Drawing deeper insights through social media research

I had the pleasure of speaking at the WARC Next Generation Research Conference in January, along with Krista Cornelis from RTL. Krista kindly came over to talk with us about the community we ran on Facebook with fans of The Voice of Holland.  A big show around the world, and none more so than in the Netherlands, where it was watched by over 3.3 million people out of a population of 17 million!
Damn good ratings and whether you love or loathe these programmes, the way RTL turned The Voice of Holland into a total and ‘long tailed’ viewing experience for todays ‘new viewer’ who can access TV in various places and through different devices was a lesson for broadcasters globally.  By extending the viewing experience through things such as the ‘Voice Coach’ app, which allowed viewers to coach the singers from their sofa, during the week and during the show, this lengthened the life of the programme across more than just Friday night, and gave RTL and advertisers the opportunity to engage the audience across a longer time period.
In order to understand the effect of these new viewers and fans of the show, InSites Consulting joined forces with RTL and conducted a community on Facebook, in a closed environment, with fans of TVOH.  Our presentation demonstrated how you could use social media beyond merely listening, or capturing buzz, and engage consumers in a conversation, through a social media setting that they are completely at home in. The approach allowed RTL to evaluate content, advertising and sponsorship within the programme environment, generate rules for future app development and develop ideas and themes for future seasons of TVOH.  From a research perspective, embedding the community within Facebook allowed us to contact the right people, in the ‘heat of the moment’ and in the right natural setting for them to be engaged.  We ended our presentation with some further thoughts around how we might be able to challenge traditional segmentation models through things such as Pinterest and make market research reporting into an artform.
For a short summary of the WARC conference, follow the link to the WARC report, and learn more about the next generation of research from mobile over apps to implicit research. What about big data, or passive data collection? What about biodegradable patches a participant wears for a couple of weeks to capture data, and then it disappears after a couple of weeks? Is that sci-fi, or a modern take on the chip implant beloved of films like The Hunger Games or The Running Man?  Or is it here, today, ready and waiting for a smart researcher to utilise it?
It was all discussed during the day, and we were even treated to a view of where Google is taking consumer surveys. They might not have all the answers…yet…but if I were a panel business I’d be looking over my shoulder and shuddering.
All in all a great conference, great presentations, and perfect for kicking off 2013 and thinking ahead of all the ways we can marry consumers and research to make a difference to business

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