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August 08, 2007



thanks for the comments, Mike. What we're seeing is that the CMO Dashboard is driving the interest in PR dashboards, so there IS hope out there

Mike Daniels

The logistics of running integrated programmes of media analysis and stakeholder/consumer research isn't really the issue. The difficulty lies with a combination of our sector's traditional PR clients not being research-oriented (although this is changing), and the silo mentality within large corporates, which means that it's very difficult, if not impossible to have productive conversations with the market research function. They usually have tons of useful data - but are often reluctant to let it out of their control. And the market research function generally don't think it's their job to commission "PR stuff", or have the budget for it. So, we go round and round in circles. What makes it even trickier is the number of market researchers who don't believe that media analysis can deliver data that's robust enough to meet their standards.

However, we believe there's a sea-change in the business environment. There is increasing pressure from the C-suite to maximise marketing dollars - everything possible has now been done to drive down costs at the production/supply chain end - so now the focus is on improving the customer experience to maximise the effectiveness of marketing spends. We're seeing some of our clients implement dedicated marketing effectiveness teams, who absolutely see the need for accurate media analysis data to feed into their models and integrate with consumer and stakeholder research. Consultancies like CCW are in the vanguard here, and one of our parent group's goals is to build a strong data analytics resource to underpin our marketing effectiveness offering.

However, as a sector, we still need (collectively) to drive standards of data collection and analysis much higher, to satisfy new clients whose expectations are based on their experience with market research companies.

You're right, Katie, that our customers are changing in their demands - and I think both Echo's announcement and our newly enhanced research capabilities recognise those changes in customer requirements... Interesting times!

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