Insight into consumers and citizens
This is the starting point for the most successful creative companies – indeed, all consumer-facing companies: effective strategy is built upon good understanding of the consumer.
So it is typically the starting point for us. We need to understand audiences, readers, users – who they are, what they do, how they feel and what devices they have.
We do this via a range of primary research techniques:
- quantitative research, conjoint, cluster and factor analysis
- qualitative research, including groups, depths, ethnography and deliberative workshops
Structural change in society sets the background for consumer trends.
For example, migration, changing family structures and employment patterns can all have profound effects on people’s behaviours and attitudes, thereby influencing their media consumption, as well as their wants and needs. This process can result in new creative trends.
Many of the significant changes in media consumption over the last 20 years have been driven by technological changes.
Strategy is about responding to change. Technology has been changing quickly with profound effects on many creative industries and, in particular, distribution.
Creative businesses have a unique set of characteristics and their ability to create hits is critical to success.
This means that it is important to have:
- a subjective understanding of the various media
- an understanding of the way teams work to create new ideas
- the ability to understand consumers and interpret consumer responses to creative assets
Many of our engagements address questions of business strategy – entering markets, buying and selling companies, bidding for rights or changing organisational structures.
It is impossible to make these sorts of decisions without an understanding of the consumer, technology, regulation or, in some cases, the creative potential of the business.
It is also easier to carry out useful consumer research if there is a good understanding of the business questions that need to be answered.
Policy and regulatory environment
Many issues faced by media organisations – particularly broadcasters – are heavily influenced by regulation and public policy. It could be the future of public service broadcasting, the question of regulating the internet or the future of advertising.
Research with consumers and citizens also plays a big part in the policy debate.
Competition economics is an important part of regulation and policy making.
When making investment choices, it is important to have a view on, for example, the advertising market, subscription rates or pricing.
Concepts from economics also carry across into other areas. For example, the use of the reverse Herfindahl index in the measurement of content diversity.