt Zolov’s daily grind as market research director at HBO would probably overwhelm anyone who isn’t comfortable making sense out of uncertainty. But that’s the nature of media research today: Platt Zolov manages to deliver reliable insights under challenging market conditions using less than perfect source materials. In a recent interview, Platt Zolov discussed some of the obstacles he faces and how he’s addressing them. ‘Multi-platform usage is really one of our biggest issues,’ Platt Zolov told us. To read the full post, click here.
DirecTV LatAm Audience Researcher Eyes Insights Partnerships: DirecTV Latin America Audience Research Director Luiz Duarte’credited with introducing set-top RPD as a syndicated product in 2010′is eyeballing insights partnerships with some big names. Duarte has made a name for himself as a savvy innovator in industry circles, notably by building commercially available ratings services at subscription viewing providers (ex. TiVo StopWatch). Now he’s looking to take the DTH digital giant’s data to the next level by collaborating with other sources, including less traditional media. ‘The Holy Grail of media data is the single-source panel,’ Duarte told us. To read the full post, click here.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

GfK’s SVP of Media & Entertainment On How Viewing Devices and Services Impact Audience Measurement

In the first of The Media Insights Interview Series brought
to you by The 2015 Media Insights &
Engagement Conference
, I caught up with David
Tice
, senior vice president, Media and Entertainment at GfK Custom
Research, to discuss how the explosion of devices and services for viewing is
impacting audience measurement.
This year, The Media
Insights & Engagement Conference
gives you an up-close, contextual view
on the changing media experience to create better engagement strategies
informed by actual viewing behaviors. This event gives you an opportunity to
explore the new world of multi-platform, hyper-viewing in the post-disrupted
media landscape, advance new insights and create future partnerships. This
event is playing host to companies with some of the highest purchasing power in
the industry, many of which spend more than $2.5 billion annually on
advertising.
According to Tice, the two screen environment has made it
easier for people to see an advertisement on TV and then go onto their
smartphone or tablet and visit the website if they are interested. And, this in
turn, has been really helpful to advertisers.
‘People’s use of television is, whether it’s younger or
older folks, hasn’t changed a lot. What’s changing is the source of what they
are watching,’ he said. ‘In the past it was your broadcast or cable networks,
now people are using their TV sets to watch Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, because
they want to use that bigger screen, that better quality sound than just
watching it on a laptop or a tablet.’
Tice explained that in Gfk’s tracking research, each year
they have seen that more digital viewers are using a TV set than are using
computers.

Check out my full
podcast interview with Tice below:




Want to hear more
from David Tice? Don’t’ miss his session, ‘Insights into the effects of
internet technology and video platform proliferation on viewing behaviors’ at
The Media Insights & Engagement Conference at 2:00 pm on Wednesday,
February 4, 2015. To learn more about this event or to register, please visit our
website:
http://bit.ly/1xS9zS0
About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the 
Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print
journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and
technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including 
Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld
and World Congress for Business Analysts
, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,.
She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where
she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She
can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

Is Frugality and Efficicency the New Status Quo in Consumer Behavior?

Frugality: I am powerful, yet I am frugal
The DIY (do it yourself) culture is a phenomenon that has
overtaken the ready-to-order and ready-to-purchase behavior. While we used to
prefer having things made and sent to us, somewhere along the lines the stamped
on labor cost has begun to bother us. This, along with the need to express
creative freedom and feel a sense of accomplishment after having completed a
manual task has driven individuals to do things themselves. The success of IKEA stores is simply one example, but the
flattening frequency of house help in metropolitan cities of third world
countries shows how people are looking more towards their own powers and
natures to completing given tasks. Frugality can be the other explanation for
this, too, as individuals get slightly more sure of what they want, and how
they want it. Businesses beware of the increasing know-how of consumers, and
the increased pickiness, which unfortunately correlates with the increasing
options that consumers face for every product they wish to purchase.
Efficiency: Factors overriding the Experience Element
For some reason, we have lost the ability to enjoy various
elements of life on a standalone basis. Efficiency has caught on like a buzzing
bug. Why, if you can have a phone that handles email, text messaging, entails a
GPS, can play movies and stream television channels, why have a laptop, a
mobile phone, a portable GPS, a Blu-ray player and a television? It is the efficiency
of one product versus many more, at a reasonable cost advantage and convenience,
perhaps. But does it replace the joy of cuddling up in a couch in front of a
television with a bowl of popcorn? I’m not saying efficiency is a bad thing, I
mean the swiftness of checking in on an airplane (lets ignore the other
associated hassles of traveling these days), or the practicality of an all-inclusive
printer/scanner/copier are definitely a sign of creative minds at relevant
work. However, I think product managers, alongside consumers, have been taking
the efficiency element too much out of reach from the human element.
Frugality again may be the cause here. Why buy six things
when one can perform the same task? From an economic standpoint, it’s probably
true. From a convenience one, depending on your adaptability to the sensitive
touch screen phones, the response will vary. And we all ignore the satisfaction
element of it. For when you have a 60 second microwavable meal, not only does
the taste and nutrition compromise itself, but one also loses out on the joys
of cooking and concocting an ingredient specific dish. Apt brand
positioning
is thus a requirement.

Sourabh Sharma, Senior Manager
and Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, a boutique marketing
research consultancy, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance
from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam
School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at
L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately
enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his
alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these
alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS.
He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on @sssourabh.