ITV loves staying one step ahead
Our Research team is the voice of our audience, and use insights and case studies to show our customers the true value of ITV advertising.
From conducting primary research studies to tackling business challenges, they take a cooperative and considerate approach to staying one step ahead of changing technology and viewer behaviour as they strive to safeguard our future.
The department is made up of five teams: Commissioning and Studios, Measurement, Planning, Commercial and Strategy, Performance and Online. Each team closely follows our ‘three Cs and a G’ way of working, and provides and interprets qualitative and quantitative research data, while collaborating on wider projects.
One of those projects recently won an award, too: for Excellence in Research Presentation for their project, Primal Screen. It was an in-depth study looking at the unique relationship between TV content and viewers, launched as if it was a TV show, and you can find out more about it here.
Key positions include:
- Audience Research Manager
- Research Executives
- Insight Managers
- Research Assistants
Want to know what it’s really like to work in Audiences? We spoke to Paul Craigen (Head of Audiences) and Mark Fathalla (Audience Team Manager) to find out:
Audience Team Manager,
Head of Audiences,
Hello Mark, how long have you been at ITV and what do you do?
I’ve been here for six years and I’m a manager in the Audiences team, which is part of Group Marketing.
What is your team responsible for?
It’s our job to be the voice of our audience - by audience we mean everyone, because everyone is a potential ITV viewer. This means we spend a lot our time understanding the what, why and how viewers are watching TV. We work with teams across the business and provide research, stats and information, to make sure they are thinking about the audience when making key decisions in their area.
What would you say is the most important part of your job?
It’s essential we’re really thorough and accurate with our research and recommendations, as our insights can influence important decisions. We need to think big and be creative in what we’re looking into. Sometimes it’s the surprising finds that help spark ideas.
What do you love about your job?
I’m a really curious person so I love looking at human behaviour, understanding why our audience watch certain programmes, why they watch in a certain way - for example live or the ITV Hub. The variety of work is fantastic and keeps the role really exciting.
What’s been your favourite ITV moment?
Delivering our youth audience research site, The Booth, available on ITV Core, was fantastic. We created a new brand identity and gave a platform to this really important - sometimes thought of as mysterious or misunderstood - group. It’s not only how young people consume content, it can be about understanding trends, attitudes and behaviours. By getting these insights it can help us understand this audience and what TV they’d want to watch.
How does your work link into ITV’s strategy?
Understanding audience behaviour and attitudes is essential in helping ITV connect with our viewers - this maximises the time they spend watching our channels and programmes. We’re here to help make that happen.
And finally, what advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?
You need to have a real passion for understanding how and why people watch TV programmes, a desire to analyse data and be curious in nature. Look out for exec roles and work your way up. Getting a good grounding in the data analysis hones your instincts for the deep-dive research projects.
What does it take to become Head of Audiences
We spoke to Paul Craigen to find out...
“I stumbled out of Leeds University in 1998 with a History degree, an innate curiosity about the world around me and a love of television. The world of media beckoned. I began my career at an ad agency, planning and buying campaigns on behalf of clients.
“Being passionate about telly, I looked to move from media agency to media owner, and who better to work for than the commercial market leader? My background helped me to make that move in 2004, a time when ITV faced increasing competition for viewers as multichannel TV swept the nation.
“Over 12 years, my role has evolved as ITV has adapted to change; though there have been some constants. I worked on the digital channel launches for ITV3 and ITV4 and, a decade later, for ITVBe and ITV Encore. I’ve worked on some big and interesting projects, including Digital Switch Over plans, ITV’s strategic involvement in Freeview, and programme rights valuations such as UEFA Champions League. And, recently we launched ITV Core - a central resource for all our viewing information and research.
“Today I run a team that analyses viewer behaviour and the performance of our channels and programmes. We design and produce regular reports that monitor key performance criteria. We also react quickly to business issues. It’s important that we understand the ever-changing world of telly, like the impact of Netflix, or how young people are using handheld devices to watch programmes.
“12 years at ITV has brought many memorable moments. Attending the ITV Gala was a particular highlight. It was literally a red-carpet event, sparkling with on-screen talent, that unashamedly screamed, ‘Look how great we are’. No other media owner has presented such a great showcase at the London Palladium.
“To work in audience research you have to be curious about people; about the motivations and drivers of choice. You need to look beyond the world around you to understand what makes people different and how these differences affect their behaviours. You can’t be afraid of numbers, and you have to draw together threads of insight to tell a story. As in any business, you must appreciate how insights can help drive commercial success. At ITV, we are fortunate that we can do that within such a fascinating landscape.”