At the recent Advertising Research Foundation event Re:Think, Keith Weed, Unilever's chief marketing and communications officer, quoted Landmark Ventures’ Shelly Palmer, who said: “Change will never be as slow as it is today.” That might be true, but still, to many of us, the rate of change today is unprecedented, and at once uncomfortable, vexing, fascinating and exhilarating.
A big part of this change is due to advancements in, and the accessibility of, Big Data, which is the bailiwick of research and analytics departments. But the data is coming fast, furious and silo’d. So how does research keep up? I asked a range of researchers at Re:Think about their priorities in the next six months. Here’s what they said (with videos of more complete quotes here):
Many across the media spectrum -- from suppliers to agencies to organizations to networks -- cited cross-platform measurement as a top priority. CIMM CEO Jane Clarke said, “What CIMM is going to focus on is what we have been focusing on over the past few years: finalizing our cross-platform measurement service … measuring unduplicated reach across television, radio, smartphones, tablets and computers across three media -- video, audio and text.”
Tom Xenos, vice president of research at MediaVest, said, “One of the biggest things coming up is to better understand cross-media measurement: how to get the data, how to understand duplication, how to know what is driving what medium to what platform, and having it all come together.” Tom Ziangus, senior vice president of research for AMC Networks said his company is committed to “coordinating our Big Data efforts to report and understand video cross-platform viewing behaviors.”
But the media world is not solely focused on cross-platform. For Leslie Wood, CRO of Nielsen Catalina Solutions, the biggest thing is “targeting. Everything we learned about targeting came from mass media where, if you got it wrong, you still reached a lot of people. But now that we can precision-target, it really matters. What can we look at in our data that gives you the insights you need to make good decisions?”
According to Josh Chasin, CRO of comScore, “We are working on holistic measurement solutions that bring TV and digital measurement together and … will be around the nexus of mobile measurement.” Graeme Hutton, senior vice president/group partner, research, at Universal McCann, is focused on mobile and its intrinsic synergies with television.
He said, “If I had to do one thing over the next six months it would be to look at the interaction between television and mobile. Mobile and TV are known to work strongly together. But I want to know why. Understanding the ‘why’ is very important. The principal way to do that is through neuroscience.”
Data Integration Platforms
Bruce Goerlich, CRO of Rentrak, is concentrating on data integration. He said, “We are just about to release the Rentrak Analytic Platform, which will have respondent-level data in it. There will be many types of analyses that you can do on this huge data set, providing stability, granularity and insights.”
For Mike Bloxham, senior vice president, Magid, “OTT and SVOD have the capacity to be very disruptive and have ramifications across the business. Advertisers are starting to think about how that will impact the way in which they use TV to reach a mass audience.”
Can we as a group of researchers manage to keep pace? I'm hopeful the answer is yes. There are enough of us taking on a range of different challenges to assure that there will be some progress.