The New Focus Group: Video Analytics Faster, Cheaper, More Accurate

By Priya Alexander on Dec 09 2011 at 8:00 AM

Focus groups and consumer panels are the traditional methods to gain insight into consumer habits and perceptions, but another tool can get the same job done with ease: video analytics.

Running a focus group can be a cumbersome and pricey process. Moderators, recruiting, meals, room rentals and presentation equipment can easily cost five figures. But it’s not just a money issue. Focus groups are limited in scope and the impact of the results are slow to come to fruition. A typical group includes 10 to 20 people—not quite a representative sample—and implementing any changes from these takeaways usually take a long time as well.

In contrast, video analytics are fast, insightful and accurate. Analytics show exactly who's watching, from where and on what devices. Real user data about consumer habits is as insightful as it gets. For a cosmetic company, how consumers watch a video showcasing a new product tells a lot: Are they more engaged when the video is highlighting the science behind the new product, or are they more interested in the technique and usage of the brush? Analytics can inform the company of user habits and help guide the direction of future brand videos.

In reality, focus groups will not go away. But video analytics can complement focus-group objectives. Use videos as a means to connect with audiences and see how they perform. Such content can be entertaining instructional, offer customer support or convey experiences associated with the brand.

With video, brands can segment their audience to find the target groups gravitating toward their content. Using video as part of a broader marketing strategy, they can further engage this group by amping up marketing efforts with additional television ads or in-store promotions. Here are four metrics to help brands find and position themselves toward their target audiences.

1. Demographics

Discover more about the people who are consuming videos. In addition to age, gender and location—very crucial audience information—video analytics can go much deeper and even provide psychographic data. By integrating with Facebook Connect, for instance, analytics offer a rich look into the audience psychographics, including movie preferences. This isn’t something all video-technology companies offer, but having this data provides incredible audience insight. 

2. Geography 

Knowing audience geography is extremely beneficial to brands. In addition to getting a better picture of the audience profile, being armed with such information allows brands to make strategic decisions about which markets to enter and engage with. If a brand were considering running a citywide campaign, tapping geographic data would inform them which cities to target. Likewise, they could use this information to create targeted videos to engage the viewers of a particular region.

3. Social sharing

The most engaged audiences are those who like branded content so much they decide to share it. By analyzing social sharing, brands can see which videos have gained the most traction in the social sphere. In addition to tracking total shares, analytics can break down that data to see headway made on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and even what’s shared via email.

4. Engagement

Metrics Nos. 1 to 3 help brands segment audiences, but tracking user engagement helps brands position themselves to their audiences. Do viewing habits show people respond better to the spokesperson or a demo of the product? Understanding video engagement — what they skip, replay or when they turn off the video — helps brands shape their strategies, such as the message conveyed in advertising, product packaging, the product itself and new releases. 

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