“The communication and PR industry stands at a crossroads”

Richard Bagnall

Interview with Richard Bagnall, co-managing partner of CARMA and Chairman of AMEC, the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication.

Hi Richard, what is your background and what is included in your current roles at CARMA and AMEC?

I began my career as a PR and communications professional and fell into measurement by chance, joining the founder of a new company, Metrica, in the mid ‘90s. I was brought in to grow the business and, over a process of 15 years, it developed into the world’s largest comms measurement business of its day. In 2009, the company was bought by a private equity firm and together with Durrants, Gorkana and Metrica, we merged to form the Gorkana Group. I ran global measurement and evaluation for four years before leaving to become PRIME Research’s UK CEO and SVP of Europe.

Three years ago, I joined long time industry friend and colleague Mazen Nahawi at CARMA as the global co-managing partner and the CEO of our European and Americas business. I have P&L responsibilities for these businesses while also consulting with our clients on tailored evaluation services to provide meaningful PR measurement. Our approach is to attract the world’s most experienced team of measurement and evaluation consultants, which when combined with the great tech on which our services are built, makes CARMA what we believe to be the strongest PR measurement company in the world.

On top of this, I have been the Chair of AMEC for almost six years now. My role at AMEC focuses on industry best practice, ongoing education and ensuring a common and consistent approach all around the world. For education to succeed, it is critical to have a common and consistent voice around the globe all singing from the same hymn sheet.

How does Carma differentiate itself from other media intelligence companies?

First, we are a truly global business and work on all major continents. Second, we are not owned by a private equity firm; we are predominantly privately-owned, including by the management team.

As an industry, there has been a rush driven by the influx of venture capital to focus on software-as-a-service (Saas) and platform-based solutions. This brings with it an emphasis on technology, tools and armies of sales teams. Our view is that PR and comms pros do not need yet more nuisance sales calls, pretty charts and dashboards! They need relevant experience, critical thinking, expertise, and world class service and support to help them make sense of the changing media and comms environment.

Great technology is a critical building block in the offering, but it must be used appropriately for what it is good at: it is excellent for massive number crunching and the lightning-fast heavy lifting of significant data sets, but it is not a solution to PR’s measurement challenges in itself. It has to be the servant, not our master. By their very nature, Saas dashboards tend to count what is easy to count, not measure what actually matters. To measure what matters requires tailoring against organisational and comms objectives, and measuring beyond activity to the actual effects that a communications programme delivered.

Our culture also allows us to stand out. Our teams in each geography are some of the brightest, most hard-working and enthusiastic that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. We support, train and educate our team constantly to ensure that we are all, always learning. This approach attracts the very best talent, and the clients too.

What are the challenges for the market ahead?

The major challenge the market faces is one of education and understanding. For too long, PR and communication evaluation has focused on media content evaluation and ‘output’ metrics. These alone only measure activity, not results, and the number on their own can be pretty meaningless – often the inflated ‘vanity’ metric of which we all hear. Worse than this is the concept of a single number to measure PR and comms. For some this was the appeal of AVEs, and some PRs are hoping that AMEC might create or endorse a new single metric to replace this discredited number. But a single number can never measure all the nuances of communication, nor can it provide relevance, context nor insight.

The global pandemic has accelerated the need for PR and comms pros to professionalise their approach to evaluation. We must point to the value that we create, not just count activity. Activity without benefit is just cost. CFOs across the world are stripping unnecessary costs out of budgets as they look to save money, preserve cash and shore up finances for the uncertainties that lie ahead.

To do this, PR teams must not run the risk of being seen as ‘busy fools’ embroiled only in tactics. It begins with a proper plan, aligning with organisational objectives, setting meaningful targets and KPIs, and then measuring beyond the outputs to showing how opinions have been changed, minds informed and advocacy developed, and then ultimately the organisational impact of the work done.

What are the most important aspects that AMEC provides the industry?

AMEC is the global, single, credible voice of best practice, an organisation that the world of comms can turn to for advice, guidance, case studies and education on all aspects of media intelligence and public relations measurement. Founded 25 years ago as a UK-based media evaluation trade association, it has grown into a global professional body covering all aspects of communication evaluation with almost 200 members in 86+ countries.

Since inception, AMEC has been known for its educational initiatives. The first of these were the Barcelona Principles which we launched in 2010. They are seven broad statements defining what comprises best practice. Think of them as a 30,000-foot view, principles that explain what you should and should not be doing from a measurement perspective. They have been iterated every five years since to make sure they are up to date and reflect latest thinking and media and comms trends.

The Integrated Evaluation Framework then takes the Barcelona Principles one step further by showing the way to operationalise the principles. I led the talented AMEC team that created the Framework. It incorporated experts from all areas of comms and evaluation, PR agencies, in-house practitioners, monitoring/evaluation agencies, and academia. All gave generously of their time and worked collaboratively together, one of AMEC’s core strengths.

The framework is based on something called Process Evaluation which is a standard approach used in other business disciplines to measure effectiveness and efficiency throughout organisations. It was important for AMEC to bring proven management performance measurement approaches to the world of communications evaluation, and not invent something that would lack credibility in the C Suite. It was also important that it would be easy to understand, provide advice and guidance and work for all organisations of whatever size and with whatever budget.

The Framework has been translated into 22 languages, is taught at universities and is globally acknowledged as best practice. Latest AMEC research shows it’s been used at over 2000 organisations around the world.

Where will the Barcelona Principles and Integrated Evaluation Framework be improved upon?

The Barcelona Principles were created in 2010 and have been revised and refreshed since then every five years, the most recent time being in 2020. We believe this to be the right cadence as the comms and media industries continue to evolve to ensure that they are up to date.

The Integrated Evaluation Framework, being based on process evaluation, is an approach or a methodology, not a tool or a metric. As such, there is not a lot within it to iterate, but we are focused on making it more and more accessible and approachable to organisations across the globe. We are focused then on more how-tos, case studies and educational support. This year for example we launched a raft of planning support materials, showing how and why proper PR planning is such a critical and integral part of measurement and evaluation, and where it fits within a measurement framework. For the coming year, our educational focus will be on a free online course showing how to apply the framework to your organisation.

Privacy around the use of social data is an emerging challenge. How do you think that will affect the media intelligence industry?

There will be a further decline in relevance and meaning for many of the old school output metrics that were the primary focus of evaluation for so long. Many of them are now just the vanity metrics of today, the ever-larger numbers that mean very little. Impressions, for example, are impossible to define accurately and cannot be thought of as anything much more than an index.

We have seen some evaluation vendors try to innovate and come up with cookie-based solutions to work out more accurate impression numbers. This sounds great as a concept but relying on cookie and ad-based tracking technologies has been hampered by privacy concerns and cookie and ad blocking software. My personal view is that the search for an ‘accurate’ number of people reached across the diverse media landscape is nigh on impossible. Instead of focusing on that, professionals should be looking to link the output metrics to the outtakes and outcomes that their organisation cares about.

I also see the automation side of the media intelligence sector declining in importance while AI is not yet suitably equipped to provide the insights that the industry requires.

Do you have any final thoughts?

That the communication and PR industry in my mind stands at a crossroads. It has great opportunity but also faces a significant threat. It has to evolve its approach to measurement and evaluation, to focus on demonstrating how we support and drive organisational impact. This involves taking the time to tailor and structure a relevant measurement approach for your own organisation, one that looks across all three dimensions that we have been talking about – outputs, outtakes and outcomes. It involves planning up front and setting targets based around desired outcomes, not just activity. This takes time, and thought and can’t be outsourced to commoditised vendors. It needs relevance, critical thinking and experience.

By Peter Appleby

“Media monitoring has been devalued as a term”

David Mapple

Interview with David Mapple, Director of Outcider, a media intelligence company in the UK.

Hi David, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Outcider?

My background is in marketing and business consultancy. I was working at a marketing consultancy when I met my business partner, and we left to set up Outcider on the basis that the clients we were working for were asking to understand media; what does it mean, what do we need to listen to and what can we do with it?

We went to market utilising just a few pieces of kit to create reports for clients. At that time, clients didn’t want dashboards or to log into platforms, they wanted reports that would explain the media landscape and their position in it. We found that the platforms we were using were not making life easy and from a scalable point of view we would need many more analysts, which was never the premise of the business. So we decided to build one ourselves: not an easy process.

My role today at Outcider is best defined as product manager, but I maintain my media analyst role too. My partner runs the business whereas I build the business. Because I’ve been analysing media for so long, I can give a perspective on what our system should be and how it needs to evolve. I receive feedback from the team and our clients on what they need in terms of output for our system’s analysis.

What differentiates Outcider from other media intelligence companies?

First and foremost, what sets us apart is our background; we find out what the client wants in terms of output and engineer that back into a piece of software. We have a consultative approach.

We found that in the early days of the business, large competitors were producing stats that were then passed to the clients, who often didn’t know what to do with it. It was more of a box ticking exercise for companies than one that added value. Now, we’re able to be part of the team of the client, and we can offer them a closer service beyond the reports.

We’ve been able to do this because we’re a smaller company. As the company grows, this will become harder to maintain and will invariably need more account managers. That’s why we’re reassessing our software, to build in Intercom and other systems that can help with guidelines, while we also change the brief as we go forward.

What are Outcider’s greatest challenges ahead when it comes to serving your customers and developing your offering?

With our decision to sell software, we are making the decision to move away from consultancy work. We want to sell software to agencies, public affairs in particular.

The major challenge for us is data credibility. There are all sorts of data out there – social, traditional, broadcast – everyone has an opinion and is allowed to express it. We need to remember that just because an opinion is published in The Times, does not make it valuable. In fact, if that opinion is in The Times or The Washington Post then it is too late for what we want. We need to look below the surface to find the opinions that will soon find the light. So-called opinion makers are where we’re focusing now, finding out why they think what they think, their agenda and their background. This is a challenge because we deal with a lot of regulated industries – academic or scientific resources are often funded by the people they’re advocating for. This is something that concerns us. That’s why we look for credibility of data and sources prior to producing reports and metrics on them.

Are you about to release any new technology-based solutions that will add to or improve services you offer your clients?

We will release a new piece of software – a stakeholder analysis platform – on July 4 this year. The platform will still provide media monitoring and will base its extraction of entities on media data. With the software we can set up a key media topic and bring in a dataset. The software will then extract key people and organisations, connection them, and profile them so that when a client logs into the system they can go into the directory of stakeholders on any given topic to see those that have spoken most frequently on the topic, what they’re saying, why they’re saying it and other similar points. When the client thinks a particular stakeholder is of interest, they can be tagged and monitored before being moved over to a COM system where stakeholder engagement can happen. The impact of that engagement can then be monitored on the system so clients can see why they are speaking to stakeholders and how to influence the influencers.

Media monitoring, we believe, has been devalued as a term. There is now a race to the bottom that we do not want to be involved in. We want high-end credibility in regulated industries; legislation, regulation and the likes, less so in brand reputation.

When it comes to the actual data behind the media intelligence you do, what kind of data or media not currently used could be interesting in the future?

Over the years, social media data has been a bugbear for me. I’ve generally refused to use it because there are so many other systems that do social media analysis. Outcider does traditional media analysis. There’s more content to work with, and we can then find context from that content.

That said, we have finally accepted that with the new architecture of our new software system, which can pull in data from different streams including social, that we will use it. The previous system was built around traditional data whereas this one has a wider net. This will give Outcider further opportunities, but we will always begin from the traditional analysis end, rather than the other way around. We believe this is the most valuable method.

Political, legislative and legal data streams will also be useful within the new system. This is where we see our future.

How do you think the media intelligence industry will change in the next five years, and what are the greatest challenges ahead?

Many people within the industry are talking about AI. The technology we all use and access to servers like Amazon AWS has undoubtedly helped the industry advance and to build software. Collaborative, open share software is improving and will continue growing in popularity, while data visualization is also making major steps.

But there’s a concerning trend of a race to the bottom to reduce costs that is happening. Often, the reality is that upfront costs are reduced but there are additional costs elsewhere in the process. This is something Outcider will not be part of, hence why we’re trying to move away from the media monitoring term.

It’s important for us to continue looking forward to having foresight on opinions rather than reflecting on what has already passed. Media monitoring by its nature looks backwards. Learning from the past is important, but our goal has always been being able to have anticipation.

We’ve always subscribed to augmented intelligence rather than AI. This is in contrast to the general industry opinion. Certainly AI has its place but we have always chosen to augment the best of our human capabilities and those of technology together. If we use technology wisely and appropriately, humans are freed up to do what humans are best at; consultative analysis and speaking to clients directly. We began with an ethos of 80% human and 20% technology use. We’re trying to reverse that so the software is doing the number crunching and that we can then provide our expertise, to turn it into valuable reports.

By Peter Appleby

“Access to new content channels that are relevant to clients continues to be a challenge for the media intelligence industry”

John Croll

Interview with John Croll, CEO of Truescope, a media intelligence/CommTech company based in Australia.

Hi John, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Truescope?

I have been in the media intelligence industry for a very long time and the reason I get tagged as an industry “veteran”. For almost two decades I was the CEO of Media Monitors, later named Isentia, and led the growth of that business from a press clippings agency in Australia to an integrated media intelligence business operating in 11 international markets, with 1,200 employees and 5,000 clients by the time I resigned in 2018.

As the CEO of Truescope, which I co-founded two years ago with Truescope CTO Michael Bade, I’m working with some of the smartest, most experienced people to build a communications technology business across three countries focused on bringing new data and new services to the market.

At Truescope, the greatest challenges have been to manage our growth, launch in a number of countries in the middle of a pandemic, and prioritise which innovations and features to develop on the platform.

What differentiates Truescope from other media intelligence companies at the national and international level?

I believe that from the get-go, Truescope has been uniquely positioned due to the fact that we have people that are both technologically super-smart and who also really understand the communications technology and media intelligence industries.

We have been able to build a platform that is truly the next generation in our industry. We have our ear to the ground, listening to what communicators expect from a platform to be more efficient in their jobs now, but also further ahead, to bring them access to services and data they might not have even thought possible. So, we’re talking real-time insights, not just real-time information.

Being cloud-based, our technology architecture also means we can build new features quickly, based on client feedback, and deliver them every month, so speed is another key differentiator.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Truescope when it comes to serving your customers and developing your services?

Access to new content channels that are relevant to clients has always, and continues to be, a challenge for the media intelligence industry.

Since we started two years ago, we have experienced rapid growth – particularly in the Singapore market where we were recently appointed to the panel for the whole of government contract and are rapidly picking up more new business – and enjoyed an excellent client response. Supporting that growth whilst continuing to maintain the highest service standards as we grow is always at the forefront of our minds.

Truescope is a fairly young company. From where do you see that your future growth will come and what is needed to succeed?

We are very young; Michael Bade and I joined together almost two and a half years ago and it was just us. Now there are 30 of us in the Truescope group working across three countries.

Our future growth will come as we expand into new markets and continue to focus on product development, delivering cutting-edge products that differentiate us from the legacy players and giving proof that media intelligence is developing into communications technology. Truescope is at the forefront of this.

Do you have any plans to release, or have recently released, any new technology-based solutions that will add to or improve the services you offer your clients?

When it comes to technology, Truescope believes that AI will continue to be the key to making meaning and predictions of huge volumes of data. We’re able to provide fast sentiment analysis on whole articles as well as entities within articles, to identify influencers relevant to a client, and to recommend relevant content to a client based on viewing and engagement behaviour.

In the near future, improvements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and further, achieving Natural Language Understanding (NLU), will lead to faster and more accurate insights for clients. Bringing AI based new products, as well as regular platform improvements based on client feedback, will be our continued focus.

Privacy around the use of social data is an emerging challenge. How do you think that will affect the media intelligence industry?

We all have to be responsible users of people’s data. Content owners are ensuring that we manage and work with their data in a compliant way; there are rigorous renewal processes to ensure we adhere to these conditions. If we continue to be good corporate citizens and respect data and content then I think we will continue to be trusted.

How do you think the media intelligence industry will change in the next 5-10 years, and what are the greatest challenges ahead?

Technology is going to change the industry from confirming-something-happened information, to data models that can predict the evolution of a story. This will become an expectation of businesses in the media intelligence and communications technology industries. Clients are going to look for real-time information on the PESO model so integrated communications measurement is going to evolve and AI will play an important part in delivering these insights in real-time.

By Peter Appleby

“Enriching your communication with neutral third-party sources is a successful way to increase your trust”

Reto Kleeb

Interview with Reto Kleeb, CTO of Scope, a SaaS platform for digital communication based in Switzerland.

Hi Reto, what is your background and what is included in your CTO role at Scope Content?

I started my journey in the software field around the year 2000. Back then the term cloud didn’t exist, internet access was still expensive and slow, or almost nonexistent on mobile devices. Separate office sites that our team was managing were connected via proprietary, private data lines and the core data was stored in our basement on servers that the size of a large fridges. A lot of the fundamental building blocks we take for granted today were simply out of reach or didn’t exist at all.

In my role at Scope I work with our distributed product team on making the most out of the ever-scarce development resources. The joy of this role comes from juggling many hats: discussing product strategy in the morning, chats with our developers, talking to clients about potential integration scenarios and then, if time permits, an occasional line of code.

What differentiates Scope from other content marketing companies?

Scope has its roots in the idea of content curation. We believe that curated links or reading recommendations that are enriched by personal comments and opinions provide measurable benefits over classical editorial content that is handwritten. I absolutely do not want to belittle proper journalistic content, but if this is the only option you have, you will soon realize that things get expensive quickly and that regardless of the quality of the result, there is a chance that it will leave the impression that is biased. Enriching communication with links to neutral third-party sources is a successful way to position yourself as a thought leader on the relevant industry topics, to increase the trust in your communication and to simply provide a real benefit to the audience. No one needs more sales oriented communication, but if you manage to communicate on a regular basis in a way so that the content is perceived as real, added value, your clients will keep you in mind.

On top of this “curation DNA” that is the fundament of our platform, we also believe that a structured workflow across different platforms does increase productivity significantly. A lot of the communication processes that we see today are fairly scattered and error prone. Word documents and copy/paste still play a significant role and we have all had email-newsletters in our inboxes that contained $FIRSTNAME placeholders and had odd looking font mixes. The workflow support of Scope helps our clients to keep an overview of what content has been used, potentially reused, in a simple and structured manner.

So, summed up, Scope provides a solution that combines inspiration on the content side and workflow support on the side of the actual task execution. This combination isn’t something that is already widely adapted on the market and people tend to compare us with solutions that they are familiar with. But in most cases these aren’t really alternatives to our product, but solutions that we integrate with. We would jokingly say “Think Zapier rather than Mailchimp” to emphasize the fact that we’re agnostic to where the data comes from and where the content is pushed to.

What are the most popular features in your content marketing platform?

It depends on the user’s persona. Some of our clients “live” in the world of their content and are very active on the internet, or in the case of publishers, they produce their content themselves and therefore the question “what to curate?” is easily answered. This persona focuses on the editor and the automations that are offered within it.

On the other hand we have clients that heavily rely on the “Discovery” functionality in Scope. Without a constant flow of article recommendations it would be too time consuming for them to create or discover enough content.

In general, we have seen an uptake in interest in our offering during the pandemic. Existing and newer clients relied, at least partially, on physical events before the outbreak. Finding ways to stay in touch despite these circumstances became more and more important. An important detail, especially in the spring of 2020, was our support to start entire communication projects from scratch within short timeframes. Granted, one could also start with one of the other big platforms to, for example, send emails. But these platforms lack what we call the “individual playbook support”: Where are you today? Where do you want to be tomorrow (we called this the “24 Hour Challenge”)? What are the realistic technical details that need to be taken care of to get there?

Have you recently, or are you about to, release any new features in your platform to improve the services you offer your clients?

Besides the continuous improvements that we roll out on a regular basis we are working on a significant next step in our data supply chain. When Scope clients use the “Discovery” feature today, their search-requests are sent to individual third-party search engines. This direct exposure of our users to the individual platforms is something we have always seen as a problem. While for us and our customer success team, it is straightforward to pick the appropriate provider and their specific arguments, an average user shouldn’t have to deal with these choices and details. On top of that there were some underlying technical details that made it hard for us to summarize and enrich the articles we’d found.

With our current efforts in this area we’re going to be able to collect the results from multiple sources and feed them through a pipeline of steps that would increase the quality of the data before we present it to our users. While this already is going to be a big step, we’re not planning on stopping there. This structured storage of all the relevant information will then allow us to build feedback loops and integrate approaches based on machine learning to further improve the quality of our recommendations.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Scope when it comes to serving your customers and developing your service offering?

Scope provides a service that covers both technological and editorial aspects. These two areas are typically owned by different stakeholders or teams within our clients’ organizations. From the vantage point of the providers and tools, these two (or more) parts of an organization typically have their individual, dedicated approaches. When we introduce Scope we literally have to bring everyone to the same table.

When it comes to sales, a constant challenge is definitely the fact that the service bundle offered by Scope isn’t something that is already widely known. The combination is novel and the benefits of integration in an existing landscape of tools and processes require a lot of explanation and endurance.

When it comes to the data in your content platform, what kind of data or media not currently used could be interesting in the future?

I wouldn’t say that it is one particular media or data type, but the possibility to search for specific (media) types. In the last two years we noticed an uptake in the particular interest for content in the form of videos and podcasts. Our current search-approaches work for the basic cases, but we can’t claim that we have full coverage for these types, and the truth is that with the ongoing platform shifts such as the introduction of new video streaming platforms and big corporations making significant investments in the podcast industry, it won’t be easy to keep up. I am personally a big fan of podcasts and it is interesting to witness the transformation from simple MP3 files and open RSS feeds to exclusive content on proprietary platforms, that are then of course harder to index.

By Peter Appleby

“This pandemic has demonstrated that market and competitive intelligence capabilities are more critical than ever”

Jesper Martell

Interview with Jesper Martell, Co-Founder and CEO of Comintelli, a competitive intelligence company based in Sweden.

Hi Jesper, what is included in your current role as CEO at Comintelli?

My day-to-day responsibilities and activities differ greatly depending on what is most prioritized. I try to talk to customers, partners and/or prospects on a daily basis to stay in touch with what the market wants. At the moment I am also deeply involved in digitalizing our marketing and leads generation.

I think it is important that a CEO wears many hats. This is why I am also dedicated to other roles as an international keynote speaker and thought leader. I was also recently inducted as a CI Fellow as one of very few Europeans. I hope to contribute greatly in this role.

What differentiates Comintelli and Intelligence2day from other tools and platforms in the media and competitive intelligence sector?

Intelligence2day is one of the few full service Market & Competitive Intelligence (M&CI) platforms, which means we are a platform that you can grow into. It is a solution that is flexible enough to start you out small and develop as you grow into many thousands of users and articles. The biggest mistake, and the most costly one you can make, is to lock yourself into a system that won’t grow with you.

Intelligence2day has solutions for 4 main applications:

  • Media Monitoring – news from internal, external sources and alerts
  • Intelligence Management – search and classification
  • Insight Generation – sharing lists, reports and curation
  • Early Warning Radar – such as heat maps, trend clusters and signal spotter

Many M&CI platforms focus on monitoring external websites, but this only gives you half the picture if that. We put more emphasis on internally produced content and on ensuring that it is as relevant as possible under the tagline “less is more”.

What are the client behaviour trends you have witnessed as a result of COVID-19?

We’ve seen our clients pivot in the most extraordinary ways during COVID-19. It is clear that many businesses have found themselves in strange situations but in the same breath, the pandemic has helped them to think out of the box and to change behaviors. This crisis has demonstrated that market and competitive intelligence capabilities are more critical than ever.

What we hear now from the market is that there is an increased appetite for CI as a result of COVID-19. This is not just from senior management, but from all parts of organizations such as product development, supply and even customer success departments.

Have you recently, or are you about to, release any new features in your platform to improve the services you offer your clients?

Our latest version of Intelligence2day enhances data analysis capabilities with powerful AI-based features that utilize machine learning and natural language processing technologies. These new AI-based features allow users to discover market insights quicker with AI-based content classification, hashtag based classification, trend clusters, AI-based signal spotter and auto summarization.

Many organisations are being asked to do more with less resources. AI based tools will help customers by removing many manual processes and automating routine tasks like classifying content and creating newsletters.

On your website you ask if clients “have what it takes to be future-proof”. What does being future-proof mean to you, within the scope of your industry?

Being future-proof means that you are ready for any challenge or opportunity that arises because they certainly will. And when you have the right intelligence tools on your side, you can do extraordinary things and make great business decisions.

If you are future proof you will be able to detect signals of change and disruption earlier than your competitors. This gives you time to act and make the necessary decisions needed to take advantage of change.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Comintelli when it comes to serving your customers and developing your service offering?

I think the greatest challenge will always be to grow together with our customers and to make sure that they are getting value from our platform at all stages of their journey.

This means that the information and insights derived from Intelligence2day are actually used for decisions and actions. Even the best insights are useless if no one reads them or acts upon them.

Are there any solutions that you believe offer great potential but have not yet been embraced by clients?

Many M&CI users naturally start with the basics like monitoring the right sources and getting news alerts out to decision makers. This is a great and necessary step to track all competitive forces that you are aware of.

But once you have that foundation in place, there is huge potential to detect early warning signals. For example, you can discover events and occurrences that you didn’t know you were looking for and are not one of your key intelligence topics, but that could potentially disrupt your industry.

This means making more use of visualizations like trend clusters and signal spotters. My favorite would have to be our unique Heat Maps feature. Heat Maps is the perfect combination of visual news monitoring and AI based detection. Just a quick glance at these every week will tell you more than what you can read in any newspaper or website.

When it comes to the actual data behind the competitive intelligence you do, what kind of data or media not currently used can be interesting in the future?

Finding news and tracking what competitors have done is very easy today. What I think will be more interesting in the future is data that can provide indication on what competitors will do, for example which patents have been filed. This could include data from:

By Peter Appleby

“It’s often surprising which data source will give the deepest understanding of your consumer”

Jessica Thomas

Interview with Jessica Thomas, Founder of Ten Bear Group, a digital consumer insights company in the UK.

Hi Jessica, what is your background and what is included in your role at Ten Bear Group?

After working with the great team at Brandwatch, I started Ten Bear as a freelance project for a client. Word spread quickly, and now, four years down the line, the business has blossomed.

I’m sure everyone who works for an agency can empathise: my daily schedule is as varied as the projects which come along! Every morning, at 9 a.m., I have a Zoom call with my team. It helps us stay connected, social and aligned on the day’s tasks in order of priority. My weekly calendar is typically dictated by client calls, and I slot my strategy consulting, communications on LinkedIn, business maintenance and team training around that.

What differentiates Ten Bear from other competitor consumer insight companies?

It’s a cliche however, at our scale, it’s true: the people. We are primarily an agency, so when our clients work with us it’s because they see the people behind the Ten Bear logo and are confident in our ability to deliver to their requirements.

We are also uniquely positioned to identify whether we can deliver value before we agree to work together. We can do this by reviewing the data in advance, to ensure the insights can successfully answer the questions our clients have. We avoid “cookie-cutter” work and focus on the client’s true requirements rather than fitting the clients into a pattern of deliverables that would be more comfortable for us.

One competitive advantage – which was previously something we had to explain away fears around is – operating remotely. We’ve always been remote and have done some of our best work in beach bars, from jungle lodges and mountain resorts. When the pandemic of 2020 hit we were already operating in the new normal working environment.

What are the greatest challenges ahead at Ten Bear when it comes to serving your customers consumer insights and developing your service offering?

There’s always something new to learn, whether that be new techniques, platforms, data sources, industries or client requirements – we need to quickly become experts in everything to deliver answers to our clients’ questions. As consumer trends change so does the industry itself so we spend a lot of time with our ear to the ground finding the best possible solutions for clients. In agency world we are billing for that expertise, so nurturing that learning is essential to everything we do.

Ten Bear recently marked its 4th year in operation. Can you tell us about a standout project you have delivered where the client achieved a great result with the consumer insights you provided?

We have worked with some amazing clients in that time but one that really stands out was a large finance client who was looking to launch a new product in the digital payments space. We conducted this work in Spanish across multiple locations and there was an incredible amount of data.

The client’s payment product was highly innovative, so the data we were looking at was less about an existing product type and more about how people handle money from a psychology perspective. We built market landscape analysis to help guide their product roadmap and location-specific investment strategy suggestions. The client was delighted with the end result.

Are there any type of consumer insights that your clients are surprised that you can deliver, that they did not expect?

Some of our clients are surprised that sensitive topics are often more possible to analyse than they first thought. For example one client was looking to understand teens’ personal hygiene habits – a topic you wouldn’t typically expect to find discussed on the public web. By taking a sideways methodology we were able to use parental forums to discover all we needed to know about the subject through the eyes of the parents.

Can you give any advice on how to work with consumer insights?

I find the best way to approach customer insights is holistically, analytically and with an open mindset. It’s often surprising which data source will give the deepest understanding of your consumer. Don’t be afraid to pivot your research strategy if your team, agency or consumers uncover something powerful.

New social media apps, new uses for your product, new data regulations and new consumer groups will always crop up. I believe true consumer insights come from looking at data from a consumer psychology perspective, and applying a tested methodology – the source of your data will naturally evolve over time.

Whether you have a social listening tool in house or use an external research agency, I’d also recommend building ongoing reporting into your data strategy. One of the best ways to ensure your consumer data provides good ROI is to ensure you’re not working with out-of-date customer opinions.

Staying nimble and building a strategy which is comfortable adapting is a key part of what’s helped Ten Bear grow and flourish.

What kind of social data or media not currently used can be interesting to use for consumer insights in the future?

We’re using search data more and more because there’s a huge difference between how people express themselves on social versus what their needs are that they disclose through search engines. There has been a recent boom in search-derived insights tools that allow us more access to this side of the consumer, where previously it was just Google Trends.

How do you think the consumer insights industry will change in the next 5 years, and what are the greatest challenges ahead?

There’s likely to be more regulation as the market matures and more blending with traditional data sources. One very recent trend that we’re seeing playing out is the “unbundling of X”. For example, Reddit and LinkedIn are being unbundled into niche communities with features and functionalities to serve those specific users better. It will be interesting to see how that evolves. There could be implications on the availability of data and potential for even more extreme social bubbles (such as Parler).

By Peter Appleby

“We need to be faster than editorials and journalists to put our customers ahead of time”

András Szalay-Berzeviczy

Interview with András Szalay-Berzeviczy, CEO of TranzPress, a media intelligence company based in Hungary.

Hi András, what is your personal background and what do you do in your role as CEO of TranzPress?

I look after general management tasks from strategical planning and sales to human and technical resourcing questions. I also lead the product development of our proprietary media intelligence tool, PressMonitor. I co-founded TranzPress 15 years ago and since then have not thought of doing anything other than building the company and its two branches of operation: the translation services and international media monitoring services departments. The two business lines explain our slogan: “TranzPress – Language and media intelligence”.

How does TranzPress differ from other media intelligence companies and how does the company’s language specialization help differentiate it from competitors?

In Hungary, we are swimming in the blue ocean. We are the sole company that provides customized international media intelligence services. Our targets are Hungarian corporates with regional or international presence and national public institutes that operate in the domains of foreign affairs, diplomacy or external economic relations. For the former, our service is focusing on industry watch and reputation management services, while for the latter we provide intelligence.

If our translation department were not one of Hungary’s key market player, we would not be able to meet the needs of our media monitoring customers, because we work exclusively with foreign language data and content. Without linguistic intermediation – such as news summaries, reports, analytic and data mining – the service would be half-dead.

What are the new technology-based solutions you have recently released into the market or are intending to?

PressMonitor is a collaboration between our customers and us. We had a basic concept back 10 years ago when we launched Hungary’s one and only international media monitoring service but if our clients had not given constant feedback the tool would not be where it is today. For instance, we have developed a completely new PR-measurement concept based on the sentiment and reach of media coverage (instead of following the outdated AVE methodology) and our analytics is backed up by PressMonitor’s unique data visualization capabilities: it can visualize where a PR—activity started, how intense coverage it yields, the sentiment it generates, the size of the audience it reaches, the events and interactions influencing the trend – in one single, comprehensible chart. Another example is our quotation text-mining module that extracts quotes along with the names of speakers as entities. This is very handy when dealing with large corpora. It facilitates the comprehension of your media and gives you a powerful tool to interact with the media that pick up your stories and helps them evaluate the efficiency of your communication.

What are your greatest challenges ahead when it comes to serving your customers and developing your service offering?

Firstly, we need to face the fact that our service is more and more time critical. We are expected to run our service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, not just in terms of software accessibility, but in terms of providing around-the-clock living labor services, such as daily reporting and customer service. On the other hand, again and again we come across new demands in terms of online and offline content types or countries to be covered. As for content management there is a growing demand for data granularity, i.e. country-specific classification of sources are no longer enough. We need to dig deeper to regional and local levels. We also need to improve our integrated natural language processing technologies and enable our customers to generate alerts in formats other than e-mail and SMS in order to provide multiplatform compatible solutions.

Please give some examples of clients that have benefitted from your services. What were their needs and how did you meet them?

We aggregate hundreds of thousands of indexed online and offline news and social media sources. The crawlers scan through a huge volumes of content every day. Open source intelligence is searching, collecting and processing information from all public information channels potentially valuable for the customers. It is most rewarding when we see that we supported the client in reaching his goals. We work for organizations like the Hungarian Promotion Agency that aims to attract investments to our country. From the beginning our software and team picked, analyzed and digested information that could support them in their negotiations. Today, the Hungarian media is full of two monumental, milestone investments: a new plant for BMW Group in Debrecen and SK Innovations in Komarom, the latter of which is the largest ever greenfield investment in Hungary. We are proud to have provided the agency with all relating news coverage and publicly available information in the recent years.

One of our key accounts is the European Parliament. We report on Brussels on a daily basis with news summaries from the Hungarian media on European Union affairs, and our monthly qualitative and quantitative analyses reports help them better understand our country’s public opinion and media approach to EU affairs and politics. Our reports are available for all +700 members of the Parliament and their secretariats. Today, PressMonitor is used by the Hungarian Embassies in London and Washington to keep an eye on Hungary-related national coverage in the online, social and broadcast media landscape. We support the international expansion of such Hungarian multinational success stories and flagships like the MET Group – with our report covering 12 countries’ energy markets – or Trigranit Corporation with a real estate industry watch covering Central Europe. Our media intelligence service is used by the Constitutional Court of Hungary, the Hungarian Chamber of Civil Notaries, and Hungarian Association for Innovation just to name a few.

When it comes to the actual data behind the media intelligence you do, what kind of data or media not currently used can be interesting in the future?

An MMO has to handle more and more content in the age of big data. Because the media space has grown vast over the years the name of the game today is not necessarily to find everything but to identify what is really important. In other words, to find the needle in the haystack. This presupposes good software codes, good content aggregation processes, structured data, big enough disk spaces and talented analysts and language experts. Data is the fuel of the 21st century. My vision is that media intelligence companies will be expected to parse non-media related information assets soon. We already have projects in which we monitor parliamentary diaries, minutes and security alerts. These are examples for what I call pre-media or media related content.

I am convinced that a media intelligence buyer is primary a buyer of information and only secondary buyer of press clippings and traditional media reports. Thus, in certain cases we need to be faster than editorials and journalists to put our customers ahead of time. If something crucial happens that has an impact on our country’s economy or political life, we do not want to wait till editorials pick it up and broadcast it. I believe information is first, source is second. This is to say media intelligence companies will shift to become open source intelligence companies in 5-10 years’ time. The invisible deep web will have more significance in the future as today and processing unstructured data – retrieved from audiovisual and social media content – will mean the biggest challenges for MMOs in the future.

How has COVID-19 impacted the media intelligence industry, and will these effects remain after the virus has disappeared?

On one hand, we experienced some budget cut measures especially for services requiring expensive living labor. On the other hand, life went online, and content generation has increased probably both in the editorial and social media spheres. Demand has therefore risen for media intelligence services: more researches, more languages, wider scope of content to be covered and faster reporting needed. One thing is for sure: data consumption and the need for intelligence services have not plummeted as a result of the pandemic, but on the contrary: with the exponential growth of digital audiences and information space, the need for media and market intelligence will steadily increase.

By Peter Appleby

“Stricter laws are required around data privacy in social media”

Brian Herrera

Interview with Brian Herrera, Managing Director of Media Meter, a media intelligence company in the Philippines.

Hi Brian, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Media Meter?

I’m presently the Managing Director and Co-owner of Media Meter Inc., having joined the company back in 2012. Before Media Meter, I worked at Pfizer and McGraw Hill Asia, both in sales and marketing. I have to wear multiple hats in my key role as the MD at Media Meter. My focus is mainly on operations, sales, marketing finance, and to a lesser degree, I have some administrative responsibility. I help guide employees in the company that is mostly composed of young professionals.

My role allows me to be flexible and understand different business scenarios both within the company and outside of it. I review internal factors like coordination and communication between different business units and how one units’ function supports and interacts with another. Outside of the company, my areas of focus are our clients, government liaison, the economy and family.

What expertise, services and experience differentiate Media Meter from competitors in your region?

Our expertise focuses more on the continuous innovation and development we create to make our products and services stand out from the competition. In an age in which data is on-demand and more and more organizations require more in-depth analysis, it is vital we slice and squeeze insight from our data-rich content. Being in the media intelligence industry means we must stay apace or ahead of the competition in regards to innovation, price, and services. Our culture is based on being unique and the best in class.

What are the greatest challenges ahead for Media Meter when it comes to serving clients and media intelligence services and developing the company’s services?

The challenges always change but the three main focuses remain the people, the technology and cost of infrastructure. The people are the core of the organization. They are required to run the company and it’s important that we hire the right people and retain the best talent. The workforce must nurture prospects and at the same time manage the expectations of clients with whom they can develop long-term relationships. Technology keeps changing and companies must update, upgrade and make its media intelligence software robust and adaptable to current technology trends. Lastly is the infrastructure cost. With more and more data being produced more infrastructure is required to enhance, manage, curate and process it all.

Have you been able to, or will soon, release any new technology-based solutions that will enhance your solutions?

Yes. Our new solution is to improve customer focus loyalty. We are doing this by utilizing a tool to improve data management and better understand client action plans and strategies rather than looking at immense volumes of data that can mislead and do not always provide the right information. What we are looking at now is how consumer online behaviors focus on product reviews, ratings and other assorted data. This is the next step as the market shifts to more online purchasing.

Please give an example of a client that has benefitted from your services. What were their needs and how did you meet them?

One client using our social media listening tool and media monitoring service is the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry. The department got in touch with us through a web enquiry channel and invited us to bid for a contract in a government public bidding process. They needed a tool to help quickly collate important data and information instead of monitoring data manually or scanning specific newspapers, checking different online news sites, and monitoring broadcast networks and channels. Done manually, these processes are very tedious and require a lot of their time. The Department of Trade and Industry monitors huge amounts of information covering almost all the different industries in the Philippines.

Subscribing to our platform and getting daily email alerts had a big impact on the department’s communications team, helping to increase efficiency in gathering relevant and necessary information. This helped them receive feedback on their stakeholders, know the consumers’ feedback, and manage positive and negative sentiments.

When it comes to the actual data behind the social media intelligence you do, what kind of data or media not currently used can be interesting in the future?

The kind of data that is not currently part of our online dashboard tool is the monitoring of TikTok. TikTok is widely used and its popularity has increased due to the pandemic and people being stayed inside their homes. Increased TikTok coverage would help clients track relevant content that mentions the clients’ brand, allow them to understand how netizens perceive their brand and know which influencers they could build relationships with.

How do you see that changes regarding licensing will impact the data that is used for media monitoring in the future?

I believe that stricter laws are required around data privacy in social media. It is also important to understand how social media regulation influences the user. The government may play a role in this.

It seems likely that premium content and providers of news, forums and blogs will impose controls on their data, but for other general content intended for the general public, data control will be more relaxed.

How do you think the media intelligence industry will change in the next 5 years, and what are the greatest challenges ahead?

As technology keeps on advancing, consumers and corporations will change in terms of how they use online media and how they can reach target audiences. The demand for media intelligence providers will also change. One of the challenges of the service provider will be dealing with copyright issues from online media platforms.

By Peter Appleby

“The change of mindset around privacy will be a big challenge”

Patrick Charlton

Interview with Patrick Charlton, CEO of Buzz Radar, a social media intelligence company in the UK.

Hi Patrick, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Buzz Radar?

I used to be a racing driver, which was a lot of fun when I was 20, but I crashed too much and ended up having to go to university, where I did computing and management but became obsessed with everything to do with radio. I talked my way into a job at the BBC and ended up on BBC Radio 4 and was put on a show called Loose Ends. My job was to book all of the talent for the show, which gave me a lot useful contacts and I became well known with music bookers.

Then in 2007/2008, using those contacts, I created an online music TV show. Rather than having judges on it, the rankings were determined by an algorithm that I built with some friends that looked at MySpace comments and views, a bit of Twitter, YouTube plays and stuff like that. We created this thing called the Buzz Chart, which is where Buzz Radar came from.

I ended up selling the technology and format to Red Bull and then found myself without a job, so I became the head of production for a social media agency called 1000Heads. There I became global lead for Nokia and Skype’s early social media efforts, so we were spending loads of money doing really cool things and our job was to measure it to see how effective it was. There was really only one tool to measure that. It was super clunky and we needed something a lot more visual for marketers to get their heads round, so we built Nokia a custom command centre, and it was so popular and went down so well that lots of other agencies started asking for it.

From that I started Buzz Radar. We built our first command centre for Marks and Spencer’s and we ended up, very quickly, working for Nike, Samsung, Sony, Twitter, doing a lot of really cool social media real-time data visualisation.

In 2014 we were one of the first companies that Google Ventures Europe approached, but we’ve always been very keen on using the revenue we generate from customers to grow and develop. We keep things deliberately compact and efficient. We work with 75 really interesting companies and my role as CEO is empowering our team of about 15 people to do really awesome work and solve really difficult problems for our clients that other people struggle with.

What differ Buzz Radar from other social media intelligence companies?

99% of social media listening tools are designed for analysts to extract insight out of to write reports. Buzz Radar started to create a real-time listening platform that was very visual, and rather than working with engineers and data scientists, we worked with graphic designers and marketers and really looked at the problem of ‘what are the things that need to be understood by the C-suite immediately’.

We made that super visual and super easy to understand. Our job is to create digital transformation by making the visual side of insights very engaging and wake up a wider audience inside organisations, to solve much more tangible real-world problems.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Buzz Radar, when it comes to serving your customers media intelligence and develop your offer?

The change of mindset around privacy will be a big challenge for us, especially the way that customers and social media networks are slowing the flow of data down since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. We need to think how to provide useful information while staying inside and being compliant with GDPR and how do we create a morally correct but useful service.

Generally the challenges remain the same. Having the intelligence is really great but what do you do with it? How do you turn it into actionable insight and getting people to focus on the technology, the people and the process? How do we empower organisations to do useful things with insights and social listening?

Have you recently released any new technology-based solutions that will add to or improve services you offer your clients?

At the moment we’ve recently launched AI Audience Analysis. That’s where we’re psychometrically profiling audiences on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram – anywhere there’s publicly available info on a person. If they talk about a brand or product we’ll look at all their posts and profile them – within GDPR limitations.

We can take a social media profile and break it down into 50 different personality components and get an incredibly accurate read on a person or a group. That allows us to create much, much better content strategy, because we can compare it with the content that’s being published by a brand, so we can figure out how well that content is resonating, or will resonate. So that’s an incredibly powerful piece of technology.

Can you give an example of a client of yours that have used audience intelligence with great result?

One of our big problems, historically, is being tied to stringent NDAs but I can talk about a pharmaceutical company in the HIV / AIDS medication space. They wanted to understand the HIV treatment audience.

One of the jobs was to use AI Audience Analysis to understand how many healthcare professionals were out there who were forward thinking innovators. We managed to identify a group of early adopters and look at their other key personality traits to help them develop a campaign that targeted that audience.

The other part looked at patients and understood what a big focus was for patients. What that allowed us to do was to give the data to them, so they can go to senior management and say ‘this isn’t what we think, it’s what we know’. That gave them the authority and agency to go and change some of the core content strategy for the brand.

We were able to take the company from fourth largest brand, socially, in the market to the number one. We really transformed them by creating these audience insights, profile the audience, and understand what content will resonate with the audience.

When it comes to the actual data behind the social media intelligence you do, what kind of data or media not currently used can be interesting in the future?

We only just started with Reddit, and we want to get into more specialist, niche, databases. One of the cool things about Buzz Radar is we develop functionality specifically for individual clients if they need it, so for example if they wanted us to integrate to a new network or create a new visualisation, our team will go to build them if we can’t within our existing platform. That gives us the ability to look for different data sources and plug them in quickly for new projects or proof of concepts.

How do you think the social media intelligence industry will change in the next 5 years, and what are the greatest challenges ahead?

There’s been a huge amount of consolidation in the industry and there are a few big players. Some of those big players have oversold and underdelivered, and there’s been a much too large focus on technology rather than people, process and technology. What that’s done is create a fatigue in the industry from marketers to social listening, but to technology in general. Frankly we spend a lot of our time picking up the pieces from the bigger companies who oversell and underdeliver.

What we see happening now is a move away, as the industry matures and the marketers mature with the tech, we see a much smaller focus on the tech and a much bigger focus on what can be realistically delivered, what actionable insights there are.

I think the industry will be more important. As GDPR clamps down on cookies, cookie technology and ad tech, looking for data in other places will be more important. We’re seeing marketers move away from expecting tools to be magic bullets and I’m hearing less stupid words like compumagical.

There’ll be more focus on the human element. As AI does more heavy lifting, it’ll give analysts and experts more headroom and space to get out of PowerPoint and spreadsheets and move towards finding insight, actions and recommendations.

By Russell Hughes

“The main challenge will be the use of data considering privacy rules and terms”

Theofilos Argyriadis

Interview with Theofilos Argyriadis, CEO of Clip News, a media monitoring service based in Greece.

Hi Theofilos, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Clip News?

We established Clip News in 1992, in a time when “monitoring” and “clipping” were almost unknown services in Greece. Of course, back then monitoring and clipping services included only print media. I have worked at every stage and post of a small monitoring business, such as the clipping department, sales, manager. Today, almost 30 years after the establishment of the Clip News SA, my official role is President and CEO. My responsibilities mainly focus on the company’s development in terms of new products, new IT technologies such as the implementation of machine learning solutions and AI, as well as the inter-connection of Clip News with other companies and the participation in European programs.

Having founded Clip News almost 30 years ago, what are you most proud of over the years?

I believe what I am mostly proud of is the people that have grown along with the company all these years. The people are our main asset and we try to give them all the necessary skills to develop and implement their own ideas.

What differs Clip News from other media intelligence companies?

Competition in Greece is not particularly aggressive. We know what our competitors offer and we are well aware of the market conditions. I could maybe say that our high-level services and an excellent customer service department surely differs us from other companies. We take care of our subscribers and we meet all their needs. We foresee and suggest solutions, given our long expertise and familiarity with the publicity of each subscriber. We know how to respond and handle any crisis our subscribers may face.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Clip News, when it comes to serving your customers media intelligence and develop your offer?

At Clip News we focus and strongly believe in services that add value to the monitoring services, especially with the use of all the metadata available in each piece of information we handle. We strongly feel that the excessive information available nowadays does not make sense and to this end we offer added value services such as analysis services, reports, Executive Reports from specific or all media types. I strongly feel that it is our job to train subscribers in order to better understand how we can help them. It is quite difficult to communicate all of the services we are able to provide to a company fast enough, due to stereotypes in the market. Our services have quickly evolved with the help of technology and the expertise of our employees and we can provide assistance to our clients on multiple levels. As a result, our biggest challenge is to transfer our knowledge and gain the trust of our subscribers. Fortunately, we manage to do so.

Have you recently, or are you about to, release any new technology-based solutions that will add to or improve services you offer your clients?

We are about to release a clustering feature for media clips from all media sources that will be carried out through machine learning. As a result, our subscribers will really have less clips to go through. Clustering will reduce the cost of other services, such as reports and analysis. We will also focus on tagging the clips, for our subscribers to understand the big picture of their publicity. Furthermore, we are correcting the automated sentiment of clips, which unfortunately in the Greek language has a success rate of up to 80%, compared to the English language (95%).

We are also launching reporting and analysis services based on KPI’s including several metrics, for both print and online monitoring services. To this end, our subscribers can have a complete view of their publicity and track their weaknesses and strengths in each media source. Practically, all these tools can create a publicity strategy based on reliable data.

As active in Fibep, The Media Intelligence Association, what do you think is the most important such an organization can bring to its members?

FIBEP is an association of members with the same principles, services and anxieties. Apart for the obvious (sales between its members) FIBEP is a remarkable association that makes use and communicates the expertise of each member. Keep in mind that FIBEP includes members that have a history of 100 or more years, as well as newly founded companies from across the world. This exchange of knowledge can only benefit each FIBEP member.

I believe that co-operation is the key for the future of media intelligence companies. The volume of data will increase any company, no matter its size, will not be able to respond easily. Media intelligence companies need to find a way to co-operate more substantially towards a greater goal and not based on short-term financial results. We need to claim our place in the future and be ready for in order to evolve to significant market players. FIBEP could design such a prospect and transfer the long-term profit to its members and design tools that will make co-operation easier and faster.

How do you think the media intelligence industry will change in the next 5 years, and what are the greatest challenges ahead?

The main challenge will be the data and the use of data considering privacy rules and terms. The questions that will be posed in order for the data to be able to provide answers. In the coming years I believe that there will be changes that mainly concern a more structured way to use data. Our services will change and media mentions or clips will no longer be important. The importance will shift towards services that are based on metadata, trends and analysis services. Media intelligence companies ought to quickly adjust to the new reality and provide services with truly added-value.

By Russell Hughes