Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Diverse Demographics: Breaking Stereotypes

Millennials are the most diverse generation in history – only 59% are Caucasian and 27% have an immigrant background (Deloitte, 2015). Therefore, it’s no surprise that this demographic expects brands to embrace and reflect the diversity of their lives – a trend previously highlighted by Stylus Life in our report No normal: Post-diversity marketing. If brands are to do this successfully, they must move beyond crude stereotyping to represent a broad spectrum of race, gender and sexuality.

For instance, Muslim millennials offer growing opportunities for brands – the Muslim consumer lifestyle market is predicted to reach $2.6tn by 2020. The modern yet faith-driven outlook of this group, along with a growing disposable income, will see them buy into brands that reflect or understand their values. Make-up brand CoverGirl is already tapping into this lucrative demographic with its latest brand ambassador –beauty blogger and hijab wearer Nura Afia. One of a growing number of Muslim beauty bloggers, her new role demonstrates the importance and appeal of diverse representation.

Beauty brands are working particularly hard to cater to often forgotten demographics. A new initiative from L’Oreal offers free step-by-step audio tutorials to give visually impaired women more independence. The usability has been carefully considered to fit the needs of this consumer group – the cosmetic and skincare tutorials are concise to fit into everyday habits, while the app’s customisable user interface features a monochrome palette and large text.

Also targeting a currently under-catered market, UnBeweavable Hair is an on-demand hair service specifically for women of colour. On-demand beauty services, which provide a stylist straight to your home or workplace, have been rising in popularity for some time now – yet UnBeweavable Hair is the first tailored to the specific needs of this demographic.

Created by Zina Alfa, it was inspired by her own difficulties in finding hairdressers who understood her needs. Made by a woman of colour for other women of colour, this case study shows that if brands want to provide products and services that appeal to all, they must improve the diversity of their workforce.

Rebecca Minkoff recently highlighted the need for diverse workforces, citing the lack of female employees in technology companies (and STEM fields in general) as a key reason why wearables are not currently capturing female consumers. The fashion designer also mentions examples of having to explain female expectations and behaviours – such as taking jewellery off at night – that were missed by an all-male team.

There’s a popular saying promoting better gender and race representation that suggests ‘you cannot be what you cannot see’ – but this could easily be extended to ‘you cannot create for audiences you don’t represent and understand’. Which is why companies with diverse workforces are more likely to financially outperform those that are not (McKinsey, 2015). So if you want to ensure your products appeal to an increasingly diverse consumer landscape, you’d better start with your job adverts.

Brought to you by Stylus Life, creativity and innovation news from around the web.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

CNN & NBC News Share Where the 2016 Election Polls Went Wrong

Last week marked an important week in American history, the inauguration of President Trump… but our researcher minds can’t help but wonder, what happened with the polling?

JUST ANNOUNCED - The Media Insights & Engagement Conference brings CNN and NBC News to the keynote stage to reveal Insights from the 2016 Presidential Election!

Join Robin Garfield, SVP, Research & Scheduling, CNN for a comprehensive look at event participation, media consumption and public opinion over the course of this unprecedented election cycle. From record engagement in the presidential race to the dynamic environment heading into election day, Robin will address what the data said and how these insights compared to the outcome of the election.

John Lapinski focuses on how election polls and other data-driven analyses did not fully predict the Trump phenomena. He’ll uncover the lessons learned from the 2016 election, and how this will change how the media analyzes and covers elections going forward.
Don’t miss your chance to truly understand the historical outcome (at least to the mind of a researcher) of the 2016 election.

Read our recent blog post on the 2016 Presidential Election:

Plus, hear from Facebook, NBC, HBO & Nielsen Social for a panel discussion on How Consumers Engage with Programming Across Social Platforms. See the full session description here:

See who you’ll join at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference:

Use exclusive Blog discount code MEDIA17BL for $100 off the current rate. Buy your tickets here:

We hope to see you in Fort Lauderdale next week!

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference Team

Monday, January 23, 2017

The 2016 Presidential Election and the Media

By: Jim Bono, Vice President, Research, Crown Media Family Networks

The year 2016 featured what many called the “most important election of our time.”  However, this nation continues to be split by political affiliation and party.  This was extremely apparent in social media circles as supporters of Trump, Clinton and Sanders were extremely passionate in their opinions of the debates, news coverage and finally the election itself.  The mainstream media also had major differences of opinion – depending on if you were watching CNN or FOXNews.  Yet, the American people were still glued to their TV sets, watching the primaries, the debates and as much news coverage as they could to follow this presidential race.

The cable news networks definitely benefited from 2016 being an election year.  In 4th Qtr 2016, MSNBC, FOXNews and CNN displayed significant year-to-year over the previous 4th Qtr.  Among that key advertiser demographic of Women 25-54, MSNBC showed the largest growth, up +93%, followed by CNN (+81%) and FOXNews (+61%).  Among Total Viewers, FOXNews was the most watched cable network in 4th Qtr 2016 with 1.7 million viewers.  In fact, FOXNews, MSNBC and CNN were the top 3 cable networks among pure total viewer growth for 4Q’16 vs. 4Q’15.

However, by the time the election was over, it seemed the American people had enough.  The bias, melodrama, inaccuracies, and outrage that the television news journalists showed on election night proved to be intense, and eventually took its toll on the American viewers.

According to an article in The Washington Times, an analyst for YouGov wrote:

“As America deals with the fallout of the election, 27 percent of the country is actively trying to avoid the news.”
36% of Democrats were “making an effort to avert their gaze from newspapers and television news,” while 21% of Republicans are also trying to avoid the news.

The American people were cranky and needed something in the media to put them in a better mood.  They starting looking for that “feel good” environment on television.  And there were two cable networks that offered it to them – Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries!

The two cable networks, owned by Crown Media, had just launched their annual holiday campaigns at the beginning of the month, just prior to the election.  Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas proved to be a major success, premiering 19 new original holiday movies which consistently ranked in the top of their time period, occasionally beating even the broadcast networks.  

In fact, Hallmark Channel had the #1 movie of the week for 10 straight weeks, and 11 of those new premieres ranked as the #1 cable telecast of the day that they aired.  Furthermore, for all of 4th Qtr 2016, Hallmark Channel was HIGHEST RATED cable network (behind FOXNews) among HH rtg, and the #1 watched cable network among W25-54!

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas campaign brought of 7 new original holiday movies, which averaged a 1.6 HH rtg, and ranked #3 in their Sunday night 9-11pm time period.  For a mid-sized cable network in just over 67 million homes, HMM delivered big numbers, outperforming many larger fully distributed cable networks like Lifetime, A&E, TLC and Bravo!

As a safe place for viewers to go and watch that “feel good” programming, the family friendly networks also experienced significant year-to-year growth, adding more new total viewers 4Q’16 vs. 4Q’15 than any other non-news cable network.

Daypart: Total Day
Viewing Source
P2+ (000)
P2+ (000)
Source: Nielsen Live+SD data, top 10 cable networks

So while 2016 was a banner year for the cable news networks, and as social media thrived due to election coverage, viewers still want something that will let them escape from the negativity that many media outlets continue to push upon the American people day after day.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Stop Listening, Start Watching. How Interest-Based Segmentation Gets to the Heart of Consumers

By: Hannah Chapple

In recent years, we've seen companies increase their reliance on social data. Why? Today there are more social signals than ever. Consumers are sharing comments, their interests, thoughts, and more online. The result being an incredible amount of consumer-provided data at our fingertips.

The problem facing marketers is trying to make sense of the deep end of social data. One way we’ve seen businesses and big brands try to make sense of this data is by investing in a little something called social listening. If we watch and listen to what consumers are saying in real-time, we'll paint a more accurate picture of them, right? Wrong.

Social listening is biased. Many times our online persona is different than who we are or doesn't show us in our entirety. And only a small percentage of those online ever actually engage or vocalize their thoughts, interests, and beliefs – the consumer insights that companies crave.

I'll use myself as an example. If you comb through my social feeds (and please, don't feel you have to) you'll find my comments and a flurry of articles shared on all things marketing. While I am interested in this stuff, yes (it's my profession after all), it is not the complete picture of who Hannah is as a person.

So how do we get to the heart of the consumer?

One way companies can figure out who their consumers are and what they want is by leveraging interest-based segmentation.

Interest-based segmentation is when individuals are clustered and segmented into naturally-occurring, unbiased clusters, by looking at who or what they choose to follow. Instead of focusing on the vocal minority, at Affinio we consider following patterns and interest data to be paramount to listening or traditional research methods. 

 Image: Interest-based clusters generated by Affinio

Following and connecting with other people is a fundamental property of social behaviour. It is also a silent action, whereas social biases might keep individuals from being honest about their interests (who they follow) or what they talk about in person. The takeaway: you wouldn't know everything that I'm interested in just by looking at what I say, but you would understand my interests by looking at who I follow.

By focusing on how an audience is connected (analyzing their shared interests and affinities), interest-based segmentation gets to the very heart of the consumer. Instantly, companies can identify who and what their audience cares about, even if they've never vocalized it. Or if they have, this method validates that finding. This approach places focus on the honest relationships consumers have built and maintained and lets marketers understand their audience as human beings and not one-dimensional data points.

About the Author: Hannah Chapple is the Marketing & Content Coordinator at Affinio, the marketing intelligence platform. Hannah holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing from the F.C. Manning School of Business at Acadia University. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

See Who You’ll Meet at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference

See Who You’ll Meet at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference WILL Sell Out…

Don’t worry, there’s no need to panic yet!

There’s still time for you to secure your spot at your industry’s annual meeting place AND save $100:

Still not convinced that you need to be at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference? Your competitors have already signed up – don’t get left behind as they uncover what’s next for the industry and how to stay ahead.

20th Television
21st Century Narrative
A&E Networks
AMC Networks
Annik Inc
BBC America
BET Networks
Bravo and Oxygen Media
Charter Communications
Cint USA Inc
Clarion Research Inc
Chadwick Martin Bailey
Consensus Point
Cooper Smith Advertising
Council for Research Excellence
Country Music Association
Creative Artists Agency
Discovery Communications
Disney ABC Television Group
Disney Channel Worldwide and Freeform
Disney World
Dreyfus Advisors LLC
Frank N Magid Associates
Fuel Cycle by Passenger
Fuse Media
Fusion Media Group
HBO Latin America
Horowitz Research
Hub Entertainment Research
Insight Strategy Group
Invoke Solutions
Ipsos Connect
Katz Media Group
Leflein Associates
Lieberman Research Worldwide
Millward Brown
Miner & Co Studio
National Geographic Partners
NBC News
NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises
NC Solutions
Norman Hecht Research
Oakland A's
Phoenix Marketing International
Radius Global Market Research
RAG Media
RLS Media Consulting LLC
RSG Media
Screenvision Media
Scripps Network
Showtime Networks
Simmons Research
Sony Pictures Television
Spectrum Reach
Starz Entertainment LLC
Trend Hunter
TRP Research
Turner Broadcasting
Universal Music Group
University of Chicago
Vision Critical
Warner Brothers

Join YOUR industry at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference later this month – Use exclusive Blog discount code MEDIA17BL for an additional $100 off:

We hope to see you in Fort Lauderdale!

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference Team

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Selling on Emotion: Why Show Ratings and Demographics No Longer Tell the Whole Story

By Jared Feldman, Founder & CEO of Canvs

An earlier version of this article appeared in AdAge.

With upfront season just around the corner, early signs are that brands, finally, are again buying more of what networks are selling.

That's great news for the networks, after over three straight years of declines in upfront ad-time purchases (and two years of plateaued spending before that). But as the buying season kicks off, let me suggest that brands should pay attention to some new factors this year as they lock in deals.

In the past, in making decisions about where to spend their ad dollars, buyers had only ratings and some demographic data about existing shows, plus a first peek at new ones coming in the fall. What I'd like to propose is that buyers not use, or just use, those same old methods this time around.

Oh sure, keep the ratings and demos you're used to working with. Nielsen's work continues to have value and it's evolving to embrace the new TV realities.

But show ratings and audience demographics by themselves no longer tell ad buyers everything they need to know in the new universe of "TV" we now live in. The TV audience is shifting, and in lots of directions at once. With it, the business is shifting, too.

Audiences are watching TV in more ways and on more platforms than ever, and at different times and in different settings. Just as importantly, audiences are talking about the shows they're watching, on more social media and chat and other online platforms than ever.

And when fans are talking about these shows, sharing important moments, creating content about the shows, and reacting to that, they're also evoking and expressing a whole raft of feelings and attachments about favorite programs.

The savviest programmers realize this. They're building shows that connect with and captivate dedicated, niche audiences who care deeply about that show. They're sharing compelling behind-the-scenes content, live tweeting with fans, and creating other experiences that will hook and engage the superfans who care most about a program.

And those shows and networks are exactly where advertisers should be. Those fans will be a show's best ambassadors. And the research says they'll also be the best ambassadors for brands advertising around that show.

The shows that stir emotional reactions are the ones that also will stir reactions and buying impulses for the ads of those shows. As they say in the business, that is gold. So it's important to figure out which companies are doing a good job reaching and holding those audiences your brand cares about most.

For instance, the two networks whose shows most often evoke the emotion "addicting" on Twitter were MTV and Freeform (then known as ABC Family), according to a Canvs analysis of tweets captured by Nielsen.

It shouldn't be a complete surprise -- both networks target millennials, who are tech-savvy and sharing-mad. They share everything they care about, including some of their favorite shows on those two networks.

"Addictive" programming isn't the only thing buyers should look for. For instance, what networks and shows do fans find consistently "funny?" A laughing fan is one predisposed to like the brands connected to those shows.

And though the industry may not be quite ready for it, let me propose another thing. Networks and show runners will become increasingly skilled at creating compelling niche programming for ardent superfan audiences. They're also going to get better at using the new measures of success and building to it.

At some point, as creators improve, and as brands integrate what this means for their bottom line, we'll have new network milestones for ad sales. Expect networks to begin guaranteeing more than just ratings.

Providing a minimum level of emotional reactions that can help drive advertising success will become important. And when a show doesn't drive that emotional response, a network will have to figure out how to make good on its promise.

By that point, the entire industry will know how much emotion matters in making a show, and its advertising, succeed. And then we'll really see the full power and value of advertising in the new TV universe.

Related articles

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How Are You Treating Your Organizational Data?

By: Anil Damodaran, Blueocean Market Intelligence Assistant Vice President

Data fragmentation has existed for over 15 years and still does today. However, the challenge has grown tremendously due to an increase in the number of data sources and devices in use, at the workplace and home. Today, data is generated and stored not only on office PCs and laptops, but on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, online storage devices, and more.

Most of this data is generated in bits and pieces during various activities like exchange of emails, feedbacks, chats, IoT feed captures, and pilot surveys. It lies around in devices or unused drives, and often treated as office stationery, until one day someone suddenly realizes the cost implications of this recklessness. According to research from Salesforce, about 53 percent of organizational data is left unanalyzed that could otherwise have signified an opportunity for decision makers.[1] The problem, at a grass-roots level, is leaving data unattended with disparate sources and not implementing proper data governance.

So what can we do?

Data fragmentation can be addressed if you start considering data generated within your organization as a corporate asset. By doing so, it will become more instinctive to institute practices and processes of measuring data. Once you can measure their data, it becomes easier to tag the data based on business relevance and quality attributes.

For example, in almost all companies large and small, it is common to take stock of infrastructure – tangible and intangible – and tag them, such as company IP, laptops, mouse, and so on to the employee using it. Similarly, are you then tagging your data generated within your organization to its source, purpose, time, format and so on? It has been found that only 13 percent organizations have properly integrated data and predictive insights extensively into their entire business operations.[2] Companies that drive their businesses using data-driven strategies are five percent more productive and realize six percent higher profits.[3]

Here are some of the traits of an organization that treat data as an asset vs. those that do not.[4]

Organization that treats data as an asset
Organization that does not treat data as an asset
Is more innovative
Less innovative and tends to become commoditized in the long run
Is more customer-centric
Pushes products to customers, instead of developing products based on customer needs
Harbors a culture of openness and collaboration
Politics and hierarchy based system tend to keep data in silos
Business decisions are data-driven
Run on personal experience and intuitions
Business processes and performance are measured based on feedback and analytical models
Practices age-old business processes; no system for measuring business performance
Risk mitigation is proactive
Risk mitigation is reactive

What kind of an organization are you and what is your biggest challenge with the evolution? Share with us your experience and views.

Blueocean Market Intelligence is a global analytics and insights provider that helps corporations realize a 360-degree view of their customers through data integration and a multi-disciplinary approach that enables sound, data-driven business decision. To learn more, visit

Monday, January 9, 2017

3 Ways Market Researchers Approach Mobile

By: Roddy Knowles, Director, Product & Research Methodology, Research Now 

 This post was originally published on Research Now’s Blog.

I’ve been saying (sometimes complaining or screaming) for years that as an industry we need to wake up and approach research with mobile in mind. I haven’t been alone here.

Several of my colleagues – here at Research Now and elsewhere – have pushed hard for change. Reminders for why we need to change are everywhere, whether that be in the statistic du jour about mobile usage, a dataset with more mobile participants than expected, or just sitting on a park bench watching throngs of people of all ages hunt for Pok√©mon.

In spite of constant everyday reminders and the call from many in the market research field, true change has been slow coming. So, how have market researchers kept pace with broader mobile trends and embraced a mobile-first philosophy?

I’ve conducted an incredibly unscientific segmentation of researchers – cute segment names and all – that attempts to capture what we’re all seeing if we look around at our colleagues.

Response 1 – Meet Bill

Response 2 – Meet Evan Tually
Response 3 – Meet Reese Istant

There is a bit of humor, a bit of shame, and a bit of truth in these characterizations. If you are in this industry I know you know people who look a bit like all 3 of these hypothetical folks. And I know you can call out your friends and colleagues for being a Reese Istant, or just ask them to be a bit more like Bill.

The simple truth in this silliness is that we know that embracing a mobile-first mindset is the best course forward, even if we do a good job suppressing this truth. I know that change is hard. We all know that change is hard. But the sooner we get there, the less painful it will be. And the good news is, we are not too late. Someday, we will have a room full of Bills and I’ll stop my poor attempts at market research humor.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Marketing Analytics and Data Science 2017 - Save the Date

Save The Date!
April 3-5, 2017, San Francisco, CA

The U.S. election results proved that there is an urgent need to improve our prediction models and statistical analysis. Thankfully, Data science and Advanced Analytics are starting to lead the charge, and that’s a fundamental reason it’s being called the sexiest job of the 21st century.

The Marketing Analytics and Data Science conference is your opportunity to go beyond the data and identify hidden insights. How can you work together to filter through all the clutter of data and deliver results that really make a difference?

You are more powerful together than you are on your own!

Join Superheros from:

·         Director, Alibaba Group
·         Chief Data Scientist, Mashable
·         Founder and CEO, Fast Forward Labs
·         Head of Customer Experience Analytics and Experimentation, Paypal
·         Economic Research Scientist, Netflix
·         EVP Insight, BBC Worldwide
·         Chief Economist, Google
·         Visiting Executive, Harvard Business School
·         And more!

Use exclusive LinkedIn discount code MADS17BL and save $100! Buy your tickets here:

We hope to see you in San Francisco next spring!

The Marketing Analytics & Data Science Team