November 16, 2007
FoE2: Metrics & Measurement

The second panel at FOE2 is focused on metrics and audience measurement.
Sam Ford is moderating, and participating in the panel are:

  • Bruce Leichtman (Leichtman Research Group)
  • Stacey Lynn Schulman(Turner Broadcasting)
  • Maury Giles (GSD&M Idea City)
  • Jim Nail (TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony)

As with the last panel, two hours of typing notes is tasking enough by itself -- so these entries might be a little bit disjointed, and have more typos than our usual posts. Sorry about that.

And: taking over live-blogging duties for this panel are CMS graduate students Lana Swartz and Deb Lui.


Jim Nail: Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony. His brand monitoring firm is concerned with what people are saying about brands, and developing a technology platform that helps distribute this information. This information is collected and posted on an online dashboard.

He answered Sam's passion question about why he left his previous job that he loved so much. Until recently, it was still big media companies selling ads to advertisers. Now we've seen a fundamental change in relationship between brands and their audiences.

Maury Giles Giles: Marketing solutions and advertising firm. He's not an advertiser, and he used to be a newspaper reporter. While a journalist, he became fascinated by possibilities of how to tap into consumer opinions, then moved into marketing research for political campaigns. Working in political arena, impact of all of our resources were constrained in a particular time period. It was a great laboratory of testing and learning about being accountable with the marketing research. The advertising world has been in this phase of how do we get smarter about making ourselves accountable. The advertising culture has changed from the creative side to different digital and interactive channels. His passion is how to take a more holistic viewpoint at marketing - do we have individual specific metrics that help understand those channels, and what is our knowledge of backchannel.

Stacey Lynn Schulman Lynn Schulman: Works in ad sales research at Turner with channels including TBS, TNT, Court TV, Turner Sports, and Cartoon Network. She used to work on the agency side of business, started working in traditional TV space (CBS), where she was really charged with understanding TV audiences, demographics, what programs people watched, what would happen over several seasons of a show. This is an interesting place for young people to work.

The metrics system has been measured the same way for years and it's only been tweaked slightly throughout its time. The first big shift was household demographics to individual demographics. Then we had to account for the expansion of more than 3 major networks into cable tv (around 1991). The nineties were an exciting time of change compared to generation before -- there was much more programming available. Her role was hit-predicting, telling advertisers how shows would perform. That brought her to 21st century, where fragmentation of programming becomes ridiculous; it became harder to predict hits. Clients would become annoyed that they aren't able to predict what would happen.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: Why is it that we can't identify hits on cable like Queer Eye that could get more buzz than broadcast television. Around the same time as the initiative? was in a relationship with MIT, where she did a lot of collaborative research about interactivity, reality audiences, and convergence. That was very exciting for her, continues to be her passion: how audiences move across spaces and how we measure them.

Bruce Leichtman: He is based in Durham, NH working for a boutique research analyst firm which is focused on future of media entertainment and broadband. When looking at future, have to look at the present, combine consumer and provider-side research to understand how markets are evolving, and work to understand consumer needs and limitations. One thing that's is important is not think of yourself as being the mass audience, or pretend your preferences reflect the mass preference. Don't think about yourself or your friends -- you're a research analyst. Separate yourself from the mass: we don't represent America. He says that he works in entertainment because he watched too much television as a kid. He couldn't be a research analyst for toilet paper!

What is the future? Things are fine, but we have to think in marketing terms: what matters in 3, 13, 23 years? What time frames are we talking about?

Sam Ford: The writers strike raises questions about how to value new media.

Bruce Leichtman: The whole premise of the writer's strike is a hockey stick curve of revenue. 4.6 billion. What if that curve is wrong. Virtually no money is being made today and perhaps money is not going to be made in the near term. Are you striking and losing jobs over something imaginary? It might be better to strike in 3 years when it could be a reality (Eisner).

We have to be careful when we take action based on hype. How is the market really going to evolve?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: I don't entirely disagree -- but its an interesting situation. How many times have we seen research about growth curves that for one reason or another doesn't happen. These are predictions. You can't evaluate what is going to happen based on your own tastes. We really don't know what will happen in the future. Content is king, and we won't have it without writers. This is a mistake -- but which kind? Sharing the pie with the writers should be on the table.

Bruce Leichtman: But does this really represent any money? What is the research analysts' incentive to draw that hockey stick.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: We can't quantify how successful this stuff is now or if it will be. We can't get a sense of repeat viewership. The terms we use aren't necessarily useful anymore. The question is to fuse or not to fuse data: can we really fuse this data with other data and can we draw conclusions from it, since we don't have any one pure sample? They're all different samples.

Maury Giles: I think it goes more to a definition of success--this strike can push to the forefront whether we're going to measure audiences based on size. The consumer today has more opportunity and control that they can use in so many different ways. The old paradigm is going to rapidly fall down, in terms of valuing network program based on eyeballs and reach. What if the discussion shifted to individual audiences and the viral aspect--toward niche audiences with interests in various different things? Money spent on marketing can be anchored in individual niche content that audiences really want to share. Should we be thinking entirely different based on other niche?

Bruce Leichtman: I feel I have to stand up for the analysts. But I totally agree -- never believe the hockey sticks. Those predictions are opinions in numerical form. It's all about the consumer at the end of the day. Irrational exuberance in projections occur when you lose sight of consumer. One thing he learned from riding out the bubbles is that technology changes faster than consumers or industry structures. You can only push stuff so fast.

To resolve this, you have to get away from audience thinking, and more focused on individual thinking. There's no way that I as a studio would give money to writers that isn't residual per view. Everything is on demand, somewhere there is a record of how many times everything is viewed. This could drive all kinds of interesting changes in how revenue gets distributed.

Sam Ford: Is this someone's fault? Should there be a revenue stream by this point for these new media markets?

Jim Nail: It's kind of extreme that this is way the world works. You can't flip a switch over night. The networks were in positions of power, but they can see that they're losing that, and it's devastating to their business model.

Maury Giles: And they're no longer the only source of entertainment.

Jim Nail: Ultimately, people have the vision is that if everything can be distributed on-demand, the networks have no function and are useless intermediaries, but this is very disruptive economically to everyone, not just bigwigs.

Bruce Leichtman: Perspective is important. Let's look at today as much as the future. There's data on legal online video usage. There's been an incredible increase from 6 to many billions of minutes per month. People don't like to hear it, but it's the truth. It's growing. Is it taking away from television? Well, it's 6 minutes. I hear about the YouTube phenomenon, but not the Wayne Brady phenomenon. Twice as much time is spent watching Don't Forget the Lyrics than YouTube in a day. We're still in a very early stage. I can smoke an entire pack of cigarettes -- but why would I do this? Why put all shows online and bust my revenue model? The consumers aren't there yet.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: When I was in the agency side of the business, over the last 5 years in particular, given fragmentation and interactivity, what we consistently heard was that clients wanted whatever was the new bright shiny object. Flickr. Facebook, Second Life.

So there's the sense that everybody is into these spaces. 80% of their mindshare is on these new things, not the traditional media, even if most of their revenue is in traditional markets. However clients want to see new technologies expressed in mechanisms that they understand. But this doesn't work, and then they have to make investments based on faith. They can't say the money is working yet because metrics they can understand don't yet exist.

Jim Nail: Look no further than online advertising to see this. During the bust, people thought online advertising didn't work. But now 30% is online, but you're only spending 2%. How do I figure this out? I'm buying eyeballs instead of audiences. Those are big decisions-- moving millions of dollars that also move products. You shy away if you're not sure.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: The flip side of the bright shiny objects are that there are marketers out there who will let you walk into their office and let you sell anything new because they think that they should be there, like Coke. These are the marketers that say every time I run a TV ad, I sell X amount of product. Then you're in the situation of knowing that that works, but you have no point of comparison because it's a new market.

Maury Giles: All these discussions are commonly thought of as through the lens of a measurement strategy that came from a network strategy of how do I make money for my distribution? How the marketing and the distribution channels are having conversations about about the niche, not the mass. How many individuals did you meet? It needs to be about relevance. A metaphor from Andy Hunter-- think of what we were doing was making apple pie, we're the best place to get it out to the most people so they'll eat the pie. Now it's an orchard. The consumer wants to make their own pie.

Bruce Leichtman: But is that today? Its an issue that's evolving. We just saw the biggest mass audience ever in the history of cable: High School Musical 2. Patriots and Colts was highest watched non-super bowl. Of course these things are evolving and there's opportunities for expansion. But it's really about segmentation. So people want to be able to choose on demand. I caution about taking this to the extremes. Some people think the days of appointment TV are dead, but I'm not sure.

Maury Giles: Appointment view is still alive, the consumer is just setting their own appointment. Beyond monetizing entertainment, from a marketer perspective, these channels aren't things I just throw ads on, it's a way I can connect to how people make decisions everyday. The discussion being anchored can't be the future of the way it's monetized. We need to be relevant to the consumer, then marketer maps out how to connect to that consumer.

Jim Nail: The world is not all one way or another.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: And consumers aren't all one way.

Maury Giles: The conversation is still all one way.

Jim Nail: Can we get one metric? No. You look at TiVo and DVR, appointment events aren't the same. High School Musical is still appointment watching because you want to be able to talk about it the next day, as in sports.

Maury Giles: We need to think about how the individual makes decisions. I have to see that game, but I have to schedule it in my life.

Sam Ford: Going back to the strike -- what were talking about is whether we're making a deal for today, or for a contract that covers years to come.

But onto another example -- the CBS Jericho discussion over the summer. The fans are trying to save a show, but they're also watching on DVR and wondering why they don't count -- is it possible to have a metric that can go across media platforms?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: The argument about engagement was an attempt to do that. One of the thing I did was to institutionalize the first way of looking at a show's audience in terms of how much they talked about a show (PropheSEE analysis). Quantifying the amount and quality of buzz. We were actually able to predict a number of hits that the industry. The qualitative data suggested Lost would be a hit, despite many executives' feelings that the show wasn't viable for audiences and advertisers. Only producers in Hollywood had faith in it, but the PropheSEE analysis put it #1 or #2. Even the John Deere tractor client was interested. The point is there were lots of shows with small engaged audiences, like Veronica Mars, or Friday Night Lights, Jericho and The Office, that showed up big on buzz charts but small in traditional metrics. Silverman came to her for validation for The Office, so they renewed it and now everyone's talking about it. You can't always tell by size, by the quantity. Small fan cults are something we should be looking at. We forget that consumers are channels themselves now, distributing content on their own. Customers aren't always luddites, couch potatoes--sometimes they want to relax, sometimes they want to engage.

Sam Ford: I keep hearing the word engagement. What is engagement -- the buzz word of the year?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: Nobody knows.

Sam Ford: Well, then what do you mean when you use it?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: We're talking about the evolution of the term engagement and why the industry is interested is a long story of engagement. Audiences are getting smaller, we have tech like DVRs, so the industry is looking for ways to reevaluate what they've got, make content valuable to audiences. We're not going to do that by size, since audiences for all channels are getting smaller and smaller. So we have two options: product integration, and value of a property based on engagement -- people like it so much they won't skip through commercials. The problem is that the latter is not a currency -- it only tells you what percent will be interested in the content. It's great to know, but if you don't know why they like the content, marketers can have difficulties. There is always the risk of disenfranchising the audience.

Jim Nail : The thing about engagement is that the old model is wrong. People have initial gut reaction first, then rationalize, then buy. If it's not just about how many eyeballs then it's about how you engage to get that gut emotional appeal. Emotion is not quantifiable, it can't be a currency because too hard to measure and can you come up with a measure you can put money against? What is the proxy?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: Or, maybe we can look at how many different points of contact consumers access to be connected to this content.

Maury Giles: The industry discussion has been around content, it helps you if you're selling that to put a monetary value around it. We have a different need than the content seller, we have a need to connect to where clients put their money. Involvement at the channel level in context. How is the consumer using channel in life? What toys are in sandbox and why are they in the sandbox? In what ways does the channel become involved with decision making. If someone is making a decision to enter into Air Force, for example, or a search engineer, or a casual dining. Put an index there, that helps with planning to understand where to put money rather than one index across all media. One single, engagement index doesn't become relevant without understanding the decision cycle. When you map the cycle you can build a community architect of reachable moments. Once you understand that, you can see the natural or disruptive role that the consumer needs. How about multiple metrics for the same channel based on three or four jobs you're trying to get at? You have to overlay the metrics of the content distribution perspective.

Jim Nail: If you track 13 different media and it becomes unwieldy, you have to give up the fantasy that you're going to work either each media and get back to the consumer.

Maury Giles: Engagement is about consumer involvement.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: But one important question: is that relevant in every advertiser category? Do I need an engaged audience if I'm selling toilet paper?

Maury Giles: The way we're looking at engagement . . . at what point does TV play relevant role in how I make a decision to buy toilet paper? I'm interested less in content than in relevance in the decision cycle.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: I just think it's an important thing to tease out.

Sam Ford: Is there a danger of conflating engagement with content with engagement in the ads?

Jim Nail: In terms of direct marketing -- we never see an 'operators on duty now' type commercial between 8 -- 10pm. Why? Not just because expensive but because audience is too engaged. When watching reruns, you'll engage in ads, this can be measured by direct marketers in terms of phone calls.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: Years ago, in '99, we did a test with interactive ads. We found that percent of interaction was significantly lower in primetime than other day parts. That's when they want to interact.

Jim Nail: And that's when they're engaged with content and don't want other experiences.

Maury Giles: You have to understand that it's not just paying more because they're more engaged. You have to understand the mindset. These are two different starting points.

Bruce Leichtman: The goal is to sell product, honestly. We can call it what we want to call it, if it doesn't help sell the product, then don't buy it.

Jim Nail : Be careful because today's models stuff is really easy to track. It's tomorrow that's hard. For the toilet paper ad, no one is going to leap up and get it when they see the commercial.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: Although if you're out of TP for those interactive ads, and you press the button to have it delivered . . . that would be contextual and relevant.

Jim Nail : Branding DOES work! The hand goes to Charmin. Why?

Sam Ford: The line of discussion is going down the toilet! Buzz isn't about audience measurement so much as discussion and loyalty. Discuss!

Jim Nail: I do get asked if we can use this to measure impact of viral advertising? The answer is no. People don't talk about advertising. They talk what is important to them. What they do talk about gives us insight about how you should position yourself. As marketers, we're way too afraid to hear bad things about our product, but when you get those highly engaged consumers who like it but have complaints, they actually want you to get it better. If they didn't care then they wouldn't want it at all. Survey Planet Feedback is a survey about how much consumers trust different media. They found that people trusted discussion board more than others back in the day. Numbers now are even lower for traditional media advertisers. People don't even engage with traditional media marketing anymore. But in non-traditional media, people want to fix it. They still deal with clutter and all that, but they want to fix it. Now, I can enlist consumers early on in the development -- it's the best way to get feedback, then to find line extensions, new ways of marketing. Marketers just need to let go of their control.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: We just assume that marketers have a portfolio of brands and that you purchase media for them. What if your portfolio was a portfolio of consumers? What about meeting their needs? It's a not so subtle tweak on how we look at things. It's not a one-way conversation anymore where we're trying to push a single product--it's a two-way collaboration. Like bring back the love--advertisers and consumers don't talk anymore.

Jim Nail: But it really always was that way... there's the fantasy that we could beat the consumer into submission, but then when you test it, you wonder how the heck did they get that out of my copy?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: Is the meaning in what you make, or what you make of it?

Jim Nail: It is about the co-creation of meaning by meeting the consumer on their grounds.

Maury Giles: What changed dramatically is that the channels and touch-points are as much apart of the message as the creative part is. We have to be smarter about the channel, where the dialogue takes place. That's where it's scary as far as monetizing, but it's going to hit us much faster than we think and we need to look at it.

Bruce Leichtman: But what if you think there's going to be 50 million DVR homes, but there's not? When we talk about the Futures of Entertainment, it's important not to be nebulous, but to make specific 3-5 year projections. So let's take the concept of DVRs -- not everyone has one. 75% of homes don't have one. 1.6 million have a standalone TiVO.

DVRs didn't start taking off until they were put in a satellite box. Dish network was the first to sell 1 million DVRs, and people didn't even know it. It was just included in the box. Then they went into cable and only now has it come with HD TV.

Only about 5% of all viewing is on DVR or on demand. The reason that the number will go up is because the technology is being PUSHED into the home by satellite/cable providers. Even by 2012, I predict (and it's a liberal prediction) that only 15% of TV programming will be watched on DVR, or on demand.

Jim Nail: When you talk about the 5% to 15% and say that that's what the consumer is doing, forget the DVRs, forget 7 million blogs, look at the minutes of time spent with that.

Bruce Leichtman: That's 15% of all viewing time. It differs per program, and it hits primetime stuff the most. On the cable side, it's not being hit as hard. Or in sports.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: And there's a difference between original and acquired series.

Bruce Leichtman: And going back to TiVo. They sample 20,000 of their users. But the size of the sample is not the key. The goal of the sample is to reflect the population. But Tivo users do not represent all DVR users.


Question: When you make your projections over time, how do you account for the fact that people you're looking at are getting older and will do different things?

Bruce Leichtman: They die? That's what's different between television and home ownership. How the 15 year old will affect the world in 2025 is different than in 2012. My forecast is built on demand and supply, and how these products will roll out. Factors of age don't take into effect in 3-5 year time frames.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: I particularly hate seeing interesting research about how we have to study this generation of multitasking teenagers -- it may be true that they're media savvy, but when they are crushed by jobs, kids, rent, etc, and don't have time to multitask, come back and tell me about that. We can't predict that because they do this today they will still do this as adults.

Jim Nail: I was having that exact discussion with someone and I agree. See what happens when you're older, how much multitasking, MySpacing, flickr-ing that you do . . .

Question: I work with Cartoon Network, the children's market. My friend's 4-year-old said while watching broadcast TV said: "Daddy, pause it...' so it has been affecting the ways in which kids think about traditional media. What kind of research with kids have you been doing with those who don't know the old ways of watching/engaging?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: You should call my colleague. There's a lot being done with that, but it's tricky to study kids and what they do. There's a lot of regulation. But I'm new to the Turner family, so I don't have that info about our process.

Question: Not enough is being said about word of mouth. Now that we can track messages from people about what they care about, and the people they trust, how does that effect these metrics?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: In this moment in time, not everyone's out there in the digital space creating a trail. All of that stuff is trackable between what people are seeking and what they are actually buying. Facebook is doing this now, trying to track what people are recommending each other. I'd love to get my hands on this data. It's about reach -- not the reach of a distribution mechanism, but the commonalities and connective tissue about how we define ourselves, then who becomes marketing targets.

Jim Nail: Two things. One, what are the things you need to measure and how do you measure them? Maybe this is overly complicated and arcane, but the word of mouth is still offline. It's still only a proxy. How much of that are we able to actually capture? The other thing -- the never ending friend-ing report, you can stick banners online and all that reaches some people, connects to brand page, sure . . . but the real thing is to put little widget logos -- an order of magnitude greater to attract more people. When someone says, I love this brand, it's part of their identity -- that someone chooses it for their profile is much better.

Maury Giles: It's not simply putting what you would do in another medium and putting it online, but facilitating word of mouth -- and to be careful not to cross lines -- to facilitate is not to create. It must be authentic. To facilitate means thinking about how to make it relevant to what a person wants to do, using this to help then tap into it with RSS feeds and searches when they tag it. An example -- how do we connect with consumers for flights? When we have inventory on a plane, we'll ding you for where you want to go.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: We also don't consider this RE viral marketing. Most of us seem concerned that we're going to lose the big media. But the reality is that the world itself is very fragmented. We're connected to anything we want, but disconnected physically. We have to be able to indicate to others who we are and what we're about--and the things we use come from popular culture. Those things need a space to be communicated. I don't think mass media goes away. It needs to exist.

Bruce Leichtman: Today, the average home has 100 channels of TV. Shouldn't cable be beating broadcast? Four channels are still most of the viewing -- this says something about human nature. There's a pull toward the common. We will have that long tail. A 1-rating is different than it was before, but there are still 4 networks that are drawing most of the audience.

Question: Apart from word of mouth, what are the other non-traditional metrics that you are looking at for measuring engagement, whatever that is?

Maury Giles: What do you want to do with the channel? The limit is the creativity. What is the intent? The map is backwards. What do we need to do to get our audience to think, feel, or do?

Jim Nail: Rex Briggs -- what sticks -- not return on investment, but return on marketing objective. What are you trying to accomplish? Pick the right metric for that. If you want people to know that you're product exists, that's your objective -- what metric can you use to evaluate that?

Maury Giles: Tie the behavior to sales. Traditional econometrics is used to all of that, it has its place. This is great for the CFO -- they can get a number to budget for next year. But what's fascinating, what is slowly taking hold, is using the complexity of science to create virtual environments and agents and use pattern recognition. That way, you're not not looking at statistics alone, but looking at emergent behaviors. That way, you can uncover the dynamic of human behavior where statistics and regression falls short.

Sam Ford: Let's move to the lightning round.

Question: Measurement systems are things that scholars and audiences have very little access to. Closed proprietary systems are good at some things, not others. What do you think an open source metrics system might give you that you're not getting right now?

Maury Giles: So much money in people's retirement accounts...

Stacey Lynn Schulman: It's not so much investment in a system, as you have a history of a currency. It's hard to move from one currency to another. Europe, for example, has had difficulty instituting new measurements system. Here it's even harder -- processing DVR viewing numbers takes extra time. Imagine you're a retailer airing an ad for a sale, and your ad doesn't run. The network has to make good, but there's no way to even know how many people would have seen it by DVR for a couple weeks. Major media corporations need to predict what they're going to do if suddenly the currency is going to change.

Question: For Stacey Lynn Schulman -- consumers being a channel that we have to pay attention to -- Turner, CBS have channels on network pages. Striking writers have their own channels. Is there a way that we can measure that and monetize the writers?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: I didn't know about that decision. But with the strike, there's a lot of issues -- we just don't know if its profitable yet. As an observer not taking a side, it's too all over the place to make definite declarations. But from a consumer perspective, these new platforms are great, but they aren't as great as the mechanisms consumers are coming up with themselves. ON ABC, you can't download and move to a portable device. The problem is that studios can't control content completely, and that's what they're trying to deal with.

Bruce Leichtman: Let's say 'The Office' is online -- you're getting ad and IPod revenue. That could be a zero sum game cause it could come from syndication revenue down the road. A show seen today may not be as valuable tomorrow.

Question: Have you managed to find any metrics beyond eyeballs and tracking?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: IAG has something like this: consumers that participate in a panel, my reward TV. It's like a trivia game, you're asked questions about the content. They sell this data to advertisers and networks as a measure of commercial recall, how powerful a particular programming environment is to deliver an audience. We don't like this model because it incentivizes viewing. Also it's hard to track when/how exactly the program was viewed .

Maury Giles: One different thought. The bottom line improvement is the metric they care about the most. We're saying let's have a contract where the improvement of the bottom line is how the agency gets paid. It's an interesting proposition from an agency perspective. If we become willing to take that risk, we can be a catalyst for change.

Question: With the new media space, are there any case studies in the last few years that surprised you with the results, marketing-wise, etc?

Bruce Leichtman: In terms of TV is dead versus TV is not dead?

Question: Any things that have come out of left field? Any anomalies?

Bruce Leichtman: High School Musical is a case study of its own. How Disney was able to leverage that success is so many forms -- from TV, to CDs, to skating show. There's still some opportunity to bring a mass audience together.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: If you think about the movie model -- where you need to get so many people to show up -- this is what Disney did. They had multiple versions of the same content.

Jim Nail: I'll give you four -- youtube, facebook, myspace to start with, all of these things come out of nowhere. Last year we tracked all the discussion around the ads of the superbowl, looking at when they announced their involvement through these sites. People were so amazed with cool spot that they talk about during the game, but there was still more of the same discussion after the game as well. There is still a bit of narcissism in our field, that people care about our brands as much as we do, which is simply not true. With the superbowl, you have to get the connectors already interested in the ad before they see it so that they can tell everyone to be quiet and watch.

Bruce Leichtman: One last case study: Apple TV. How many Apple TVs have been sold? We have no idea because they won't talk about it. It's gone from this great product to Steve Jobs' hobby. Good case study.

Question: Have you stumbled across anything that relates to emotion and behavior that's not media related that might lend some outside perspective?

Stacey Lynn Schulman: Check out a company called neuro focus. They measure people's brains with a scan in relation to this.

Sam Ford: We've established all the problems with measurement. Can each of you speak briefly about what your company is doing that's innovative in trying to answer these questions?

Bruce Leichtman: It's not my job. My job is to understand the consumer. Technology is way ahead of the consumer. We have to understand how consumers are evolving, and that's what companies need to hear.

Stacey Lynn Schulman: In terms of big media companies. The biggest problem is how to keep commercial audiences, compared to program minute audiences. You'll see lots of new methods for getting advertisers involved with content: micro-series, franchises like 'Dinner and a Movie', overlays, boxes, graphics. Trying to figure out how to keep you engaged, not interrupting your reason for being there, but trying to keep you onboard for ads.

Maury Giles: We're trying to convince clients to study qualitatively and ethnographically first to figure out how the consumer is engaging, what the triggers are of the decision cycle, get it clearly mapped out, then use power scores and indices to plan within the communication architecture that we create. It's about multiple insights to have an interactive dialogue. This is changing internally, and then externally thinking through solutions which may or may not have anything to do with the TV.

Jim Nail: We're trying to understand how to aggregate all this data about print, tv, etc. engagement in order to really understand the consumers. It's not just about what the audience is for a particular program. Instead, it's about attracting of certain number people within a specific demographic range. With more niche content, there is a halo effect - that the level of engagement will transfer to the brand to some extent. Bill Harvey has done some work on that. Advertisers aren't not going to put a lot of money into the 8-10 rating show, instead of putting more value onto programs that attracted a smaller niche audience.