The birth of Live Panel was a direct response to a critical market need, according to GroupM Asia-Pacific CEO Mark Patterson, because fortune favours those who have the most intelligence on consumers.
“Marketers are increasingly having to deal with challenges such as continually evolving consumer behaviours, shorter attention spans, the rise of ad-blocking and increasingly fragmented audiences,” he told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
“And we know more about media use and consumption behaviours of audiences worldwide more than anyone else, based on WPP’s data and analytics investments and our multiple research sources,” Patterson added.
The new tool is touted to “operationalise” this knowledge to “turn consumers into audiences and audiences into customers” more nimbly and efficiently for clients’ advantage.
Asked what sets it apart from similar offerings from competitors, Patterson said that the competitive advantage lies in the depth of connectivity. The tool links data across GroupM and Kantar, currently the only tool that can connect to Kantar’s insight that is “already currency with clients.”
It also provides single-source connectivity to some of the world’s leading research brands including purchase panels (such as ComTech), media (Connected Life and TGI) and brand equity (BrandZ).
“As a result of this connectivity, Live Panel is able to provide deeper and more impactful insights,” said Patterson.
He added that it also helps join up silos in the organisation that often work with different models and concepts, particularly from strategy to execution.
For example, it helps link bespoke consumer insight with programmatic or addressable delivery. Segments can be created on Live Panel, matched to a data-management platform such as Xaxis’ Turbine, expanded with look-a-like modelling and then bought.
“The advantage for clients is that they can create bespoke segments using offline signals, from light TV viewers to brand equity, and link them to execution,” said Patterson.
The survey tool touts a global panel of more than 5.5 million consumers in 30 markets. In Asia, it covers 43,000 consumers in eight markets: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
It will also complement and improve the efficiency and connectivity of existing GroupM offerings such as the 3D brand-consumer insight study, which has been a proprietary tool of the company since 2001 and covers 10 markets: China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.
“The ‘integrated building block’ nature of Live Panel means that expansion is not just geographical in terms of launching the service in new markets, but also through integration of new data sources as they become available within a market, for example larger samples and deeper insights,” said Patterson.
Asked what in-region challenges are expected with the rollout of this new tool, Patterson said that with over 12,000 employees in the region, the company recognised the need to include an on-boarding plan from the outset, in order to expedite the adoption process and make it easy for planners to use habitually.
“To this end, we worked with each of the agencies and local markets before the launch to develop bespoke training plans that answer their specific needs,” he added. “We also measured take-up and adoption rates to ensure that we were on track.”
Externally, the agency does not foresee any challenge, though Patterson noted it will take teams some time to familiarise each of their clients to the platform, how it works and the unique advantages it provides.
Live deep dive
Patterson said the “live” aspect of the tool comes from the supply of actionable media insights it makes available at a much faster pace due to full integration of planning tools across its agencies.
Data is connected to the panel in two ways: at source or by re-contact. Planners can re-contact Live Panel with specific questions, such as a client's market segmentation, and automatically append all the connected media data.
Individual local country data is available in SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) on the Live Panel platform, which will be supplemented with offline data once fieldwork is complete. This allows for inter-market comparison and enables planners to take advantage of data links to various Kantar products.
Patterson noted that “connectivity is key”; the more connected data is, the more valuable it is in terms of generating actionable insights.
“In order to develop the best media-planning strategy, marketers need to understand the consumer beyond their media buying habits,” he said. “The platform allows us to get straight to these differentiating questions and obtain locally relevant data without having to ask the media questions first.”
Patterson added that by running bespoke re-contact studies with panel respondents, the media information they have already provided is naturally appended. In this way, there is more time to ask respondents additional questions, which results in more engaged respondents and better and deeper consumer insights.
Patterson explains that the platform provides global consistency with consistent media knowledge on over 30 media and 40 touchpoints for global advertisers.
To ensure that there is a common base for proper comparison between countries, a weight file is created within each release of online samples. In India, Indonesia and Thailand, where Internet penetrations are lower, a portion of the data has been collected offline to ensure that it is representative.
Quotas were set on age and gender (interlocked) and region (not interlocked). Where necessary, data was weighted to the original quotas set. Under the Choices section on the platform, data is available both unweighted and weighted in relation to online population, to allow for cross-country comparisons.
“We will also remind planners and users of Live Panel that people respond differently across markets regardless of the question,” said Patterson. “Some markets are more likely to answer surveys negatively while some are more positive across the board in their responses.”
“If results consistently reflect the same markets scoring higher than average, we will advise marketers to consider normalising the data to spot the real differences,” he added.