Media Research Needs to Evolve Even Faster

Whether you have been in market or media research for 5 years or 20 years or many more, then you know that the discipline is going through a ferocious pace of change, just like seemingly every other industry.

The-Smarter-Researcher-300x226And it needs to.  Think about your own media habits and the media devices that you owned even five years ago or look around your own home or office and you can tell how the new normal for many of us is to constantly add to or replace older devices.  That opens the door for market researchers to help companies understand people’s changing needs and behaviours.

It’s also on the research industry’s shoulders to keep evolving, arguably faster, to narrow the gap between new behaviour and understanding what’s driving it.  Actually measuring those new behaviours is a topic for another day and one that the industry is really struggling to control.

This background makes the new report, The Smarter Researcher by Ray Poynter, a very worthwhile and readable read – not just for media researchers, but any form of market research.  Ray lists 10 steps that market researchers can do to enhance its relevance.  These are great steps for any researcher, young or old, to aspire to in their everyday work.

  1. Separate the Signal From the Noise
  2. Traditional Surveys Aren’t Enough
  3. Big Data isn’t Enough
  4. Engage Customers in an Ongoing Two-Way Partnership
  5. Become A Storyteller
  6. Go Mobile
  7. Embrace Innovation
  8. Connect the Dots
  9. Translate Business Problems
  10. Break out of the Market Research Silo

If you haven’t already, go download the report from the Vision Critical website.

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The Internet of Things and Your Audience

The so called “Internet of Things” is developing quickly and is no longer explained as your refrigerator warning that you are low on milk and cheese.

theinternetofthings2Effectively, it’s the third wave of the internet.  Wave 1 was in the 90’s when the fixed internet connected 1 billion users via PC’s.  Then the mobile internet of the 2000’s connected 2 billion users via smartphone. Now wave 3, the internet of things, is expected to connect 28 billion things to the internet by 2020 ranging from wearables, cars, appliances, and industrial equipment.  Naturally, the repercussions will be huge, but many years from now, I think it will be the speed of that comparative change that will leave us with our heads spinning.

While this will change how all of our devices – screen or otherwise – communicate around us, it’s worth thinking about how the internet of things will change how we consume and how we experience.

Content makers take note because the internet of things will also overhaul audience measurement in a way that will leave it unrecognisable in a very short time.  After all, from signing into any website or volunteering to be tracked, the audience can now be asked about how they discovered your content, how they engaged with your content, how and why did they complete consumption, and what are their reflections.

All fantastic stuff to know, so long as you then pledge to do something with all of that information.  No doubt more companies will get this wrong then get it right, but even small changes can go a long way.