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Research in Australian Media and Advertising Agencies

Glenda Wynyard

I have seen firsthand the power of good (and bad) research. It’s often the difference between a successful campaign and a complete flop.

The Australian media industry sees research as a pivotal and essential asset in customer insights – providing a deep understanding into their needs and wants, preferences and pain points, motivations and behaviours.

In our fast-paced and competitive world, there are so many brands vying for consumer attention, which makes our job as advertisers that much harder. But, thanks to research, standing out and making an impact is possible and easier than you think.

Throughout my career I have often been referred to as "The Queen of Research” because of my passion for the insights it generates.

Self-proclaimed or otherwise, being ‘The Queen of Research’ and someone who has spent many years within the advertising industry, I have seen firsthand the power of good (and bad) research. It’s often the difference between a successful campaign and a complete flop.

#1 The second largest cost

The same way we invest in staff and colleagues for success, we also invest in materials to establish facts and reach new conclusions. This sets us up for results and performance.

In high performing Australian media agencies, many subscribe to media research that is:

  • Syndicated media research available to the market – or –

  • Proprietary to an individual agency and/or their clients

While often qualitative in development, most research used is quantitative in its nature.

#2 The Client Relationship Trifecta

Research, Rapport, and Results. When it comes to client rapport, agencies frequently report back with a wealth of research, information and insights on their product, service or brand – demonstrating indisputable value to clients. Why? It allows for holistic future campaigns, concentrated strategic direction and campaign execution options that can potentially be outside of a client’s remit.

#3 Research fuels strategy

Advertising needs a rich understanding of consumers and their behaviour to develop a solid strategic idea to answer a client brief. This becomes even more paramount when analysing and auditing media habits and consumption. It informs creative ideation – which is how we get the eyes, ears and engagement on our campaigns. Research informs good strategy.

#4 Strong agencies have strong research

This section goes out to clients or brands looking to work with an agency. Be sure to ask about their research capabilities because the quality of their research will equip them with how they best serve you. Here’s how. It will -

  • Enhance the quality of their response to your briefs.

  • Produce key insights on your consumers and their behaviours – especially regarding their media habits.

  • Identify the most appropriate media channels to consider.

  • Identify the most effective media supplier.

  • Identify the most effective way of using the media (from channel type to timing considerations).

  • Track and report on campaign performance.

#5 Research is the key to futureproofing

Lastly, research helps to identify industry trends, allowing us to pivot advertising strategies to best suit the needs of our clients and brands.

It’s difficult for me to not be biased and exude enthusiasm for what research offers. If there is one thing to take away from this, it’s that research helps us measure the success of our campaigns and make informed decisions for future ones.

Want to learn more about Research?

All this (and more) is discussed in Episode 25 of our Pending Approval podcast. Our co-hosts, Glenda Wynyard and Jack Geraghty, discuss consumer behaviour, the power of ‘purpose’, and the roles brands play in economically turbulent times with industry figurehead and special guest, Michele Levine (CEO of Roy Morgan Research).

So, consider this your coronation into the Royal Family of Research. Long may research reign!

This article is part of a series following the topics covered on our podcast, Pending Approval.

Glenda Wynyard is the Managing Director of The Media Precinct and host of the Pending Approval podcast. She draws on her wealth of experience in advertising to bring you key ideas from the topics covered in the show.

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Transcript - Pending Approval Episode 25: In brands we trust with Michelle Levine


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