Have the courage to abandon the standard for something greater

Challenge disruption with disruption.

The headline in yesterday’s WSJ Business & Tech page called “Test Audiences Can Make or Break New TV Series” showcased a very traditional research method for testing TV Pilots, while at the same time decrying how hard it is to find a hit in much more fragmented and competitive marketplace. Yet why do we as an industry continue to rely on the same methods to meet new challenges?

Screenshot taken from wsj.com on May 16, 2016

Screenshot taken from wsj.com on May 16, 2016

As was pointed out in the article, standard testing methods are being challenged by new players focused more on organic discovery and trial as a means of proving the future value of content. Yet, these “new” methods disregard the fundamentals of the science behind the art of research.  At Invoke, we fundamentally believe in the value of traditional research methods as means of optimizing the investment in new concepts and decreasing the risks involved with large scale investments.

Many of our clients use us for testing their video segments in order to focus on character development, plot development and validation, audience definition, and even assembling data for the pre-sales of advertising.

They have very high value assets at stake here; their markets are saturated with competitive alternatives, and therefore, the bets are big. There is very little time for decisions on either go/no-go or even deep cuts to the content itself.

More than ever, it’s important to measure twice and cut once.

But the return on the investment of a data-based, scientific approach is great.  You will always win as long as you go wide and deep with your audience – which is where Invoke continues to evolve its software and methodology.

At the end of the day, the video – be it TV series, commercial, or movie – needs to be treated like a business.  Businesses turn to metrics to determine the viability of their offering within the marketplace.  Smart businesses are run with the recognition of a valuable product (e.g. will my customer use/watch my product?) and its place within a ripe market (e.g. who will be using/watching my product?)

With Invoke’s patented, live online research events content creators can meet disruption head-on with a proven research method designed to meet today’s challenges head-on:

  • Real-time research event brings together researchers and content developers to collaborate and observe viewers as they react and review content.
  • Filter, review and refine results with the ability to launch on-the-fly probes and conduct one-on-one chats with potential viewers.
  • Robust, national sampling with base sizes large enough to inspire confidence in the results.
  • A single source for both qualitative and quantitative data including moment-to-moment dial testing capabilities through our partner, DialSmith.
  • Collapsed cycle-times real-time results and immediate reporting improving the time-value of decisions.

We will continue to challenge the standard for the enhanced results of something greater.


Kathy Alexander

VP of Research & Insights

KathyCapitalizing on her broad research experience over the past 20 years, Kathy demonstrates an in-depth understanding of industry trends and consumer needs. With an emphasis on how consumers use media, she has conducted a wide variety of projects including advertising messaging, programming evaluation, brand positioning, market segmentation, customer satisfaction, pricing and packaging, and new product development. 

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