“The communication industry will inevitability be more data driven and more so by first party data”

Felicia Nugroho

Interview with Felicia Nugroho, Analytics & Insights Director at Maverick, a strategic communications consultancy company in Indonesia.

Hi Felicia, can you tell us a bit about your background and your current role at Maverick?

My background is Statistics and Operations Research which has led to a career in the analytics field across several sectors. I now lead the analytics and insights team at Maverick. My role includes coming up with a vision and roadmap to build the measurement culture in the company, to adopt the best practices in measurement with our clients and to lead the measurement conversations in the industry.

We have a relatively new team that was formed four years ago to respond to the need to make transitions in measurement and evaluation. We needed to move from simply quantifying news clips to measuring what matters. I started with a blank sheet of paper as there were no guidelines and standards to follow. We had to take baby steps to upskill and educate internally and externally.

What makes Maverick different from other communications consultancies?

We are very clear about our mission, which is to make a difference for our client’s business objectives using effective communication. In everything we do, we ask ourselves: how effective is this action or campaign in helping the client or brand achieve its business objectives? We also ask how we can measure and demonstrate this effectiveness unambiguously.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Maverick?

Guiding clients to embrace uncertainty and experimentation for their campaigns and programs. It is human nature to cling to the safe and well-trodden paths in marketing communications and measurement and to want to assert total control over the outcomes of communication efforts. The truth is that technology is changing so fast that what works today may not work tomorrow. Within a few months or years new platforms will arise to replace existing ones.

The safest approach is to plan based on our insights on human nature, use the existing platforms and then monitor and track how well these plans work. If they do we need to do more, if they don’t, we need to modify or replace. Being effective while embracing uncertainty and keeping up with the fast changing-technology is the biggest challenge.

You are active in AMEC – International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication. What is the most important thing AMEC brings to its members and this industry?

For some time, we felt that PR value, a metric we had been using for 20 years since Maverick was founded, is becoming less and less relevant. We did wonderful campaigns for our clients, yet at the end of the day, the success was measured merely by the number of news clip and its AVE. It devalued our communications efforts.

We weren’t sure where to start, until we discovered AMEC and joined as a member in 2018. AMEC brings abundant of resources in a form of framework, tools, and case studies, to guide PR and communication professionals to conduct their measurements effectively.

AMEC is also a global community of professionals who are passionate about measurement and evaluation, sharing knowledge and best practices across the globe to continuously better the quality and standards of measurement and evaluation in this fast-changing world.

My role as the co-chair of AMEC for the Asia Pacific chapter, together with Deb Camden of The Communication Dividend, gives me the opportunity to lead the measurement conversations in the region and to raise awareness about AMEC, its resources, and the importance to start measuring what matters.

What are the greatest challenges to make customers understand the importance of measuring and evaluating their strategic communication?

To prove the value of what we do, we need to demonstrate how communication activities influence changes in attitudes or perception and how it contributes to the organizational goals. That means we need a transition from a single-number output metrics to having to think about communication objectives and how these support the organization objectives. That requires a change of mindset which is never easy. It needs patience and persistence.

What kind of data or media not currently used can be interesting in the future?

Today, we have the liberty to choose what information or content we want to read or watch from whichever media we prefer. People have their own information ecosystems and can begin their customer journey at any given touchpoint. It would be amazing if there was data that could track this customer journey, reflecting the media customers use at each point of the journey, the content they see and how this leads to the outcome.

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

The communication industry will inevitability be more data driven and more so by first party data. This is because, contrary to early expectations, digital does not make things more transparent. Brands can get their messages out through social and digital platforms but most of the time they don’t know if anyone is paying attention or – if they do, in what changes is results. Brands need to realize that they need to commission their own studies and surveys to find out how effective their communication efforts are in achieving their desired outcomes and impact.

By Anna Roos van Wijngaarden

Twingly is a leading supplier of global data and offers a Review Search API with over 5 million reviews per month from all over the world. Read more…

“Many things that require skilled personnel in media monitoring today can be replaced by automation in the future”

Alexander Seutter

Interview with Alexander Seutter, CEO of CLIP Mediaservice, a media monitoring company in Austria

Nice to e-meet, Alexander. Can you tell us a bit about your background and current role?

When I founded the company 23 years ago, we were in the middle of a transition from analog to digital media monitoring. The biggest challenge back then, was to see in which direction media monitoring would evolve with all those rapid changes in the market. This challenge still exists today.

To get the most out of our clients’ daily media monitoring, we must be very sensitive to the market, observe it, listen to our customers, and develop new tools together with them. Therefore, I spend most of my time on strategic planning, market monitoring, and talking to customers and IT developers to implement new tools.

What makes CLIP different from others in your business area?

Customer service and customer satisfaction have always been top priorities at CLIP Mediaservice. Our customers thank us by remaining loyal to us to a degree that is far above the industry average. Secondly, our long-standing employees ensure a deep customer relationship because the know-how around our customer needs is retained, and they don’t have to deal with changing contact persons.

We support our employees in every respect and regularly receive awards for this, for example as a family-friendly company or Top Company on employer evaluation platforms. Of course, we are very proud of this. Internationally, we also hear again and again from other media monitoring companies with whom we have been working for many years that CLIP can always be relied upon. The prerequisite for this is a structured way of working and perfect communication with customers, employees, and suppliers.

What are the greatest challenges ahead for you and your team, when it comes to serving your customers and developing your offer?

In order not to waste unnecessary resources, it has become even more important to recognize which innovations are here to stay and which trends will disappear again. After all there are many, due to the significantly broader media landscape and the increasing speed in the communications industry.

Moreover, it is not easy to find relevant content since the media landscape is becoming ever more colorful and ever broad. Social media content is so extensive that it cannot be captured in its entirety. That is why we rely on suppliers who guarantee us the greatest possible coverage.

Finally, fake news is becoming a bigger issue. They distort the news landscape and are often very difficult to identify. Anyone can post content on the Internet without much effort, and the news spreads extremely fast. Often, you can’t find out the source and can’t verify its truthfulness. With analysis tools and artificial intelligence, however, this problem can be tackled quite well.

Do you consider these challenges to be global?

In Austria print media are still the most important medium and digitization is progressing only slowly. As a full-service provider, we have a decisive advantage here since we can monitor, prepare, and analyze the full scope of the media landscape.

How did you see the market for media monitoring and your customer needs change over the past years?

In the past, when I told acquaintances that I run a media monitoring company, they often used to ask me what it is. I would always answer that we get paid for reading newspapers and watching TV.
Today, that’s far from being the case!

To understand the modern media landscape today, one must collect numerous reports and select, analyze, and categorize them. The result must then also be able to be interpreted correctly and presented on a dashboard to be able to keep an eye on the market and competitors. As a professional media monitoring company, we have the resources and know-how to do this.

What is the first step to help your clients improve their media monitoring?

Our system has a very flexible structure that we are constantly adapting and developing. We can therefore respond to almost any request. Our customers’ internal systems are usually equipped to create and distribute press reviews and analyses, but not to implement new automated monitoring and analysis tools. We help them implement new techniques and create individual solutions for them, so that the existing systems can be adapted to the new requirements. In special cases we develop customized tools to facilitate their daily work and to relieve them of personnel.

What kind of data or media not currently used can be interesting in the future?

There are more and more metrics available. To get the data that is relevant to our customers, you have to filter more and more data. On the other hand, LinkedIn is not yet covered, for example. Media and platforms that are currently being tapped by comms, such as WhatsApp or Discord, will be covered in the future to flow into analyses.

Looking at the media monitoring industry in 5 years, what do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities ahead?

Clearly: artificial intelligence and machine learning! Many things that require skilled personnel in media monitoring today can be replaced by automation in the future. The advent of Big Data combined with machine learning has paved a path that will lead to operational and business changes, enabling greater accuracy in decision making and better performance.

In practice, this means for our customers: higher evaluation speed involving larger amounts of data. As a result, more accurate analyses can be produced and relationships between different data sets can be better identified. This will contribute to optimized PR and media work for our clients.

The market was struck by the pandemic, now economic instability. How can companies use media monitoring to stay resilient in turbulent times?

Especially in times of crisis, media monitoring has become an essential tool for our customers to stay strong. It can be used to provide an overview of what’s happening in the industry, to read off future trends and moves from competitors, and to better manage one’s own reputation.

Regarding covid and war, the challenge for us was to intelligently select indirectly relevant articles that nevertheless have a decisive influence on the business model of our customers and thus create real added value. This could only be done to a high standard of quality with human proofreading, like before.

By Anna Roos van Wijngaarden