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One of the world’s premier professional networking sites had a simple, but intransigent, challenge: How to convince advertisers outside a very narrow niche to spend more on network?
Advertisers are “consumers” too, and have entrenched brand perceptions based on their own anecdotal experience. However, these perceptions are not always accurate and can impede creative marketing – the very thing their clients are paying them to deliver. Our client’s ad sales efforts were greatly inhibited by these ingoing biases – they needed both better intel on what advertisers expect from an advertising platform, and how they can better position the uniquely valuable audience available to advertisers through their network.
Over the course of multiple engagements, Interpret combined its extensive B2B and B2C segmentation experience with its deep roots in advertising research to deliver insights that greatly enhanced the sales team’s understanding of what advertisers in different industries and at different stages in the sales cycle need from an advertising platform. Moreover, we also identified what messaging works on our client’s site, and provided backing data for the far greater breadth of category opportunities open to advertisers using the network. Ad dollars are flowing.
A studio client needed to optimize their release strategy for a new film launching in markets around the globe, and facing both potential franchise fatigue and significant competition from a jam-packed summer slate.
With even the largest franchises living and dying on opening weekend at the global box office, and the increasing importance of global BO returns for a film’s ultimate profitability, it is more important than ever to connect with cinemagoers before release. Moreover, given that cinemagoer tastes vary significantly across markets, it is crucial to do research in multiple territories, especially when the film in question is the latest reboot in a well-worn, decades old franchise.
Our hybrid research consisted of deep dive qualitative work, as well as several rounds of quantitative studies. The qualitative involved 30 focus groups across five distinct markets (Brazil, France, Japan, Korea, and the UK), digging into local awareness and cultural perceptions. Quantitative research was primarily aimed at optimizing specific trailers and TV spots, within the narrative and visual framework established in our qualitative stage. This globe-spanning project provided our studio client with actionable insights into local perceptions surrounding the franchise and its newest film – and, most importantly – how to grow its prospects in each individual region.
A global TV production company wanted to better understand consumer interest in and uptake of subscription “over-the-top” services in nascent Latin American markets.
With Netflix leading the charge, Subscription OTT or “Streaming on Demand” (SVOD) services are altering the way consumers view content around the globe. This is both a threat and an opportunity to traditional TV distribution and production companies. However, as with any disruptive technology, adoption is varied, and the manner in which service penetration evolves is different in every market, making it difficult to devise efficient strategies to address this dynamic market.
Our insights program consisted of deep dive qualitative research among key consumer segments, both core and opportunity audiences, followed by a robust quantitative survey to validate our findings in three major markets: Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. Our research covered the video consumption landscape, including traditional linear TV, mobile web and app-based SVOD via mobile and connected TV, while measuring service/brand awareness and preferences for content offerings, product features, and consumer messaging. This initiative provided our client with meaningful insight into how SVOD might continue to grow relative to Free and Pay TV offerings. Moreover, we were able to advise our client on specific content production, distribution and marketing strategies, making them much smarter about their video “plays” in each market.
One of the world’s largest game publishers wanted to better understand evolving reception to their top-selling franchise, and, in particular, how to keep it relevant to a global audience.
Brand slippage: all brands face it and must continue to innovate to stay “fresh.” The video game space is no different. In fact, given the “bleeding edge,” tech-savvy, multi-modal, content-drenched consumers that make up the core gaming audience, the challenge of keeping a brand relevant is even more pressing. Recently, our client needed help crafting a strategy to maximize appeal for a new game from this storied franchise.
In preparation, we conducted research to identify the franchise’s core tenets – what makes it unique and is at the heart of why gamers gravitate to it year over year – while also pointing out where the brand needed to innovate to attract new players and keep current ones from defecting. We knew going in that while there would be “universal themes” attracting consumers around the world, every major market would likely present unique challenges and variations in consumer attitude. To tap these cultural nuances, we conducted deep qualitative across North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, delving into brand perceptions, expectations and gauging reception to early marketing material and positioning strategies. In the end, we helped optimize brand positioning and overall marketing strategy in each region, catalyzing the brand and enabling our client to realize a highly successful product launch.
Recently, the designers of a high-end personal robot sought our help in crafting a “come-to-market” strategy for their latest prototype.
Robotics (and related AI) is an incredibly exciting, rapidly evolving space, where “sci-fi-like” advancements are being made (and announced) seemingly every week. Nonetheless, robotics and AI stimulate just as much fear and consternation as they do excitement, and many of the “earth-shifting” innovations and proclamations end up forgotten or far less revolutionary than promised because they fail to find a market or business application.
We pride ourselves in evolving our research tool kit to meet the ever-evolving needs and challenges posed by technological innovators. Using novel B2B and B2C ethnographic research, Interpret identified potential use-cases, appropriate pricing, and desired product features, that we in turn used to create a US launch strategy. While the market for personal robots is in its infancy, it is clear from our research that there are numerous applications that address un-met needs, and pose far less of a threat to current service workers than many dread. The future is nigh, and Interpret knows, through research-driven insights, it is not to be feared.
Our music clients constantly approach us with questions on how to best take advantage of new discovery and distribution platforms, and maximize music revenues in a digital world.
For decades, radio program managers skillfully curated the music playlists that gave us the “soundtracks of our lives.” This assembly of sound kept listeners attached to the station and its advertisers. It also introduced music we simply had to own. This was the art of music discovery. Get on that radio playlist and sales at Sam Goody, MusicLand or Tower would blossom. As owning music wanes and music streaming on services such as Spotify and Pandora challenge broadcast radio, our clients from all sides of the music ecosystem question how to best position releases for discovery and monetization.
Through smart syndicated and custom research, we provide guidance. For any given release broadcast radio remains the most important discovery platform. But, radio is not giving listeners adequate information about the name of the new song, or the name of the artist. Listeners go to video sites or search engines to learn more. That is a lost opportunity for radio and advertisers. Labels can compensate by leveraging these searches to offer artist information, lyrics and other desired information. More than half of paid streamers listen to a playlist every time they tune in to their music service. Streaming playlists offer variety, music discovery and surprise. Similar to traditional radio, we suggest that genre is the most important in a streaming playlist; investment in artist or celebrity curation is unlikely to pay off. When it comes to music discovery “old radio” is still the “new radio;” but listeners crave more information about what they are hearing. Streaming playlists are catching up to radio for music discovery but consumers want many of the same things they got from radio; familiar music sprinkled with new top hits.