CRE Newsletter

CRE Newsletter

February 2017

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Letter from the Chair

Billy McDowell In this month's newsletter we are pleased to share results from our recent survey of Nielsen clients that measured their awareness levels of the CRE and assessment of our performance and value.

The good news is that three-quarters of respondents agreed that an organization like the CRE is important, and gave us high marks for quality and value. More than half said they refer to our research to stay up to date on methodological issues.

But that's not to say there isn't room for improvement. Less than half said that we do a good job of communicating to Nielsen clients, and even fewer know how to communicate research ideas to the CRE.

Our leading form of regular communication is this monthly newsletter. So, to improve our communication to Nielsen clients, Nielsen -- at our request -- recently shared our January newsletter with their full list with an offer to opt-in. Our goal is to boost circulation so that a broader spectrum of Nielsen clients receive these monthly overviews of our activity. And if you know of anyone who might be interested in receiving our newsletter, please feel free to forward this edition to them. They can then sign up for their own subscription here.

In terms of incoming communication, please know that we are always receptive to thoughts and ideas. These can be shared directly with any of our Council members, or via our general email address:

Billy McDowell Vice President, Research Raycom Media Chair, Council for Research Excellence

Latest News

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CRE Shares Results of Nielsen Client Survey Expand

The CRE has reported out results from its survey evaluating awareness levels and performance of the organization among Nielsen clients. The results are intended to help guide and inform future efforts of the CRE. The survey was the third of its kind conducted by the CRE over the past six years and elicited the highest number of respondents ever -- 732, including Nielsen radio clients who were included for the first time.

Key findings include:

  • 75% of all respondents said that an organization like the CRE is important in providing knowledge.
  • Awareness of the CRE varied widely by business sector, from 75% among National Broadcasters to 31% among Radio/Audio.
  • The CRE received high marks for quality (65% of total respondents rating very good or excellent) and value to industry (67%).
  • The top three descriptors of the CRE were: relevant (70%) thought leaders (65%) and committed (64%).
  • 75% of respondents said the CRE should provide research training to Nielsen clients.
  • Less than half (39%) said that the CRE does a good job of communicating about its work with clients, and even fewer respondents (18%) said they know how to communicate research ideas to the CRE for consideration.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents (68%) reported they use CRE study results to keep up to date.
  • The clients' three most important research topics were identified as: mobile and the impact of digital technology on media use (88% labeling as very important or important), improving measurement of digital audience behavior (87%) and aligning impressions across platforms for total campaign measurement (83%).

Robin Thomas, SVP Research, WGN America and Tribune Studios, led the initiative in conjunction with the CRE's Communications Committee, chaired by Ann Casey, Corporate Director of Research, Weigel Broadcasting.

The Council's Mission Expand

In light of findings from the recent survey of Nielsen clients (see previous story), the CRE would like to take this opportunity to restate its mission to readers of this newsletter.

The mission of the CRE is to advance the knowledge and practice of methodological research on audience measurement through the active collaboration of Nielsen and its clients.

While nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents correctly identified conducting research on measurement methodology as CRE's core mission, it should be noted that a significant number of respondents cited activities that are not part of the CRE's core mission. These include: set standards for the industry (54%), audit the work of Nielsen (43%) and approve products in development at Nielsen (31%).

Other industry groups, including the Media Rating Council and Nielsen client advisory groups, have these elements as part of their missions. The CRE conducts empirical research to improve Nielsen audience measurement.

CRE Presents Findings of Platform Evaluation Studies at IIR Conference Expand

Peter Fondulas, Principal, Hub Entertainment Research, and Richard Zackon, CRE Facilitator, presented findings from the CRE's platform evaluation studies at the IIR Media Insight & Engagement Conference in Fort Lauderdale on January 31.

The studies examined how ad delivery and platform drive engagement and recall among viewers. Studies initially were conducted in English-speaking households, followed by one in Spanish-speaking households that compared findings among the two groups.

The most recent study, conducted in Spanish-speaking households, found that self-reported attention to ads is higher than in English-speaking households, especially on digital devices. Ad repetition was seen as a positive in Spanish-speaking homes but as a negative among English-speaking viewers. Countdown clocks inhibited Spanish recall but helped for English.

The full presentation deck can be viewed here.

The platform evaluation studies were led by the CRE's Media Consumption & Engagement Committee, currently chaired by Janet Gallent, SVP of Strategic & Primary Research, NBC Universal, and conducted by Hub Entertainment Research.

Pat Liguori to Chair Data Quality Committee Expand

Pat Liguori, SVP of Research and Electronic Measurement, ABC Owned Television Stations, was voted new Chair of the CRE's Data Quality Committee. She replaces Ceril Shagrin, who retired (see January 2017 issue of CRE Newsletter). The committee's mandate is to design research to provide insights into methods to improve data quality for media measurement.

CRE in the News Expand

Inside Radio reported on the CRE's plans to create a white paper spearheaded by the CRE's Audio Committee, chaired by Buzz Knight, VP Programming, Beasley Broadcast Group. The paper, "CRE Framework for Hybrid Measurement of Local Market Radio Listening," will provide an overview of radio audience measurement and guidelines for evaluating new measurement techniques including Nielsen's new hybrid approach that combines traditional person-based measurement with passive or server side measures. The paper will be written by RTI International in conjunction with the CRE's Audio Committee.

The article ran on January 12.

CRE Spotlight: Jon Cogan, Managing Director, Video Research, Omnicom Media Group Expand

Jon CoganWhat are your responsibilities as Managing Director, Video Research at Omnicom Media Group?

I oversee a team that identifies and tracks audience trends in the traditional and digital video (and audio) landscape. We track adoption and usage trends with regard to advances in media technology. Our team offers insights, trends and projections for key national video properties to our client teams with the goal of informing their media buying and planning decisions. In addition, we are charged with educating our agency and clients on all developments in the media measurement space, which has grown more complex in todays environment.

As Vice Chair of the CRE's Big Data Committee, what do you see as the biggest issues marketers and agencies face with regard to the quality of Big Data solutions?

Often the allure of big data blinds people to the underlying quality of the data itself. Marketers and their agencies need to do their due diligence before purchasing and using any data set. Clients must ask key questions of their data suppliers including where the raw data is coming from, how is it being cleaned, is it nationally representative, what other companies are handling the data, is it privacy compliant, among others. Ultimately, marketers must ask if the data will help uncover the insights needed to advance their business objectives.

What do you see as being the CRE's primary value to the agency community?

In todays cost-conscious environment, agency research staffs and budgets are as lean as ever. The CRE makes it possible for the entire industry to collectively learn about new research methodologies and practices by undertaking projects that are difficult to execute by any single company on its own.

From the perspective of one who has spent 20+ years in media research, what would you cite as the most significant changes that have occurred over that time in the area of audience measurement?

Technology has accelerated at a rate never before seen in our history, giving consumers a multitude of options for viewing and listening to media. As an unintended consequence, media measurement has lagged behind. Over the past ten years, the media has fragmented to the point where the measurement techniques of the past have become strained. We are entering a new era of media measurement that is uncharted. In the era of big data and walled gardens, it is critical for credible, independent, third party entities to provide quality audience data to measure audiences accurately.

In what areas are improvements still needed?

Digital and multi-screen measurement remain the biggest blind spots for the industry. We know that media consumption is at an all-time high; however, we cannot quantify at a granular level where the incremental digital viewing is taking place.

Additionally, sample sizes for panel based measurement services are quickly becoming inadequate for measuring ratings at the respondent level in todays fragmented local and national environments.