Media: Double Standards - Following the data trail consumers leave behind

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 26 November 2010 12:00AM

Two 'intelligence' experts explain how they are working to gain a deeper audience understanding to maximise the effectiveness of media strategies.

JEREMY TESTER, BRAND STRATEGY AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, SKY MEDIA

- What does your job entail?

At Sky, we're able to offer a deeper, wider offering across TV, mobile and online than most media owners, and my job is to ensure that the range of opportunities we offer is properly communicated to media planners, buyers and advertisers. To do this, my team provide actionable insights about how to use our media portfolio to greatest effect.

- Why does it make sense to manage all data and insight from one team?

Sky is an organisation that operates in a diverse range of areas and while we do have a centralised insight resource, we also have expertise embedded within various divisions of the business. We ensure that there is a flow of information around the business where research teams continuously speak to each other and share intelligence from different sectors. By sharing learning from one side of the business with another, we are able to build up a more rounded picture of consumer behaviour.

- How instrumental is it to your business?

Thanks to the data that our customers share with us, we can infer a lot about what they might like, and what they might not. Using this data responsibly, we are able to suggest products, services and content that are more likely to be suited to our customers' needs and interests. As both a marketer and a marketing platform, intelligent use of data is central to our business. We've recently invested in Sky IQ, a joint venture with Experian. It's very early days but we're already excited about how it will provide us with a deeper understanding of what our customers want.

- What competitive edge does it give you in the market?

Alongside the data processing and analytics capability of Sky IQ, we are also in the process of rolling out innovative tools such as Sky AdSmart, which will allow advertisers to tailor ads to particular audience segments and thus boost effectiveness. The key is to combine the best consumer insights available with the tools to deploy ads to exactly the right audiences. This promises to be a classic win-win, with customers getting more relevant ads and advertisers realising even greater returns on their investments.

- What is the future for data and intelligence?

A bright one. The most effective media strategies will continue to include two vital components: intelligent consumer insights and the tools to deliver ads to exactly the right people.

- How well have advertisers responded to this change?

We are only just beginning to discuss the potential of even deeper audience understanding with media agencies and advertisers but, as you might expect, we're getting a very positive reaction.

- What developments in your area are you most excited about?

For me, the prospect of Sky as a media owner working closely with data analysts at companies like Sky IQ to maximise the effectiveness of media strategies promises to be very rewarding.

DENISE TURNER, HEAD OF INTELLIGENCE, MPG MEDIA CONTACTS

- What does your job entail?

I run the Intelligence Unit at MPG Media Contacts, a group of people with a wide range of skills, covering consumer insight, digital data analytics, web analytics, econometrics and CRM, all centralised in one team. We exist to inspire intelligence within the agency, cultivate a culture of curiosity and foster fascination for clients' business challenges.

- Why does it make sense to manage all data and insight from one team?

We are living in an increasingly complex world where insight can come from anywhere. While the traditional tools such as TGI and NMR are still vital, we have so much more at our fingertips now. Killer insight can as easily come from Omniture, Twitter or a buzz monitoring tool today. The beauty of digital is that consumers leave a data trail behind them on the web and clever analysis of that trail can yield vital nuggets about consumer behaviour.

- How instrumental is it to your business?

It is the lifeblood of our agency and absolutely vital to creating effective integrated marketing campaigns for our clients. For every brief, we trawl the myriad resources available today and proactively feed our strategists with the best intelligence. We work with account teams to inspire fascination with clients' businesses and with specialists in the agency, and the network, to develop bespoke solutions. Our overall aim is to shift away from delivering plans to delivering brilliance. It is also key to proving effectiveness.

- What competitive edge does it give you in the market?

When we recommend an integrated solution to our clients, they know it is based on integrated intelligence, drawn from the widest possible range of sources. This team proves our commitment to integration and reflects the continuing emphasis at MPG Media Contacts on creating the optimum environment for delivering integrated media solutions.

- What is the future for data and intelligence?

This is just the start. I believe the future will see big changes in traditional research as more and more insight becomes available instantly and easily in the digital world. Technical ability in fusing data sources combined with great storytelling will lead the way.

- How well have advertisers responded to this change?

They have given it a very warm welcome. In an increasingly complex world, with so many new opportunities available to advertisers, it is essential that we provide them with the necessary intelligence to make brave but informed marketing decisions.

- What developments in your area are you most excited about?

New sources of intelligence are something that the team is always on the hunt for. It appears that the time of mobile as a source of entertainment and information, as well as communication, is finally upon us. The associated opportunity to sit in the pocket of consumers and interact with them as they carry out activities in real time is truly mouth-watering. Finding the best way to use mobile research to enhance our knowledge for the benefit of our clients is one of the most exciting prospects for those seeking to provide insight in recent years.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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