Time Inc. on how qualitative research endures in an era of big data

The three pillars of Time’s award winning research (0:03)

We do a mix of everything actually. With the tech work we accompanied people around their houses and did tech audits. We went shopping with them and did takeovers within the stores. We also spend a lot of time videoing people, speaking to them, and asking them questions directly. We also do a lot of surveys – campaign effect is all survey based, because what that generates is benchmarks. And the Origin Lounge is almost like a massive discussion forum. 

Data or research – which is more important? (1:04)

From my perspective, so I manage the data teams and the analytics teams within Time Inc., and for us it’s all about the combined power of that knowledge. Traditional research combined with data. So I suppose the way I’d describe it is putting ‘smiley faces on the data points’, so that you bring it to life. And actually my belief is that you need both data, and you need the research and the insight and the storytelling, in order to kind of make that relevant. 

The important thing… (1:45)

… is to know what you want to get from what you’re doing, in terms of the data and the research. So having really clear objectives and a really clear focus will mean that you can harness the power of those different sources and use them to best effect.

How do you use your research most effectively? (2:02)

What we do best is we understand people’s passions. So we understand whether it’s music, wine, shooting, marine, horses… we understand people’s passions. The way that we approach our business is that we want to is deepen the engagement that those consumers have with those passions. So we use all of the research and insight we have to do that.

Finally, how important is it that publishers work together as an industry? (2:22)

Our customers – so our media agencies and our advertisers – they’re asking us as magazine publishers to be more united. To be more collective. And that’s really really important in a world where digital and all the new sexy stuff is taking the majority of the conversation. So, in order to get ahead and to protect and grow our revenues we have to work collaboratively to keep that pie and that share of the market.

Time Inc. UK is a member of FIPP.

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