The annual Mediascope client conference took place on December 1. This year it was an online event.
Mediascope top managers and experts talked about how media measurements and working with data change these days, how technology helps to better understand consumers and their activity in the media, and why hybrid measurement models are an important part of the strategy and foundation of new products for a research company.
Video conferences and speaker presentations are available on the website.
Hybrid measurements and new data streams
Mediascope is transforming its business, acquiring and introducing more and more technologies to measure the whole variety of media consumption. The company sees the future of the media research in a hybrid model – combining around a person panel measurement data and technological data from valid external sources.
In 2020, the company made two strategic deals and acquired stakes in Cifrasoft and MediaHills. Cifrasoft is a leader in development of mobile measurement technology. The company’s solutions provide the opportunities for analyzing user behavior through a smartphone, as well as for using a mobile device as a measuring tool, which recognizes content and advertisements in external sources, such as TV or radio. MediaHills collects and processes technological data about TV viewing (Return-Path-Data; RPD) in the networks of telecom operators. The company will be the collection point of such data for Mediascope.
This year, Mediascope continued to develop panel measurements: it doubled the TV panel in small settlements, began supplying data on TV viewing at dachas (countryside) not only across the country, but also separately in Moscow, and expanded the Big TV Rating project to the scale of the entire country as well.
The company took a new approach to online measurements based on the joint analysis of the panel data and external partner logs.
In 2021, in addition to the main market media data streams, Mediascope is ready to provide the market with new data streams collected using Cifrasoft and MediaHills, and to create projects based on the streams.
“We are transforming and changing our business, and the path to this goal lies through three blocks. There is Sociology that helps us receive a signal from a person. There are technologies - the way we collect and process data. And there is big data, which can be an additional source of information,” commented Ruslan Tagiev, CEO of Mediascope.
“We build our measurements around a person, because it is not devices, but human behavior that is important for the participants of the media advertising market for making their decisions. However, panels alone are not enough in today’s fragmented world, so we are building hybrid measurements. They will allow us to combine data from the panels that represent a person with big data from valid external sources. Thus, to measure TV and video content consumption in 2021, Mediascope plans to supply several data streams: the main stream of TV panel data and two additional streams built on our partners’ technologies. How exactly these streams will be combined and used in the industrial measurements has yet to be decided by the market,” comments Ksenia Achkasova, COO of Mediascope.
Cross-media analysis tools
In 2020, Mediascope built an experimental single-source panel in Moscow based on Cifrasoft mobile technologies. The measuring tool in the project is a smartphone – the gadget that is closest to a person. Cifrasoft solutions make it possible not only to analyze human behavior through a smartphone, but also to recognize content and ads in external sources, in particular, on TV and radio. The size of the pilot panel was about 2 thousand people.
The experiment provided an opportunity not only to obtain data on the consumption of various media by one person, but also to analyze the relationship between the person’s actions and contacts with content and advertising.
“One of the most important values that our customers want to see in the multitude of data around us is the relationship between different human actions. We conducted this test to find these relationships and to understand in more detail the path of a person in the media as well as his/her switching between different activities. With the help of the pilot, we were able to find out, for example, what media a person consumes in parallel, what this person was doing after listening to the radio on the way home and what songs he “shazamed”, how deep was the person’s immersion in the TV content and how many times this person watched TV commercials before installing an application of the advertised brand”, - said Mikhail Zotov, Commercial Director of Mediascope.
BrandPulse: project launch results
In 2020, Mediascope began delivering data from a new consumer preference study – BrandPulse. The project contains a large set of tools and data for analyzing consumer behavior in more than 400 categories of goods and services as well as the state of separate markets and brands.
The research online panel represents the population of the entire country. In 2020, Mediascope added data on residents of small settlements to the industrial project. Next year, the company plans to add a group of people aged 65+ to the study, whom it was unable to add this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In this group, the data will be collected offline, since the use of Internet by this group is not widespread enough.
“BrandPulse represents the population of the entire country – this sets our panel apart from other online panels. Instead of one large questionnaire, Mediascope uses a flexible constructor from a profile, which a respondent fills in at the entrance, and then many short questionnaires about the consumption of categories and brands. This approach increases the attentiveness and conscientiousness of the respondent, which improves the quality of the data,” claims Marina Pikuleva, Custom Media Research Director, Mediascope.
One of the main features of BrandPulse is weekly brand health tracking by key categories. Due to weekly data updates, one can analyze short trends that otherwise are invisible in monthly and quarterly trends. Tracking provides insight into all the classic brand metrics, including not only the prompted awareness and consumption, but also spontaneous awareness (the strength of spontaneous associations between a brand and a category), NPS (loyalty index), most likely purchases, attitude to ad, etc.
Besides, BrandPulse allows one to combine custom research with industrial. Mediascope customers can conduct their own research using the BrandPulse panel and combine complete project data on the issues that are of interest to the client.
BrandPulse is the first project of the company, which was originally created on the new Mediasope data platform. It helps not only to process a large data stream and make changes to the project faster, but it will provide opportunity to work with “raw” project data in DataLab in the future, to intercross it with media measurement data and data from third parties.
New ideology of working with data
In 2020, Mediascope launched its own data platform, where data on contacts with media and advertising, consumer behavior is processed and stored in a unified format. The new data model is based on the event log, where any event that happens to a person during contact with media is described in a unified format. All data in the platform is stored as data sets – this is a layer of raw data that the company’s customers can work with in the DataLab project: to search for insights, to test hypotheses and develop new products. Moreover, self-service mathematical tools for data analysis and intersection such as fusion are implemented in the platform.
Not only the distribution of data is changing, but also its collection and processing. Next year Mediascope will launch the first project based on the so-called “synthetic” panel - Cross Index. The idea behind the synthetic panel is to avoid combining ready-made data from different studies at the final stage. In synthetic panel, data from several sources will be brought to a single format using special mathematical models and algorithms.
“Nowadays our studies are being conducted separately, in different panels. We can combine the data of some panels, but there is a number of technological limitations. The new approach allows us to add data from many panels at once and what is revolutionary here is how large is the amount of data on the market that we can combine. We will present our first project based on a synthetic panel next year in a data platform,” said Lev Glazer, CIO of Mediascope.
As the analytical requests of Mediascope clients become more complex, working with company data is moving into the data science area. Access to Mediascope data in technological environments is becoming more and more popular – through API and in DataLab, at the same time reports, dashboards and software still remain available on the market.