research methods

How Researchers Can Learn from Recent Political Polling Challenges (Event Summary)

This event was suggested by the ARF’s LA Media Research Council in the aftermath of the poor performance of last November’s election polls.  Council members felt that the discussions about polling could impact trust in consumer and media research and that we should explore what research suppliers are doing to implement Best Practices. Research Quality has always been a key issue for the ARF. Most recently, an ARF event about the November polls found that while some issues are unique to political polling, many impact all survey research, for example, obtaining representative samples while response rates are declining, validity of responses, and predicting behavior and attitude trends.

Uncovering the Role of Emotion, Subjectivity, and Non-Rational Thinking in Professional and B2B Decision Making

In this Insights Studio, “Professionals are People Too: Uncovering the Role of Emotion, Subjectivity, and Non-Rational Thinking in Professional and B2B Decision Making”, Abigail Ahearn of HawkPartners conducted an enlightening presentation exploring the B2B decision-making process and the implications emotional and cognitive bias can play for B2B marketers and their clients. Abigail then led an insightful panel discussion featuring Beni Gradwohl (Cognovi Labs), Lateef Mauricio Abro (Digitas) and Ryan Boh (Oracle Advertising), where they examined the myth that B2B decisions are typically steeped in rationality. In both the presentation and panel discussion the unique factor in navigating multiple stakeholders in the B2B decision-making process was highlighted. This led to the exploration of the complex factors in negotiating B2B client biases, emotional blockers and the actual “hyper-emotional” component of B2B decision-making. A variety of ideas and solutions on how these biases and emotional blockers can be mitigated were discussed.

Context Adjacency: A Data-Driven Approach to Concerns Around the Risk of Content Adjacent to Ads

On October 12, 2022, experts from Meta, the Brand Safety Institute and the ARF discussed brand risk for ads placed near unsuitable content on social media feed platforms. Meta researchers presented their data-driven measurement approach and their conclusions that there is minimal-to-no association for content adjacent to ads and that ad adjacency to risky content does not impact brand value.

The process for Certification of the Meta Project by the ARF was outlined. Additionally, the panel considered how consumers engage with ads on a feed platform differently than they engage with ads on more traditional platforms with different potential outcomes for ads adjacent to risky content.

A Peek Behind the Curtain – Preventing a Fumble: The Research POV on Super Bowl Advertising

The ARF Creative Council hosted its seventh Happy Hour event on Super Bowl advertising and what to watch for in the commercial breaks during this year’s big game. Council member Belle Frank of VMLY&R moderated a discussion with four creative experts – three of them from the Creative Council — to discuss Super Bowl ad insights and trends, giving marketers important ideas to consider and advertising fans something to look for on Sunday night.

Navigating Through Uncertainty with Next-Gen Marketing Mix

Greg Dolan (Keen Decision Systems) and Mark Bennet (Johnsonville Milwaukee) examined how to navigate in uncertain and volatile times in the current marketplace using next-generation marketing mix solutions. In the opening, Greg explored the progression of marketing from the late 90s, through what he dubbed “The Roaring 20s.” He noted that we went from a minimally complex, slower-paced “top-down” approach in the 1990s to a very fast-paced, complex environment with a shift to Retail Media and a unified approach where we apply next-generation predictive analytics in the 2020s. Greg discussed the intricacies of their approach of combining historical data with predictive/prescriptive plans to address drastic changes in the current environment, leveraging ML. He provided a case study that demonstrated the successful application of the next-generation marketing mix. In addition, Mark gave a client perspective on how they are handling market uncertainty.

Harnessing the Full Potential of Marketing Mix Models: How Attention, Creative and Audience Personalization can Drive ROI

Sameer Kothari (PepsiCo) and Todd Kirk (Middlegame Marketing Sciences) examined the application of a transformed rendition of marketing mix modeling created through the development of a proprietary system called the “ROI Engine.” Sameer indicated the desire to harness the “true potential of marketing mix models even beyond measuring past campaigns and using it for strategic planning looking forward.” Sameer discussed this system as having a more “predictive ROI outcome-based approach” by “leveraging an ecosystem of leading indicators for before and during a campaign flight.”

Panel Discussion

In this session, Elea McDonnell Feit (Drexel University) led a panel discussion with the day’s speakers on innovations in experiments in marketing and referred to these experiments as a “mature part of the measurement system.” In this discussion panel members brought up ideas and examples of how to effectively employ randomized controlled trials (RCT) and the benefits of using experiments for attribution. They examined the lack of patterns stemming from advertising incrementality and credited this to the changing nature of the consumer journey and unique factors in strategy, the business life cycle and the product being sold. The panel also explored processes to ensure the deployment of a successful and effective experiment. In addition, geo-based tests were also considered. Other topics discussed were the cost-effectiveness of running experiments and the value of failed experiments.

Panel Discussion: Perspectives on the Rise of Retail Media

This panel discussion, moderated by Circana’s Michael Ellgass, discussed the current state and emerging opportunities in retail media, including measurement as well as organizational issues. The following are edited highlights from their conversation.

Unlocking Reach in Premium Content

NBCU’s Mike Levin and Emily Kwok tested brand safety in premium video content from a viewer perspective in their research using NBCU’s proprietary AI tech for automating brand safety and suitability decision making. The study’s three objectives asked whether increasingly violent episodes influence viewers’ experiences, if they then assign blame to marketers for knowingly advertising in explicit or violent content, and if there are specific instances where adjacency affects viewer sentiment towards an ad.