Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Music streaming uncovers key data-driven consumer insights

As people use more mobile devices and apps, uncovering actionable insights in marketing is becoming a very difficult task. Marketers have a ton of data, but few companies have figured out how to effectively leverage that data to deliver targeted content at scale.

Data-driven insights offer a key to effectively engaging consumers. But how does one collect and analyze enough data to engage individuals in a scalable approach? Streaming data may be the answer, according to a recent article. And subscription streaming is becoming a key driver of the nearly $15-billion music industry, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a music lobby group, which recently released its annual Digital Music Report.

As more consumers use music streaming services, companies like Spotify and Pandora are mining those streams for user insights. Spotify—which expects to have 100 million users by the end of this year—knows how and when people listen to music. The company knows this by not only tracking the songs people are streaming, but through users who label their activities, according to Spotify Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Levick.

"People are soundtracking their lives and creating playlists with names like 'shower,'" Levick said during a presentation at the IAB's Mixx conference. "We have over 39,000 shower playlists on Spotify." By analyzing patterns related to shower playlists, Spotify uncovered numerous insights about its users.

In fact, Spotify learned that most (44 percent) of the users who create shower playlists are between ages 18 and 24, followed by 23 percent of users who are ages 25 to 34. Additionally, 68 percent of the shower playlists are created by men, compared to 32 percent of women.

Not to mention, music streaming services can help artists find their fans. For instance, when country music singer Hunter Hayes released a new single, 21, earlier this year, he used data from Spotify to plot his 21 tour stops. Hayes released 21 on streaming platforms before physical retail or digital stores. Based on that data, Spotify identified cities with the highest volume of users listening to the singer's songs compared to other locations. Hayes performed in places like Western Carolina University, Kent State University, West Point Eisenhower Hall Theater, and University of Oklahoma.
"That data—along with country radio airplay and single sales — is invaluable to identify where you have an active, passionate audience currently excited about an artist's music," Warner Music Nashville's Jeremy Holley told Mashable.

Spotify's competitor, Pandora, offers artists a similar feature through tools for analyzing fan engagement on its music streaming service. With Artist Marketing Platform (AMP), Pandora lets artists know which songs are performing well based on factors like the number of people listening to the song, the number of likes the song garners, as well as the general location of their fans. Real-time data from streamed music can also allow brands to target listeners beyond basic demographic information. Besides targeting listeners based on age or gender, brands can look at the days of the week and organize around what it is people are doing when they're doing it and target smarter.

Friday, December 11, 2015

This Week In Market Research: 12/07/15 - 12/11/15

We’ve all been there. We’ve liked a post on Facebook (say a Honda car commercial) and the next day had multiple ads for the same product show up on a completely unrelated page. So how are companies able to receive this data and then use it to better target the consumer? An article on this week explains how certain tech companies are turning consumer data into “actionable insights.” “Today, big-data computer systems and software are increasingly being built on an innovative, collaborative open-source foundation. In fact, 170 technology companies, many of which compete with each other, have formed a consortium to provide some of the technologies needed to fuel big-data analytics. The new organization, the OpenPOWER Foundation, allows these companies to collaborate in an open ecosystem.” So essentially, with OpenPOWER, companies such as IBM, NVID, and Mellanox can join forces and share data in a collaborative environment. The article also notes that we can expect to continue seeing businesses and hotels using our habits and analyzing them to better market to us. Read the article here

In a compelling article on Business Insider, interesting statistics on consumer behavior related to TV consumption is revealed. According to a report put out by Cox Consumer Insights, only 28% of consumers watch live television. In other words, the other 72% are streaming and or using services like on-demand or a DVR. “Cox attributes this to the ‘growing popularity of Hulu Plus,’ but also says that 53% of the time-shifted TV — people watching content that isn't live — was from DVR and on-demand offerings.” I found these statistics to be extremely interested, though not too surprising. The shift in media toward “on-the-go” technologies that allow you to be mobile while enjoying your favorite shows is ubiquitous in our day and age. From Netflix to On-Demand, people everywhere have the ability to access TV shows from various locations; that is, not strictly tied to the living room. I find this to be a fascinating trend and an important one to watch as technology progresses. Find the whole article here.

Social media is all around us these days. For someone whose life and work it is to utilize these tools this is excellent news! So when I came across a Fast Company article that explains 5 of the top trends that will revolutionize the way companies interact with social media in the year of 2016, obviously I couldn’t resist writing about it. The first trend listed is the fact that social media is starting to “storm the workplace”and replacing out platforms such as outlook emails. “Slack has proven a game-changer. Its intuitive interface, built around themed chat rooms and searchable archives, has propelled it to more than 1.25 million active business users in just two years' time, from the team at NASA to the team at your local coffee shop.” The second trend is that now more than ever companies are turning to their own employees for more social media amplification. In this way, employees are encouraged to share updates about the business on their personal platforms. Number 3 is that companies are starting to research into the impact of social messaging. “All the major social platforms now have messaging components, and it’s only a matter of time before they figure out how to make that data available to businesses for marketing purposes.” The fourth trend is perhaps my favorite because it really rings true. Approaching their last trend, the article lists social media advertising as the fourth tend. Here, they refer to the subtly of ads that essentially get mixed into your news feed rather than on the sides of your page. “Haven’t noticed the exponential increase in ads on your social media feeds? That probably means they’re working.” Lastly, they list social video as being one of the most contagious trends. I definitely agree with this last point as my Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram feeds are being overrun with short video clips. As always, I highly recommend this article to those of you so inclined to read a little into the way social media is taking off in the workplace.

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Have You Seen The Media Insights & Engagement Conference Agenda?

Have you heard about The Media Insights & Engagement Conference? It's been called "the golden globes of the media industry." It's the can't-miss event for research and insights professionals.

Check out the agenda and save $400 this week if you register by this Friday, December 11th. Click here for more information:

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference has united some of the most visionary thinkers and future-forward industry pioneers to share best practices and lessons learned on overcoming measurement challenges, uncovering next gen research, and creating engagement strategies to decipher the future of media.

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2016
February 1-3, 2016
The Ritz Carlton – Fort Lauderdale Hotel
Fort Lauderdale, FL

The 2016 event is about embracing a new paradigm - program highlights include:

·         World-Class Keynotes Take the Stage, including:
o   Alan Wurtzel, President, Research & Media Development, NBCUniversal
o   Artie Bulgrin, SVP Global Research & Analytics, ESPN
o   Radha Subramanyam, President of Insights, Research & Data Analytics, iHeartMedia
o   Ryan Holiday, Author, The Obstacle is the Way and Growth Hacker Marketing
o   Marilyn Stephens, Data Dissemination Specialist; Media Lead, US Census Bureau
o   And more. Click here for the full list of keynote speakers.
·         40+ Sessions to Choose from, giving you the power to create your own agenda. Choose the sessions YOU want to learn more about, and move freely between the 3 concurrent tracks as much as you like
·         50+ Cross-Industry, Media Insights & Engagement Experts share best practices and what's on the horizon from our industry. Hear from A+E Networks, Netflix, Comedy Central, AMC, Viacom, Google, Comcast, GroupM Analytics, Horizon Media, BBC Worldwide and more:
·         The 2nd Annual Case Study Competition gives YOU the chance to present on the main stage! Submit your case study showcasing innovative, results-driven methodologies and applications from field-test research here:

Download the brochure for the complete agenda and session descriptions:

You save $300 if your register by this Friday, 12/11. Plus, use exclusive Blog discount code MEDIA16BL for an additional $100 off. That’s total of $400 off! Register today:  

We hope to see you in Fort Lauderdale!


The Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2016 Team

Friday, December 4, 2015

This Week In Market Research: 11/30/15 - 12/4/15

According to a study put out by Texas A&M University, executives are more willing to take a significant pay cut working for a top firm rather than having a greater salary at a mid-range company. This week, Fast Company wrote a piece detailing 5 reasons why these individuals choose the top brands over higher pay. The first listed among the others, is that working for a top company boosts personal identity. In this sense, where you work becomes your self-identity and by working for a top company, your self-identity gets a boost. Secondly, an obvious point, is that working for a top company offers prestige. Clearly being able to claim you work for a company like Apple give an individual a bit more status. The third reason they argue, is that it sends signals about quality. “In addition to paying less, the study found that top brands also attracted CEOs of higher quality, based on their experience, board appointments, and other factors.” The article ends by claiming that working for a top company can trump a long list of experience and affect your salary in the long run. What do you guys think? I’m inclined to agree with most the points made, although I do believe there is much to be said about gaining experience from various organizations and becoming well-rounded. 

An article posted on Fast Company this week details allegations against Google on the premise of illegal data collection on young students. The group filing the complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, goes by the name “The Electronic Frontier Foundation” (EFF). According to EEF, “’Despite publicly promising not to, Google mines students’ browsing data and other information, and uses it for the company’s own purposes.’” Additionally the group harshly criticized Google by stating that minors should not be treated as “guinea pigs.” They continued their criticism in saying that “If Google wants to use students’ data to ‘improve google products,’ then it needs to get express consent from parents.’” In response to the allegations, Google has stated that it “will disable the setting on school Chromebooks that allow Chrome Sync data to be shared in the near future.” This is definitely an interesting case with respect to market research and what can cross the line ethically. As always, I encourage individuals to read the article here and comment on what you think.  

Did you know that females are still the largest buyers of pop music? According to an article on Forbes this week, women continue to make up the majority demographic for consumers of pop music. “What do Adele, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith have in common? Most of the buyers of their albums are female, according to an article by Hannah Karp in the Wall Street Journal based on data from a number of market research firms.” The article points out that, while this may come as no surprise, the ability to have an understanding on an artist’s fan base corresponds nicely with the “conventional industry wisdom.” According to the article, a Nielsen study also found that the majority of Adele’s fan base are females between the ages of 25-44 years old with children. This was an interesting statistic to me because I would have assumed this number to include more of the demographic that we call “tweens.” Regardless of the stats, I found this article extremely interesting in its explanation of how market research is being used within the music industry.

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Call for Presenters for TMRE Next: The New Face of Consumer Insights

We are currently seeking presenters for:

TMRE Next: The New Face of Consumer Insights
May 2016, West Coast
Deadline: Wednesday, December 9th

*Please note this call for papers is ONLY for Client side companies. If you are a consultant, solution provider, vendor interested in speaking on the 2016 program please scroll to the bottom of this email for details on how to submit.

Formerly knowns at InsighTech - TMRE Next: The New Face of Consumer Insights is an in-depth follow-up to The Market Research Event (TMRE) 2015. This program will show how to action key hot topics and themes explored at TMRE 2015. The content presented at this event will evolve the skill sets of those within market research and consumer insights so that they can remain competitive and relevant. It explores what's next in consumer insights and what it means for you. Key areas explored include: Collaboration, Re-thinking skill sets necessary for success, Innovations in market research & consumer insights, setting up your organization and team for success, re-framing the problem, actionable frameworks, storytelling and a variety of sessions showing you how research projects were executed and what it means for you.

We are looking for NEW workshops, case studies and interactive experiences that can be ACTIONED. All sessions need to clearly show the "how to" behind the content presented.

See below for specifics. Have another idea? Let us know - anything is possible.

1. Deep Dive Case Studies: Have a NEW story to share? We are looking for deep dive case studies that will show: What you tried, what worked, what didn't and what you recommend. Can you share a real life research project success story? Tell us how it was executed?

2. Workshops: Do you have a hands on workshop that could help market researchers evolve their skill set? Understand new frameworks? Show them how to use new tools?   

We are looking for presentations in the areas listed below as well as any other areas/topics that you think would be a great addition to the 2016 program.

Skill Building:

1. Prioritizing
2. Data Visualization
3. Talking to C-Suite
4. Text Analysis- How to make things useful
6. Moving people to be an independent thinkers
7. Tracking Progress
8. Collaboration :Collaboration strategies to integrate all sources of data - collaborate across different units to ensure impact of insights
9. Your Strategy for Success: How do you succeed internally? How do we become internal change agents?

Deep Dive Case Studies:

1. Bridging the speed vs rigor - data quality angle
2. How to approach Global: Best Practices and Practical Tips
3. How do you build an insights function?
4. Making Insights immediately relevant
5. DIY vs external Insights: Working in house vs external- Why? What do you send out?
6. Budget: Getting the Most from your research budget: How do we do the same for less?
7. Bridging the speed vs rigor - data quality angle
8. How to approach Global: Best Practices and Practical Tips
Teams & Organizational Structure: Structuring Your Teams for Success
1. Team structures and reporting lines
                a. Structure and Organization The future face of the insights team (structure, prioritizing, DIY)
                b. Matrix For Team Development
                c. Where do people report to? Skill Sets needed? How do budgets work (centralized budgets? Internal client chargebacks? Hybrid?)?


1. Storytelling
2. Data Visualization
3. Public Speaking
4. Innovation
5. Reframing the Problem
Re-framing the problem - the right questions to ask early on - what does the business need
6. Frameworks
                - Process models
                - Communication Framework
                - Product Development Framework
                - Innovation
                - Business Sizing
                - MEOWS Framework

Reimagining Client Vendor Relationships:

1. Navigating the Future of Client/ Vendor Relationships
2. Baseline- Finding new Suppliers
                i. Vendor selection: Maintaining the ones you have, selecting new vendors
Additional Topics of Interest:

1. Creating Engagement
2. Insights from Scratch: Insights for Startups -Departments of 1 :  What is working and what isn't 
3. Managing & Working with Global teams
4. How do you set yourself so you can enable research innovation
5. How are projects prioritized? Is there a system?
6. Budget: Where does funding come from?
7. When you don't own data, how do you play in the data economy? How do you partner w/ partners that do own the data.
8. Gamification
9. Creating a Culture of Innovation and Growth
10. Neuromarketing
11. Trends: Internet  of Things/ AI/ Culture/ Next Gen
12. Mobile Research Innovation
13. Visualization Analytics

CLIENT SIDE COMPANIES ONLY: Due to the high volume of submissions, only accepted proposals will be notified. For consideration, please email with the following information by Wednesday, December 2, 2015:

• Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• 3-4 Sentence Bio
• The topic your session would cover
• Session Title
• Session Description (60 words or less)- What is new and unique? What will the audience gain from this presentation?
• Your complete Mailing Address, best contact number, best email.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES:  All vendors, consultants, agencies and solutions providers that would like to get involved in TMRE Next: The New Face of CI should contact Sponsorship Director, Jon Saxe at  or at 646.895.7467

All the best,

The TMRE Next Team

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The 8 New Rules of Trade Show Engagement

We at IIR know first-hand that conferences have changed. And, it’s time to update your approach to planning them. You’ve probably been in more than one meeting to brainstorm new ways to drive traffic to your booth and increase ROI at events. Your to do list needs a major update and it can be hard to figure out where to start and what to add.

To make it easier, we’ve put together our own list of the top 8 things you need to be doing to set yourself up for success.

1.       Reverse engineer your strategy for every event to reflect specific goals. Every conference is different, but the goals and strategy for each often end up being extremely similar. To really get the most out of ever y event and achieve optimal ROI, you have to tailor your goals and strategy accordingly.

Begin by asking yourself, your team, and your management, “What defines a successful event?” Qualify those responses and get as specific as possible for individual events: How much revenue and over what period of time? Any leads or only qualified leads? What kind of partnerships? Then, how will you measure this success – what tools, metrics, and projections will you use?

2.       Use social media before the event to make more eye contact on the floor. Think about the last booth you manned. Standing out in front of the booth, smiling, sipping your morning coffee, eyes hurriedly scanning badges in an attempt to identify your prospects and pull them into the booth. By the time you identify a potential client using this method, they’ve already passed your booth and then you have to run after them.

To avoid this faux pas, identify your top prospects on the attendee list before the show. Then make use of LinkedIn and other social media outlets to learn what they look like. It’s a simple strategy to make eye contact and better engage with attendees.

3.       Test your elevator pitch. Repeatedly. With multiple people. Ensure you’re delivering a meaningful and unified message by sitting with your team, defining your talking points, and practicing.

Begin by looking at what’s being discussed in the content portions of the event to develop your talking points. This will give you an idea of what will be top of mind for attendees and what they will likely be interested in hearing from you. Also take into consideration any speaking opportunities your company is participating in.

4.       Create a well-thought out staffing schedule. No matter the size of the show, it’s important that you know who will be at the booth and when. As you’re rehearsing your pitch, make notes of the types of questions people ask – are the questions about client services, are they technical, about pricing, or requesting a demo?

Take these questions into consideration when creating your schedule, as you’ll want to ensure there’s always someone at your booth who knows the answers.

For the remaining rules and detailed tips and tricks on how to successfully execute each, download the full ebook here:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ESPN, GroupM, NBCU on Overcoming Measurement Challenges

Media is going through a major transformation and measurement is one of the most critical issues facing the industry today. Keeping up with constantly evolving media is the biggest challenge, particularly in terms of measuring audiences across multiple platforms.

But how can you keep up? Join us in February at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference where some of the industry's brightest minds are coming together to standardize measurement to get meaningful results. Hear from:

• Alan Wurtzel, President, Research & Media Development, NBCUNIVERSAL
• Harvey Goldhersz, Chief Data Officer and CEO, GROUPM ANALYTICS
• Artie Bulgrin, SVP, Global Research & Analytics, ESPN
• Cathy Hetzel, Corporate President, RENTRAK
• Frank Foster, SVP & General Manager, TIVO RESEARCH
• Moderated by: Jane Clarke, CEO, Managing Director, THE COALITION FOR INNNOVATIVE MEDIA MEASUREMENT

Download the conference brochure for the complete agenda:

Take a look at who's already signed on to set the future of the media research industry:

·         84.51°
·         A+E Networks
·         ABC
·         Allant
·         AMC Networks
·         AOL
·         BBC Worldwide
·         Comedy Central
·         Comcast
·         Discovery Communications
·         Disney ABC Television Group
·         Dreyfus Media Advisors
·         ESPN
·         Fox Networks
·         Frank N Magid Associates
·         Fuse TV
·         GfK
·         Google
·         GroupM
·         HBO Latin America
·         Home Box Office (HBO)
·         Horizon Media
·         Hub Entertainment Research
·         Hypothesis
·         IBOPE Media
·         iHeartMedia
·         Insight Strategy Group
·         Millward Brown
·         Miner & Co Studio
·         NBCUniversal    Netflix
·         Nielsen
·         Norman Hecht Research Inc
·         Now What
·         Numeris
·         Ovation
·         PBS
·         Phoenix Marketing International
·         Pivot TV
·         Rentrak
·         REVOLT
·         RLS Media Consulting
·         Science Channel
·         Simulmedia
·         Sony Pictures Television
·         Spike TV
·         Sveriges Utbildningsradio AB
·         The Oprah Winfrey Network
·         The Walt Disney Company
·         TiVo Research
·         TNG Research
·         TRP Research
·         TruthCo
·         Turner Broadcasting
·         TVB
·         Univision
·         Vevo
·         Viacom Inc
·         West Bend Mutual Insurance

Use exclusive blog discount code MEDIA16BL and save $100 off the current rate:

We hope to see you there!


The Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2016 Team


Monday, November 30, 2015

Brand Measurement: Best Practices to Link Results to In-Market Performance

Brand Measurement: Best Practices to Link Results to In-Market Performance

Jim Lane, President & CEO, Directions Research
Jim Nyce, Former VP Insights, Sun Products |Kraft| Pepsi

This talk centers on how can insights-people can track data that leads to real market performance.

The old system is broken. The case example that begins the session was a major CPG brand that was tracked over four hours. The goal was to track how pricing impacted market share. Market share lost five points of share. Once they lowered their price again, share rose, but never to its former glory. The value for the money was stagnant.

What actions got taken based on the tracker?

The moral of the story is that brand tracking needs innovation.

Let’s take a quick look back at tracking history:

Brand Health Assessment—A Very Brief History
1.     Pre 1985: WE had annual attitude & usage studies
2.     Late ‘80s: Continuous Tracking comes to America
3.     ‘90s-‘00’s: Brand Health Tracking Ubiquity
4.     ‘00’s: Ongoing Brand Health Tracking

The problem was that Brand Health Tracking was insensitive to marketplace changes, vulnerable to trend disruptions, and rarely actionable. As well they are expensive, resource intensive, difficult to dovetail with other data streams. Most damaging, they were not reflective to the market.

Questions: Does your tracker align with market sales? Is your tracker sensitive to in-market changes?

Make sure trackers are valid, sensitive, cohesive, and timely.

You must think beyond traditional scales to capture reality.

You must win. You have to be the best. You must be first to win.

Ranking is better than ratings for more realistic data modeling. Rankings more accurately reflects the category. Rankings overly normalize the data without taking in contextual and cultural  factors. Warning: once a new brand is introduced into the herd, the measured changes.

Trackers can use social data as an early warning system.

The main point is that brand tracking is lagging, but the promise of social, mobile, online, phone, and surveys working together makes tracking more dynamic and actionable.

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit to learn more.