The CEO Perspective

The CEO Perspective

What it Takes to Win in the Changing Market Research Landscape

JEGI CLARITY’s 19th Annual Media & Tech Conference focused on ‘Maintaining a Winning Mindset,’ brought together senior executives and investors from across the global media, marketing, information, and technology sectors.

During the conference, attendees had the pleasure of hearing Tod Johnson and Karyn Schoenbart, both currently Co-Founders & Managing Directors of Duo Partners Consulting and former CEOs of The NPD Group, talk to John Rose, Managing Director and Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group, about the changing market research landscape.

The Changing State of the Market

Tod and Karyn began by acknowledging that the landscape of market research and information services has dramatically changed over the last few years with the deconstruction of large players, such as Nielsen and Kantar, and the consolidation of companies like The NPD Group / IRI merger (now Circana) and the NielsenIQ / GFK proposed merger. Tod commented that this disruption within the marketplace is not new, with acquisitions taking place in the mid-1980s and the reconstruction of many companies like Dun & Bradstreet in the 1990s. He went on to explain that restructuring works well when the two businesses coming together are harmonious in their approach, like the merger of The NPD Group with IRI that collected similar data but in different industries. For Tod and Karyn, the tipping point for them to sell came down to it being the right time – the growth of the business was good, employee and client satisfaction was high, and they felt there was another chapter ahead of them as leaders as well as for NPD.

The Changing State of Market Research

Conversation turned to the changing state of their industry and the decline of panel effectiveness and proprietary surveys. Karyn commented how real time information and ‘always on’ data will become prevalent, with many disruptive, early-stage data companies able to gather information from consumer reviews, social media mentions/videos, and other more passive platforms that are quicker to obtain relevant information and don’t bring with them the privacy issues and fraudulent challenges of survey-based gathering.

This more observational approach was often being driven by tech-led companies, that have the tech know-how but need to tap into the business application and analysis around the data. One such example highlighted by Karyn was a company led by two young female scientists who have developed an AI tool that uses computer vision to look inside of a video to understand the real sentiment of the video. These types of early-stage, disruptive companies are exciting them, and they are looking to bring their expertise and years of business experience to complement their tech platforms.

Tod expanded on how The NPD Group, being a private company, allowed them to take a longer-term view and invest in new technologies such as Media Metrix, online surveys and receipt captures which other larger, public, limited companies that are less agile possibly couldn’t respond to as fast.

Developing a winning mindset

John Rose asked Tod and Karyn what they thought it took to develop a winning mindset. Karyn Schoenbart described the company’s three-pillar philosophy of:

  • Having the best and most accurate data
  • Turning data into information
  • Being able to deliver the data in a way that it is useful for people

Tod added that having a part-creativity and part-mechanics approach is how you generate real success, commenting that if you can apply your expertise in a different way than your competitors, you are likely to win in business.

For more information about our conference please click here.