Next-Gen Enthused About Video, Research Jobs

Everybody knows that you can learn as much from young people as you can teach them, and these days, maybe even more.  That’s often true at least in my field, which is audience research.

I’ll give you an example:  You read everywhere about the growth of online video.  But hearing directly from recent college graduates about their perspective on how they want to consume video content is priceless.

We heard from just such a group of recent grads when the Education Committee of the Council for Research Excellence (CRE) recently hosted its first-ever seminar for the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) program at the Manhattan office of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Nearly 100 interns attended, and here are some of the things we heard from them: 

  • They love to multitask.  They even asked, “How are the measurement companies measuring and reporting multitasking and multiplatform usage, and how are agencies applying this to the creative process?”
  • Confirming what we’ve all read, they don’t have landline phones.
  • Also confirming what we’ve believed (as well as research from the CRE and Annalect), they are huge consumers of video on all platforms.
  • On the other hand, they bucked a bit of conventional wisdom when we asked them how many would buy a pay TV subscription.  Roughly half the students in the room said they’d sign up for an MVPD subscription once they have job/economic stability.

In the time since we hosted the MAIP seminar, I’ve cited these students’ comments and experiences in client meetings and panel discussions alike. 

More to the point, I could feel the students’ enthusiasm; they fully engaged us on the role of research at both media and creative agencies. 

Which takes me to my broader point:  A number of your industry colleagues are working with me and others to help develop a healthy supply of young talent into the audience research practice.  For me, the response at the MAIP event was exhilarating, and validation that we’re on the right course. 

Everyone agrees we need to attract new talent; I’ve actually been surprised to hear the topic come up repeatedly in industry forums. Not everyone is as able to find time to support the effort. 

But attracting new talent is an achievable goal.  The CRE is working to partner with existing programs, and to help develop newer ones, to create an integrated plan for the media and advertising sectors. 

Our three core goals: establishing an industry research “college” as a central resource to identify existing internship programs, and to target partnerships such as MAIP; helping early-career research professionals understand the many different pieces of the research puzzle; and building awareness of the function and profession and its importance at the management roundtable.

The CRE’s internship webpage connects aspirants with media and advertising internships.  We’ve encouraged industry colleagues to avail themselves of this opportunity to test drive new talent and increase productivity.  

My request to you is simple: Get involved.   If you are a mid-career researcher, provide us feedback about programs you’d like to see.  And if you are a senior leader, create internship opportunities for your company.  You too may be surprised at what you can learn.

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