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Cox's media researching plans could turn Ireland into centre of excellence

IN a bid to track the influence of marketing and media on Irish consumers, a top media executive has called for a more unified approach to research. Core media boss Alan Cox who chairs the Television Audience Measurement (TAM) industry body, believes the only way forward is for single source research across all media.

Cox says that while advertisers and agencies pay out €5m a year for data that tells who sees 'this', reads 'that' and listens to 'the other', there is precious little information on how all media work together to influence consumer habits. The approach to research needs to start changing right away if the advertising industry is not to be left behind.

The data burden on respondents will make the job tricky, but it will be "cracked". Cox insists the change must happen. Media consumption is growing fast due to digital technology and the meshing of different platforms. Young adults are spending 25pc more time with media today than they did five years ago and this will grow by another 35pc.

The first priority is to get media owners to co-operate with each other. A joint industry team would explore the options and seek funding for Ireland as a test market. Key to cross-media research's success will be a strong single marketing services body. It means disbanding the plethora of bodies for advertising, PR, direct marketing and so on.

Cox says Ireland's cross-media research is currently light years behind the new reality. But we are well placed to become an international centre of research excellence. Ireland is a small but sophisticated media market with strong ties to global media businesses.


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