The events of the last year have had a significant impact on almost every aspect of our lives, right down to our daily habits and media consumption. For the media planner, this has created a lot of uncertainty and completely disrupted the media industry. In 2021 and beyond, taking advantage of the wealth of insights now on offer means finetuning your method of data analysis and interweaving insights from different data sources.
If you spent a lot more time online during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and early this year, you weren’t alone.
At the recent NRF 2021 event, held entirely online this year for the first time ever, retail guru Miya Knights confirmed that consumers, in general, were spending 20% more time online than they were in previous years, and ZDNet reports that active social media users grew by a whopping 304 million year-on-year.
People – stuck at home due to ongoing lockdowns and social distancing requirements – are also watching more TV than ever, according to research in the UK from Ofcom. In the US, television viewing numbers increased for the first time in ten years.
Whichever way you slice the numbers, it’s clear that they present both a challenge and an opportunity. However, the biggest challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic is the unknown. The media landscape has never been affected this way before, change has never happened at this scale, the industry has never been so disrupted. As a result, finding the relevant insights and analytics to help guide decision-making can be tricky.
Media consumption studies are particularly important to advertisers, who want to understand how their brands will be affected, short and long term as well as media agencies who need to investigate how this pandemic has impacted and changed media consumption patterns. This has led to a vast amount of independent, proprietary surveys from advertisers to sales houses/media owners, research agencies and media agencies.
Since they are independent, they’re not part of the typical syndicated surveys that exist for audience and media measurement in most countries. Herein lies the challenge. How do you maximize your investment in research when it’s not linked to a syndicated survey?
Media planners need to react to changing purchasing habits by planning media buys according to where and how people consume their media. This has always been the case, but what’s new about this latest consumer shift is that it provides for a ubiquitous availability of data, generated on every device consumers use – from their mobile phones to their TVs, their watches, their radios and much more. And this treasure trove of data holds the key to more successful media planning.
Without it, there’s no clear path or strategy going forward. Therefore, media planners need to be looking for insights and analysis based on the current media landscape in order to guide their investment decisions and to meet the challenges of an accelerated change in consumer consumption.
With changing habits affected by events such as a pandemic, getting your own data can prove highly valuable. Even a small survey could provide invaluable insight into how media consumption has changed, should be planned and strategized. If anything, now is the time to be experimenting with proprietary surveys and merging these with syndicated research. Data engineers can assist in making sure the right questions are included in smaller surveys in order to merge them with industry data.
Getting the right mix and balance between traditional and digital media investment has always been a challenge, even before the COVID era. Combining different surveys can give advertisers, agencies and sales houses the information they need to build sound, strategic and insightful media recommendations.
Multibasing and integrating specific COVID-19 studies with syndicated surveys will allow media planners to closely investigate how media consumption has changed across various audience segments, giving them the agility to ensure their media investment reaches the right people, at the right time, in the right place.
By combining surveys, media planners will be able to maximize their investment in research. Small proprietary surveys dealing with particular issues, such as the effects of COVID-19 on consumers, can be linked with syndicated surveys that may contain brand information, allowing insights into whether the pandemic has influenced media consumption differently across different consumer, financial categories, or brands.
Done right, media plans can be created leveraging the information from both surveys, providing a clearer route to better ROI.
Telmar has some of the best data integration specialists in the world and can assist in designing well-structured hub surveys that have the correct questions embedded in them in order to effectively multibase with a syndicated survey.