Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why the BBG Invests in Research

By Dick Lobo, Director of IBB

In any media organization, knowing your audience is essential to your success. Private media firms such as Fox, MGM, Viacom or CBS spends tens of millions of dollars to pilot and test new programming, to research audience preferences and to track audience reach. As Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Corporation of America and the BBG’s presiding governor, said recently: “Without research you are flying blind.”

At the BBG, we want to know as much as we can about our audiences. We recently partnered with a world-class firm, Gallup, to run our global audience research program.

Recently, thousands of people in Iran received calls on our behalf from Gallup to help us know more about this important audience.

From this survey we learned some interesting facts: Two-thirds of Iranian households have access to computers, and 39 percent of Iranians surf the Internet weekly, 100% have televisions in their homes, and 90% have mobile phones. Internet use has doubled in the past two years, and the spread of computer and Internet use is taking place across both genders. Given that satellite dishes are illegal and the Internet is censored in Iran, this information seems rather remarkable.

Research in Iran – or any other country where we broadcast – is designed to inform us about what media platforms are being used, how they are being used and by whom. We’re using this and other data to help us decide on the best ways to reach the most people.

It’s all part of our global research program, which is aimed at measuring and improving the performance of our programs and brands, informing our strategic plans going forward and understanding the impact our broadcasts are having on target audiences.

In addition to the phone survey to Iran, Gallup also has interviewed Tibetan travelers reached during the Dalai Lama’s recent Kalachakra teachings in Bodhgaya, India, about their sources of news and information. Details of that survey will be released on July 26, followed by reports on media use in Nigeria in August and Burma in September.

Our partnership with Gallup is helping us to better understand our audiences at a time when we must make the most efficient use of our shrinking budget dollars. I couldn’t put it any clearer than BBG Governor Michael Meehan, who observed, “Research is key to knowing our audiences so we can serve them better and be even more effective with the limited resources we have.”

(Source : ViewPoint)

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