Systematic Sensemaking Offers Unique Insights into Market Experiences

Many researchers struggle with developing and writing about their work in a way that is relevant to advertising and marketing practices. This article offers a process—a toolkit of sorts—for crafting qualitative research that is both accessible to industry readers and impactful to the practices of advertising and marketing. A webinar link featuring the authors presenting their findings is also provided for members in the summary below.

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Inclusion by Design in Pharma Research and Marketing

  • Pharma Council

This ARF Pharma Council event followed up on the Council’s podcast episode on “Inclusive Futures of Humancare,” focusing on the importance of inclusiveness in pharma research and marketing with respect to both demographic characteristics and health conditions.  Four speakers delivered brief presentations, followed by a discussion moderated by Pharma Council Co-Chair Marjorie Reedy of Merck.

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Audio Rituals: Seismic Shifts in the Media Landscape

Idil CakimSVP, Research & Insights, Audacy

Devora RogersChief Strategy Officer, Alter Agents

In this session, Idil Cakim (Audacy) and Devora Rogers (Alter Agents) presented some findings from research they conducted together in uncovering the “rituals of humans” pertaining to their audio consumption. In this study, audio content could include audiobooks, podcasts, sounds (nature), music, etc. These rituals often included tasks being performed while listening (e.g., cooking, exercising, commuting, walking, etc.), but also the ritual experience could be the audio itself, opening up many opportunities for advertisers to reach audiences. Beginning her discussion, Idil acknowledged the massive changes that have taken place in audio over the past few years. Their methodology embraced a variety of approaches which included a quantitative nationally represented survey, ethnographies through mobile diaries and a qualitative approach using a 45-minute in-depth interview. Both Idil and Devora presented findings from their study which provided deep insights into the ritualized and often personal nature of audio content. This provides many unique opportunities to connect with consumers through targeting the ritual (e.g., school drop off, prepping for sports, cooking, etc.).

Key Takeaways

  • Seventy-four percent of listeners consume audio during their daily rituals, and 40% of listeners plan their day/activities around audio content.
  • The top six rituals when listeners engaged with audio were listed as the following: Having “me time,” putting my child to bed, exercising, snack time, walking and commuting (work/school).
  • Both quantitative and qualitative ethnographies indicated the top reasons people listened to audio content were because they participated in the following activities: running general errands (85%), doing home maintenance (84%), exercising outdoors (83%), preparing a meal (83%), driving (83%), commuting (82%), having a meal (81%) and cleaning (81%).
    • The study identified that in seemingly routine and dull moments, "audio infused rituals with energy and purpose” and assists listeners to recall and share a message.
    • Audio is part of more rituals than any other medium. Audio was listed as the highest in rituals throughout the day followed by online/streaming video, scrolling social media and broadcast/cable TV. Audio spanned the whole day revealing many moments for brands to connect.
  • Overall earnings from their study indicated the following results:
    • Rituals make our lives predictable, manageable and enjoyable, and audio often plays a role in these rituals.
    • In many cases audio is the ritual because listeners are so “deeply engaged with the listening experience.”
    • Certain cohorts are "more reliant on rituals and highly engaged in audio."
    • Embracing rituals "unlocks huge potential for advertisers to become part of them and connect more deeply with consumers."

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Leading with Inclusive Insights


On November 1, 2022, the ARF Cultural Effectiveness Council hosted a discussion on ways that brands have gained an edge by focusing their insights and subsequent marketing on traditionally under-represented communities.  Speakers from General Mills, Vevo, and muliti-cultural agency Alma shed light on the kinds of research they find helpful in uncovering valuable inclusive insights and the potential rewards of this strategy.  They cited examples of those insights and discussed the societal trends that underlie them. The session was moderated by Council Co-Chair Janelle James of Ipsos.

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