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    Media Companies Paint Clear Picture of Insights on Demand

    Debbie Snewing, Director - Media & Communications Sector

    A Google listing for an Australia-based media/advertising agency, Sparcmedia, encapsulates the landscape in the media industry today. Under the header “Digital Advertising Agency,” the listing reads, “Advertising Intelligence. Insights on your brand, competition, audience and media performance using research and in-depth strategic analysis. Get a clear and deep understanding of how these interlinking elements contribute to advertising success.”

    Media agencies like Sparc are proving just how far ahead of the tech curve they are, in using advanced technologies like automation and artificial intelligence to help inform media buys and placement. And, working with market research companies like Toluna, they are integrating deep consumer insights into their strategic analyses, quickly and cost-effectively guiding their clients to the best ways to capture the attention of their target audiences. This privileged access to advertising and market intelligence—unavailable until just a few years ago—gives agencies’ clients an invaluable competitive edge.

    Media Companies Came to the Tech Table Early

    With the advent of digital/social media, media companies—and especially content providers—watched ad revenues decline, threatening the existence of a whole industry. As a means of streamlining operations, cutting costs and facilitating research, companies like CNN, the BBC and The New York Times have automated a number of functions in the newsroom, while logically expanding tech advancement to the business/advertising side of operations. Some examples of automation in media companies include:

    • The BBC’s Juicer, an AI application that streamlines media workflows and lets journalists focus on reporting.
    • Reuter’s News Tracer, which can track down breaking news, so that journalists can limit mundane tasks.
    • The New York Times Research and Development Lab’s Editor app, which allows reporters to crunch more data faster.

    And, in providers’ ad departments, researchers are using these advanced capabilities to zero-in on the most effective, targeted advertising options for their advertisers. Like their counterparts in the agency world, they are providing, “Advertising Intelligence. Insights on their brand, competition, audience and media performance using research and in-depth strategic analysis, providing a clear and deep understanding of how these interlinking elements contribute to advertising success.”

    A Prototype for Other Industries

    The success of media companies’ approach should stand as a lesson to other industries. For example, in 2016 total revenue across Fox News, CNN and MSNBC increased by almost 20 percent, to a total of nearly $5 billion. This includes the two main sources of revenue: advertising and subscriber/licensing fees. This in an industry that was all-but given up for dead a few years ago. Just one more example of the power of insight in today’s fast-moving global economy.

    In the end, the driving force of progress in the media industry is a barometer of business demand for timely, accurate insights into the marketplace. That demand can only grow in years to come, impacting every industry in its wake and creating a clear mandate for the Market Research industry.