Modern market research methods and techniques are continually being adapted to reflect consumers’ changing behaviours.
In the last couple of years we at Hook Research have been powering up classic techniques to understand broadcast audiences (such as BARB analysis and focus groups) with social media harvesting. Blending these market research methods together has provided a 360 degree approach to audience insight, augmenting considered responses to media with real time thoughts and feelings that have been logged in the moment on social media.
Market Research Methods and Social Media
We used this multi-method approach recently when exploring peak time Sunday night drama for a major broadcaster. Hook’s work built a deep understanding of why drama cuts through by exploring the totality of the Sunday evening viewing experience.
Our research method helped us develop: at a broad level an understanding of the overall level of audience engagement in a series; and at a specific level forensic detail around individual episodes and the specific characters and storylines that had generated interest. A market research method that allows two streams of insight to be created (general and detailed) is nuanced enough to help different teams: production, development and marketing teams specifically.
Kicking off with BARB analysis contextualised Sunday night peak drama, revealing which drama was winning the 9pm ratings war and which episodes were pulling in the most viewers.
From there, we conducted social media harvesting by plotting social media activity against each episode of the drama being researched. Not only did this help us understand the characters and storylines that created the most buzz (traffic) but also the level of emotion and engagement that viewers felt and expressed at exact moments in the episodes.
Insights Power Up Discussion Guides and Stimulus
We used these pre-insights to help shape the discussion guide for audience focus groups as well as to inform our stimulus production. In this case, the stimulus included key scenes from each drama to show in-group, as well as characters/scenes to create discussion points.
The groups were filmed and edited for the client. The end video was high quality and combined highly useful and insightful footage of viewers watching – and then talking about – key scenes and characters. Images grabbed from social media and footage from the shows themselves were also spliced in to further illustrate the points being made by the viewers. This not only made the research and development easy to understand and digest, but it also contextualised the research in a way non-research savvy teams could understand.
Our clients loved this dynamic video, and it led to the findings rapidly spreading around the business. As of this writing, Hook’s research continues to help this broadcaster inform the development of its hit dramas.
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