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$1 For Your Data

​​As data becomes prolific in all businesses, I was shocked to find a Nielsen Scarborough survey in my mailbox. As most of my communication is via text/email and almost all of my bills are electronic the majority of the mail I get is junk mail or boxes from Amazon. If it wasn't for Amazon, I would probably never check the mail and would have never gotten their paper survey.

Having spent my entire career in media, I support and thank Nielsen Scarborough for all that they have done to measure media and provide data for advertisers. Without their measurement we would have been planning media campaigns blindly, but it is time they move and move quickly to acknowledge the current landscape.

A dollar to entice me, and another five dollars for me to return the survey. This payment hardly buys a decent cup of coffee, and don't get me going on how little that would translate into Fortnite V Bucks. Do they think that this money will give them quality or quantity answers? Do they believe that people actually care or even have the time to fill out this information? There are so many other more efficient and effective ways to collect data, so why still send them out via mail?

But what really bothered me was their questioning. It was like it was the same survey from 1998 with a few "additions" thrown in. My first observation was they only offered 4 types of TV shows (Comedy, Drama, News, Sports or None of the Above). With such a huge percent of TV being did that not make the cut? Where are movies? How about Documentaries or Kids programming? I don't think you can boil TV watching down to 4 buckets and I understand they probably don't want dozens of options, but I think they could have offered a few more categories. At least in my sample size of one household our TV consumption is 30% Reality, 25% Sports, 20% Movies and the rest is documentaries, kids and comedies.

My second observation is that under the section about music they seemed to have areas that overlapped, and not clear direction. Meaning they asked which ways you listen to radio and the options were:

-Broadcast (AM/FM)

-Cell Phone/Tablet/other mobile device

-Internet music sites

-Satellite radio

-None of the Above

Many of these ways overlap, as in you can listen to Satellite radio on your cell phone and on the internet, or how about you can stream Pandora or Spotify on your TV? I think this could cause confusion to most people receiving the survey.

Listen, I am not trying to stump the chump, as I stated earlier I am thankful for companies like Nielsen. My point is just that the world is getting more advanced, more complicated and many ways larger. And as consumer we access and use media differently, so it is important that we measure it differently. Data integrity is by far the #1 most important aspect when collecting analytics, but I ask Nielsen and all other media measurement and media companies to make data a priority. Consumers enjoy seeing ads when they are meaningful, and we can make those interactions more impactful if we do this in a privacy compliant manner with concrete data.

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