Ipsos Social Media Exchange
The Changing Face of
Media and Technology Research
Ipsos has recently expanded the Hear Watch Say syndicated community to capture insights from 3,000+ US-based media and technology enthusiasts on an ongoing basis. Engaged on everything from TV and movies to gaming, electronics, online and mobile, the community is designed to offer a fast, affordable research solution for single or multiple ad hoc projects including the ability to conduct live chats, surveys, ideation and co-creation activities on demand.
To help us better understand how brands can benefit from a syndicated research community, and how the media and technology research landscape is evolving in general, we sat down with Ipsos SMX Director Laurie Eddings, the strategic lead for Hear Watch Say.
Q: How have you seen the research landscape change throughout your career in the media and entertainment industry?
Things were very traditional in terms of research offerings for the first few years of my career in entertainment research. I started out around 15 years ago working for Miramax Films as Vice President and head of the market research department. At the time, qualitative interviews were only conducted over the phone or in person in places like malls, theaters, etc. With the introduction of online tools, research has obviously undergone a huge transformation. There are so many different interactive options available to our clients nowadays, but the business challenges remain the same – we continue to require creative and interesting ways to achieve robust and impactful insights.
Q: Are entertainment and media brands actually open to new methodologies when it comes to research?
There is much more interest now than there was even just a few years ago, with brands beginning to understand the benefits of the online approach for things like concept testing, marketing studies, user experience and consumer tracking – how these things can now be done more quickly and more creatively than before. Brands are also beginning to understand that the ability to engage with customers via innovative platforms, on their own time or on the go, helps lead to stronger relationships and can even influence future purchasing decisions.
Q: What does the Hear Watch Say community offer that traditional research methods don’t?
The most important factors are the quick turnaround times and the lower price point, which helps to meet the needs of movie studios and other brands that have limited budgets and tight decision-making timelines. This affordable research solution provides them immediate feedback and a cost effective point of entry, delivering a pulse check on concepts and ideas prior to putting tons of money behind larger campaign launches.
Besides fulfilling the needs for speed and real-time feedback, Hear Watch Say also provides the ability to have an ongoing conversation with people of all ages over time. What this means is that you can carry on conversations with the same members in an iterative fashion, and gauge if or how opinions change, or bring in new members as business needs change or evolve. We have new, engaging content launching all the time, which keeps members coming back for more, and since our platform features a robust array of qual and quant tools, there’s no limit to the types of studies you can execute.
One popular feature in particular, Live Chats, allows you to talk with people from all over the country at once, show them engaging media, and get real-time feedback, providing huge savings in terms of travel and facility costs as compared to doing it in person. If you do have a need to conduct traditional in-person focus groups or in-store interviews, tapping into a community is actually a great way to help identify and connect with participants as well, since everyone is already fully screened and profiled.
Q: What would you say are the most important trends happening right now in media or tech, and how is research evolving to address them?
I think that some of the biggest shifts are in new media advertising and the ways in which consumers find out about new products and offerings. As media platforms and consumption continue to grow and evolve, consumers are constantly bombarded with content and advertising; so the ways that they are making purchasing decisions are also changing.
With the exponential growth of new channels to discover and comment on new things, it’s becoming more and more important for brands to be in the places where it’s all happening. So in addition to online communities, which provide the opportunity for people to interact with one another in a social network type setting, methodologies like Social Intelligence and passive data collection (which help us understand things like digital path to purchase and online motivations), are also becoming increasingly popular.
Q: Thanks for all the great insights Laurie! Now it’s time for a fun question: if you could moderate a focus group for any movie (throughout history), what would it be and why?
I would probably have to say Shawshank Redemption. I’ve seen it a thousand times and I’m always uncovering something in the storyline or with the characters that I hadn’t noticed before. I think it would be incredibly interesting to hear what other people had to say and to discuss favorite moments or things that resonate most with them.