Sustaining viewer and advertiser engagement while managing a private tv station under a very restrictive context

How market research contributed to assessing audience engagement within a context of heavy state surveillance, as a basis for successful advertisering engagement

By StatMark, a multidisciplinary team of research consultants for Televen, Venezuela’s second most important private TV channel

Why?

Reverse a negative corporate image

Increasingly stringent state regulation of news broadcasts precluded conventional media from properly addressing the audience’s needs for information - independent media were mistakenly perceived as non-objective and state-aligned actors. While monitoring Social Media content, Televen gathered significant critique by the audience. Televen needed to assess its position among viewers, as well as to reverse what at the time was perceived as a negative corporate image.

How?

Qualitative and quantitative methods

The research entailed gathering very robust audience samples (as many as 50 thousand per month, over a period of two months), through the application of speech-enabled IVR (Interactive voice response) interviewing. Large samples allowed for distributing different sets of open-ended questions, and complementing hard audience data. Open-ended answers, in combination with station and programme-specific Social Media content, were analyzed and categorized through semantic analysis, as a basis for measuring engagement. Engagement findings were then qualified on cognitive, emotional and behavioural dimensions.

So what?

Enhanced advertiser participation

The research proved audience levels to be significantly above previously reported available data, i.e. people stayed home much more and more people were watching TV than previously thought. The research also proved that local channels were being viewed both on Open Channels, as well as by Cable and that Televen was among the audience leaders, across both systems.

Now Televen systematically monitors social media as a means of two-way communication with its audience, assessing not only programme quality and satisfaction, but using them as means of gathering and communicating news.

Given the richness provided by the research regarding audience profiling, Televen was able to increase its advertiser participation by more than 50% over its prior period. Previously a group of advertisers favoured investing in cable TV and disregarding conventional TV as an option. Research findings contributed to reversing this argument.

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