From audiences to individuals: Gaining focus through advanced analytics

Senior Content Marketing Manager, Communications Sector, IBM Analytics

Digital technologies are shaping a new market landscape in the US and around the world. They’re making content ubiquitous, extending the precision and reach of marketing, disrupting the competitive landscape and, as we all know, they are creating an explosion of data.

This results in operational challenges that hinder traditional players. Audiences are fragmented, and they’re changing every day. There’s a lack of standardization or worse: confusion across the borders. Advertisers demand more accountability and expect more performance. Expectations for content delivery have increased and, therefore, new intermediaries are reshaping how the industry delivers value.

In short, there’s so much going on that it can be easy to lose focus on what counts: the consumer.


Every 60 seconds, our audiences are giving us a fantastic amount of data to dig through: 98,000 tweets, 695,000 Facebook status updates, 698,445 Google searches. The list goes on and on and on. Consumers have a voice we can listen to unlike anything we’ve ever had before. Although this is not exactly “breaking news” many organization are still underprepared to convert these insights into relevance.

The key to making sense of all this “digital exhaust” is to integrate traditional data sources with this wealth of non-traditional and unstructured data to “zoom in” and create the increasingly hard-to-achieve 360o View of the Customer. This has a ripple effect throughout the media enterprise and it is absolutely achievable. It’s not hype, it’s not a concept—it’s a reality and it can be applied to improve the customer experience, predict content performance, increase marketing campaign effectiveness and much, much more.

At the core of these efforts, big data and analytics enables companies to embrace a paradigm shift from content-centricity to consumer-centricity. Now, instead of producing the best content and leveraging various methods to monetize it effectively, we can leverage consumer data and insights to drive content creation, distribution and monetization strategies. Responsive becomes cognitive, flexible becomes orchestrated and tailored becomes contextual. The ways in which you operate your services evolves into the ways in which you incorporate your audience.

In this environment, driving differentiation with consumers through trust and relevance is top of mind for media and entertainment executives. They are realizing that analytics capabilities are at the foundation of a consumer-centric approach of knowing and treating customers as individuals This consumer-centric approach enables:

  • Discovery of actionable insights around subscribers
  • Shared awareness of subscriber insights through user-profile based interfaces
  • Increased information transparency between programming, marketing, ad operations and finance teams
  • Visibility into ad inventory, performance and results
  • Faster response times to customer needs that might be unleashed by an advance in technology or demand for new services
  • Out-of-the-box capabilities that can be instantly operationalized with reduced risk
  • Improved financial performance keyed to new profits from the highest value customers, products and markets
  • Faster time to capture, retain and grow profitability

For example, a large cable television company in North America partnered with IBM to create a cloud-based DVR service that transforms how they operate, gives unprecedented insights into viewing habits and offers consumers greater control over their television experience.

It’s no surprise that Digital video recorders have changed how people use television, but they’re expensive to support and have limited storage capacities. A first-of-its-kind DVR-in-the-cloud solution introduced to subscribers of this cable company offers 100 hours of recorded programming, the ability to record four channels at once and stream to multiple devices within the home. Combining individual viewing preferences with demographic and geographic data, the company gains entirely new insights into viewing habits, thus supporting better informed decisions about which channels and channel packages to offer subscribers. The company can also stream highly-targeted advertising and marketing messages to viewers based on their device and viewing habits. For example, subscribers that record mostly sporting events can receive targeted offers for pay-per-view boxing, while subscribers that record music channels can receive pay-per-view concert offers

What this all boils down to is that leading media and entertainment companies need to stop guessing and start knowing. They need the ability to analyze all available data, from inside and outside the enterprise, as it is generated, in real time, at high velocity. They can no longer wait to analyze data after it’s been processed and landed in disparate warehouses that create gaps in knowledge and result in substantial challenges with data latency and availability. They also need to understand the customer journey and they need to know, with absolute clarity, that data has its own unique path and it needs to be mapped from source to application, and back again. The “and back” is the key part as that is where we can effectively and efficiently mine and refine consumer insights and convert them into customer relevance.

This is what the C-suite wants and that’s what the consumer demands.

Are you prepared to deliver a Smarter Media Experience through the applications of advanced analytics?

Read more about applications of analytics in media and entertainment in UBM Tech's new eBook "Big Data Goes Hollywood." Download now