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Knowledge check questions – Sagar Gautam Page 26 •

Describe the two main forms of research undertaken by media industries:

The two main forms of research are broken down into Market research and Production research. Market research is the collection and analysis of information within a market for specific products. Market research mainly involves looking at statistical data for audience size for a product and what specific class or type of people are interested in that product and it also looks at how much potentially an audience knows about that product or service including their personal opinions and thoughts of the product. Market research is significantly important to companies and its rivalries, as there is a very competitive market out there; an example for this is Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. These two products I have looked at and carried out a swot analysis in my studies, which is very similar to what the actual companies themselves do. Coke Zero was a product released in order to compete with Pepsi Max as Diet Coke was aimed at female demographics for a dietary drink, whereas Pepsi Max did not have a specific target audience meaning it appeals to both genders. This caused Coke to recreate a more masculine product to appeal to more males therefore expanding their target audience resulting in more profit. I found market research very valuable and reliable in my work as my chosen product was Pepsi Max; and the swot analysis has contributed to me making a decision of what exact soft drink I want to advertise. Many advertising companies own market research companies to either outsource the information or use the information themselves; simply due to the fact that the information provided by market research is very important and can decide how successful your product will actually be. An example of a conglomerate company such as this is WPP who is owned by Martin Sorrell; someone like this in advertising owns their own subsidiaries and their own market research companies. Production research is research that will guide you through the production of the media product itself. Previously stated, I had chosen to make a commercial for Pepsi Max but had many initial ideas in which type of Pepsi max flavour to advertise. I could have advertised a limited special edition Pepsi max which would have increased target audience as its new flavour would have intrigued curious purchasers, however feasibility wise it was really difficult to get that special edition flavour in the time period of me planning my commercial. As well as this, if it was possible to obtain the unique flavour it would be very expensive in comparison to normal retail price of the standard Pepsi Max flavour therefore would effect my student budget in obtaining many cans of the drink. As a result, through production research I concluded that using normal Pepsi max and buying in bulk quantities will meet my budget requirements allowing me to meet the prop requirements for my advertisement. I think production research is very valuable and useful feasibility wise if someone was to go and try sell a product to the world.


State the full name of the following research organisations and explain what each organisation does and give examples:

a) BARB stands for broadcaster’s audience research board. b) BARB was set up to provide quantitive data to other subscribers about the standard television audience measurement service for broadcasters and the advertising industry. BARB collects their data and calculate measurements by putting reporting panels in 5100 homes which is estimated around 11,500 people and records exactly what programme they are watching and how long for. The reporting panel placed in homes are stratified and chosen to represent a large quantity of audience in the UK who are watching such channels. BARB’s example of research data, which is taken from the table below shows that in January and February 2007 60% of people; were not watching terrestrial television according to BARB. As a media student this is very important to me as it tells me that these channels do not have a huge range of audience as the number of viewings to the channels are limited, thus suggesting advertising won’t get far in channels like these. This would be an issue for people who are scheduling commercials as a major issue is the narrow cast set of audience. This means I would need to make more then one version of a commercial in order to target the right audience. Here is the actual data from BARB:

However, I fail to understand how this small sample of people can reflect the nation, which consists of over 60 million people. Stratified sampling is not very reliable and 100% accurate. These small numbers do fail to reflect particular classes and diverse age, gender and other things such as religion. Although it does provide a basic account and estimation of qualitative data of how many people you are dealing with when choosing to advertise during a specific programme which is useful to some extent. a) NRS – stands for National Readership Survey. b) NRS measures the average number of readers per issue in national newspapers. It proves an estimate number of readers who fall under the terms of sex, age, nationality and many other demographic lifestyle characteristics. They measure this using a term called AIR which is Average Issue Readership


which is the amount of people who have read or bought a publication. I then went on to think these statistics perhaps inaccurate by the fact that anyone can just buy or pick up a free newspaper and not read however with more research I found out that to qualify as a reader you need to be on a publication for at least 2 minutes. The overall data is split up into three categories which are • • •

Frequency of reading which describes readers relationship with the product Source of copy - who obtained the copy and how it was obtained including primary and secondary readers Time spent reading - measure of reading intensity which can be used to compare publications

The NRS collect their data from a continuous survey, 12 months a year 7 days a week which is up to 36000 interviews yearly. Participants are chosen randomly and the interview is taken at their own homes. The interview consists of 27 minutes of questions mainly asking about newspapers, magazines and personal interest. I think the consistency of randomly sampled participants is a good thing as it reflects diverse age, ethnicity and gender of any nationality. NRS provides quantitative data; here is an example of the data they provide:

It tells you how many people read newspapers as for example from April – September 2011 however I still personally think these statistics are not 100% reliable because a lot of the statistics are on newspapers that are bought, there are multiple ways of reading newspapers and magazines and one main way is the internet where people worldwide can view articles showing that these results do not take in account of online viewers. a) ABC- stands for Audit Bureau of Circulation b) ABC is a retail media agency which manages and upholds standards that the media industry needs, for example a service to commercial companies to see their brand performance across digital events such as the internet and prints such as newspapers, magazines. The data ABC provide is incredibly important to the media industry


aswell as media students like me as I needed statistics like these for my Pepsi max advert, if I had not gone out and conducted my own primary research I would have had to rely on a company such as ABC to provide the data for me. ABC collects their data through counting rather then survey samples that NRS uses. They have experts to track people’s engagement with the specific content of brands. This intrigued me as I thought it is almost an act of invasion of privacy, however on the ABC website they claim that they have standards when it comes down to tracking information to ‘protect the reputation of owners and advertisers.’ The company has many third party companies working together in order to get this information. ABC have provided quantitative and qualitative data on how ‘Closer’ magazine is performing in the industry, here is an example of the research:

I like the idea that they give quantitative and qualitative data, facts and opinions however I don’t like the idea that after lots of research they do not give an account of how many exact figures they are ‘tracking.’ It puts me a position of thinking how valid is this data, and if it can possibly reflect the nation of over 60 million? There is no specific tracking numbers given at all. a) RAJAR - RAJAR stands for radio joint audience research b) RAJAR is in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK. It is a company which is jointly owned by the BBC and the RadioCentre. RAJAR have been monitoring data since 1992 however from 1999 onwards they have hundreds of stations around the UK, which include a personal diary of each individual respondent, mainly one adult per household instead of all household members being interviewed. They measure audiences on a rolling basis with data in either three, six or twelve months with publications of all their results. They interview over 110,000 adults, 15 years+ and up to 4000 4-14 year olds. The survey is completed weekly, for example the participant will be asked to fill in all the stations that they have listened to in the week for at least 5 minutes. RAJAR also provides quantitative data on their website.


Here is an example of the quantitive data RAJAR provide:

Top lined data such as the examples above are free of charge to view however more specific data is only available to subscribers of RAJAR. The reliability of the results is not as accurate as it could be as all the data recorded is self report data. Participants can possibly forget or misjudge how much they listen to in a week, especially to those who multi task and like to leave the radio on whilst getting something else done; RAJAR does not take account of these things. 114,000 people is also still not a big enough sample to represent all of the people in great Britain who listen to radios. •

Describe the different ways in which a media audience can be segmented:

Audience segmentation is an easy way for the media to individually target different audiences, the most common segmentations are: age, gender, culture and ethnicity and income and social class. An example for the main segmentations in the media industry is of age and gender; for example take a look at ‘play boy’ and ‘nuts’ magazine, it is targeted for male adults strictly 18+, you will frequently see a gloomy red colour to represent lust whereas ‘Glamour’ magazine is targeted at females from 16+ and has lots of bright vibrant colours such as yellow and pink to fit the demographics for that specific audience. ‘Rolex’ is an example for income audience segmentation as it is a luxury brand selling expensive goods which filters out a huge range and class of people as only wealthy, high paid suceeders will show interest into this brand. There are also ‘Bollywood’ magazines and films which exemplify the specific target of ethnicity group segmentations, and culture magazines such as ‘Christianity Today’ which targets those who follow the Christian religion and culture. • Explain the importance of advertising to media production: Advertising plays a vital role in media production as its one of the main ways of raising awareness for your product. Advertising is heavily used in this generation as more people are resistant to actually paying attention to adverts. So in this case advertising in today’s generation is not as easy as it used to be in the 20th century. Adverts need to be more eye-catching and target specific audiences to really catch the attention of the audience to a product. Advertising is also a big way for media industry’s to fund companies and programmes. The BBC is a public service funded by the UK government and other governments and foundations around the world such as the Dutch government and United Nations. The BBC is a channel where advertisements are not allowed, whereas in every other channel such as Sky, it is full of advertisements simply due to the money being made from these adverts. If Sky did not have adverts there would be a high chance it would not have developed to what it was today without that extra cash coming in. You can even earn a living off YouTube


now as if your videos get a certain amount of views, companies pay you money to put advertisements on your video to raise awareness of that company’s product. Advertisements are everywhere now, magazines and newspapers have specific advertisement spaces for companies to advertise their products; which means the magazine can reduce the price of the actual magazine down for consumers and attract further attention to the magazine and still cover other costs. Therefore advertising plays a big role for companies as they will have more money to invest in, and the cycle continues. • Summarise the role of a researcher: The ultimate goal for a researcher is to find out background information about the issues and themes for a particular show. They need to gather potential information which relates to the show; this would include arranging interviews with people whom are about to go on the show to see if they qualify for the show’s characteristics. They would then need to overview their story’s and adapt it to the show. However there are many other roles for a researcher, this would include: checking and analysing data in order to fulfil your clients or managers needs, managing the budget, writing results and recommendations to your client and even presenting them. Researchers are very valuable as they are the main source of what a programme or radio station will be presenting, they are as important as actors in my opinion; there is no show without them. •

Explain using clear examples, how the viability of a media product can be assessed: For a media product to be viable it has to demonstrate it is workable to produce and sell. It is mandatory to have access to a big budget which will cover all the production costs, technology, equipment and packaging. A product will not become viable if there is a financial shortage as then the overall product produced may not be up to high standard, thus inevitably affecting the number of sales. As well as this, you need to be organised and have good leadership skills as you will need to work with and direct a skilful team of researchers, marketers, advertisers and technical experts who will help further push the product out in the competitive media market. If professional research is not done on your product, despite how much financial stability you have the product will not be as successful as it could be and viable your target audience. If there is a successful chemistry with you and your team and your organisation is good, you will save a lot more time and work more efficiently thus giving you enough time to produce and upgrade your product if needed. The more time and effort put in to a product the more viable it will be as if any changes need it will not be a problem, however if you run short on time then the product will be rushed and not up to its potential thereby effecting the overall profit you make. If your product is successful like Pixar’s animated film ‘The Incredibles’ which had tripled its annual profits then you sure know your product is very viable. Any profit range is good, however if you find yourself loosing profit you know you went wrong somewhere in the viability stages of your product. • What is a SWOT analysis? A SWOT analysis is an analysis of a product that is broken down into 4 stages, which are; strengths, weaknesses, opportunities to expand target audience and threats that you may overcome. Doing a swot analysis on a product ultimately shows you have gone out and looked at all the possible variables that can effect you making this


product successful. Again looking back at the Coke and Pepsi Max example, due to the swot analysis Coke had realised it made a mistake in the demographics for ‘diet coke’ causing Pepsi to make more profit out of both genders for a period of time. This was not only a weakness for Coke; it was also a strength and an opportunity to expand their target audience aswell as increase the profits they are making from the drink. So this whole idea of recreating another masculine version of diet coke crosses over a strength, weakness, opportunity and of course target audience as it was the main reason why ‘coke zero’ had been made. •

Explain what the term copy right means and why it is an important factor in media production: Copyright is a form of property which cannot be used unless you have permission from the owner of this copyright. You can buy and sell copyright aswell as working in a partnership with another company with your copyrights. It is an important factor in media production as no matter how well researched your product is, there will always be that chance where you at some point need to access someone else’s copyrighted work (for example a song). For you to go out and use this in relation with your product you need to ask for permission from the company that owns that song, usually if you’re lucky they will allow it: for example if it’s for educational use. However if it’s for a profitable use they will most likely charge you money to use it, and if you don’t pay you wont be able to use it, and if you use it without permission your product will need to be withdrawn and you could be sued a lot of money for going against the Copyright laws, designs and patents act 1988. Page 34 knowledge check questions • Explain the four main methods of research The four main methods of research are: 1. Primary Research – this is where you acquire your own individual data, controlling all variables. Methods of primary research are things such as questionnaires, interviews and experiments. 2. Secondary Research – this is where you use data that already exists and has been done by other existing companies. Examples of secondary research are going online to find out answers, this is secondary research as it is not you who has obtained the data; you are using pre published research. You need to credit them for this, this can be done by writing the company name or the individual person’s pre published research work you have taken, and inform your audience it is their work and not work of your own. 3. Quantitative Data – the type of research obtained being numerical or in quantities so you can calculate exact measurements. Many companies such as BARB do this as they have put reporting panels in 5100 homes which is estimated around 11,500 people meaning that they will get over 11 thousand statistics of quantitative data showing the standard television audience measurement in the UK. 4. Qualitative Data – the type of research obtained mainly being down to opinions, attitudes and references rather then numerical facts. You would get this type of data if you were to ask certain individuals what they personally think of your product. There are many forums online


where there are lots of people’s opinions on products, movies and programmes; a classical exam for this would be YouTube’s comment box below the video itself. •

Explain, using specific examples from your own work, what factors need to be considered when planning, designing and carrying out a survey using a questionnaire 1. When carrying out a survey using a questionnaire it is mandatory that you use a clear, professional questionnaire layout with no misleading information or solitary closed questions. Instead use open questions and closed questions together, by doing this you will be able to obtain both qualitative and quantitative research. There should be clear instructions to what the participant has to do and how it helps the company out. Keeping it simple is important as it will keep the audience more engaged; using complicated terminology that some audience may not get will complicate the process, leaving the questionnaire unfinished by the audience. However, questions also can not be left too vague that it does not even have a meaning for it to be there. An example from my own work is when I had to do my own primary research for my Pepsi Max advert, I had filled out a simple, clear table design on word. I had given a chance for the participants to not only rate the drink for its taste and how much they enjoy it using rank order scales, but also to explain what they didn’t really like about the drink and how much. Before giving my sheets out I had explained to the participant one on one exactly what they have to do and how it helped me. This was a very time consuming process but I had used stratified sampling to disperse my participants in small focus groups to represent larger target audiences which also made it easier for me to manage and for the individual participants as well as providing more useful for me.

Explain what a focus group is 1. Focus groups are preselected people used to represent a larger target audience. It is a good way to see if a product will appeal to the audience you intend, giving you an idea of how successful it will be. Film studios use focus groups in order to see if the target audiences’ reaction is what they want to achieve; this is a normal process for major films. I will use a focus group to see if I gain the desired responses from my target audience; for example for my Pepsi Max ad I will show drafts to my target audience in order to get feedback back, if feedback is negative I will make changes, this is similar to major films as if the plot is not good enough according to the target audience it may be altered to fit the desired ending from the target audience.

Explain clearly what issues you would need to consider when undertaking your own secondary research. 1. When first undertaking secondary research the first thing to do is to make sure you are completely aware it is someone else’s work and you need to give reference to them if needed and you need to meet the


copyright rules in order to use it. You can credit on the piece of work itself showing the copyright rule or in a bibliography where you note down exactly how you got that specific information. After this is sorted it’s a matter of finding as much secondary research as you can, for example; books, internet, magazines and newspapers and understanding it as a whole, then putting it into your own words in a way that you will remember it so it stays clear into your brain. There’s no use in having lots of pages of research and no summaries or ultimate findings of the research. It is very important to see how valid the research is, you cannot rely on every bit of printed information shown as it could be dated from over 40 years ago as research is continuously being updated and a lot can change in a few years. It is vital to know what you’re reading, who commissioned it and why as you will need to cite the material. After summarising your research you need to consider collating the data and recording it in a way that is going to be useful for you to look back upon and then evaluating the data and using it in order to help out your own work. You can evaluate your data by making cross references to similar data and seeing if you can make any improvements. You can also show it to friends, family or a teacher; you can even proof read it yourself or let your friend proof read your work whilst you proof read theirs. Page 42 knowledge check questions •

Explain what key areas a presentation of your research should cover 1. The key areas a presentation will need to include are an introductory paragraph of the research which covers the purpose and aims of the research. Detailed explanations of what methods and techniques were executed during the research. The research data itself presented visually in graphs or tables to show clear results and from these results an overall summary of the findings. From the summary the presentation needs a conclusion of the summary which will then lead to the initial proposal and final proposal ideas or a pitch. All of these can be presented visually and in audio form or even both.

• Explain fully what the following terms mean: 1. Intrapersonal communication – this is all the thoughts, anxieties and fears that float around your subconscious mind when you’re doing a task. For instance for this presentation, the better the mind frame is controlled the better the presentation. 2. Interpersonal communication – this is face to face communication with two or more people in a room that you are going to encounter when you present a presentation. This includes aspects of spoken and non verbal information. 3. NVC – Non-verbal communication is the body language presented when presenting the presentation, it includes things such as arm and hand movements, the clothes that are worn, facial expression and posture. 4. Paralanguage - this is the way you vocally approach and present your presentation. The way it is said and not the actual information that is being told. This is including hesitations used, the pitch, tone, pace and volume of your speech.


5. Visual aids – the visual imagery or objects used in the presentation that help deliver your pitch. This can include things such as graphs, posters, tables and sounds. These can be embedded into the presentation or even shown 3d. •

What should you do to try to make your oral presentation as professional as possible? 1. To make the oral presentation as professional as possible it is very important to make a good first impression. This will include appropriate dress sense, a confident first approach with positive body language being used a lot to engage the audience constantly. A firm posture and a nice bright smile with eye contact ensures the audience comfort, and will allow them to listen and continue engaging. Avoid all hesitations as much as possible, and ensure a flow in direct speech with a comfortable pace and loud volume to further engage the audience. The paralanguage really does help make the presentation more professional. A controlled intrapersonal mind frame along with plenty of practice runs of the presentation at home will ensure confidence when you pitch and small visual aids embedded into the presentation or shown 3d will also make a clearer presentation. And finally, having sharp focus and accurate terminology to express your ideas will show a professional standard oral presentation.

• What should you do to make your written report as professional as possible? 1. To make a written report as professional as possible it will also need a structure similar to the presentation which is: An introductory paragraph of the research which covers the purpose and aims of the research. Detailed explanations of what methods and techniques that were executed during the research. The research data itself presented visually in graphs or tables to show clear results and from these results an overall summary of the findings. From the summary the presentation needs a conclusion of the summary which will then lead to the initial proposal and final proposal ideas or pitch. All of these paragraphs need to be written with clear grammar, punctuation and spelling with a lot of appropriate terminology. Also, keeping a bibliography of all the secondary research, books or websites that have been used to help the presentation aswell as any additional primary research material such as graphs and tables should be included.


FINAL RESEARCH QUESTIONS