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Making every message count

The value of media intelligence in the modern era


Michael Maillinger

Managing Director & Country Manager

Kantar Media




Dr. Martin Löser

Head of Operations

Kantar Media


First came Gutenberg’s printing press, then the radio, and then the Internet set in train the third media revolution. It has utterly transformed the media landscape, setting new standards and penetrating every aspect our daily lives. Thirty years ago, the world was dominated by print, radio and television, with a limited number of advertising opportunities. All of this still exists – they weren’t killed off after all. But the internet has not only reversed advertisers’ mass media-first approach to communications, it has also reinvented individual communication. Social media, networks, blogs and vlogs are just some of the magic words that characterize the viral distribution of messages and opinions.


Information overload is the hallmark of the internet age, not just for consumers but also for businesses. Brands that had previously been able to gain a good overview of public sentiment by keeping tabs on a few key media outlets are confronted today with a seemingly unmanageable volume of constantly changing communication. In this environment, how can a brand keep on top of all the trends and issues that affect them?


The daily torrent of information can only be met with modern media intelligence tools. Modern media observation and media analysis must go far beyond simply collecting and documenting media content. In the jungle of media, monitoring must provide an individual, real-time overview of communicators, topics and moods. Modern media observation is used today as a kind of GPS for information, a navigation system for the world’s digital traffic. In a complex and fast-paced media landscape, being able to read media signals is the key to effective brand communication that is optimized based on data analysis. Only those who have the right data will make the right decisions.


New challenges


In marketing communications, media analysis needs to be used to clarify the position of one's own brand as well as that of the competition. But often topline numbers fail to tell the full story, particularly if the goal of communications is a subtle shift in brand perception. A thorough, modern analysis shows the development of a company's corporate messages, and makes valid judgments about the success of its own brand communication and press work, using more meaningful metrics such as a Media Impact Score (MIS). In addition, it measures qualitative criteria and describes tonality and media moods. Special, active and critical pieces of communication are identified. This results in new, real knowledge on which strategic media work can be developed.


At the same time, it is crucial that brands work on social media monitoring that can signal the onset of a communications crisis – whether that’s a genuine emergency or just a social media shitstorm. We all live in our digital bubble of information and opinions, whether we are aware of it or not. Each consumer uses their "likes" and "comments" to create self-reinforcing links that influence their future access to information on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. Therefore, social media observation must be an essential part of media monitoring, so that our perspective is not limited by the extent of our own filters and the bubble that surrounds us.


The most important challenge for communications agencies now is to be compatible with all existing information channels. Think about video, for example. Traditional television is only a part of the video services brands and agencies now use, and media observation must track all of the formats on which video is being consumed. Modern monitoring is increasingly focused on analyzing the success of a piece of content, regardless of where it was placed. It is important to take a holistic approach, using monitoring tools that enable data from different media and geographical regions to be compared.


The ultimate goal must therefore be to bridge gaps between media data and consumer data. This is the only way in which brands will be able to make strategic statements across all channels, leading to more efficient planning of media relations and marketing communication, with real-time adjustment on the go. Only then will brands truly be able to thrive in the new era of mass communication.