Disclaimer- This is not a political article nor meant to spin to either party. The thesis of this piece is to state the facts- Pollsters, rating companies and media outlets have been lying to us and manipulating our population for generations and we have the power now to take it all back.
We’re going to talk about the last few elections- not on my side or your side (seriously let’s end sides and talk about ideas) but in how we’re being presented data to change how we think to keep people currently in power (both public and private sector) in power. Both parties and many major corporations are guilty of this and we need to end it.
When I first got into media sales in the early 2000’s everyone, and I mean everyone had to do an intensive onboarding class in Nielsen surveys. The first thing they taught you is “weighted polling” wherein summary a few people take daily logs of their media consumption. Nielsen paid people around 2 dollars to fill out diaries for weeks or months on their daily consumption habits. This handful of people will then represent anywhere from thousands to millions of people in a given DMA.
The 2nd thing we were taught is how to manipulate this tiny data set to make the “asset” we were selling look like it was the best in the given market. I’ll let each reader determine on their own the ethics of this but it was enough of a sore spot to us to build a better, honest mousetrap when we founded Digital Ignite. When you looked at the cumulative number in almost every market- there was a new “top station” every quarter when the new “book” came out. Does an entire population’s consumption habits change that drastically every 3 months or is the model, system, and representation completely flawed?
So to summarize- a few people represent millions, the market leaders are constantly in flux outside of the margin of error, and depending on who is presenting the data there may be a completely different conclusion from what the raw data says…. Are you kidding me? Does this sound familiar with what we have gone through in the last several election cycles?
So where does this stand in the media landscape? The old model is ineffective, dishonest, and being clung onto by dying businesses that are either unable or unwilling to adapt their business model.
This year Digital Ignite has been blessed to pick up several major clients on a nationwide level. Did we do anything drastically different? Well, we are always evolving and adding new tech, however, the big determining factor in our growth has been legacy agency business models being exposed in lockdown and post lockdown as expensive, ineffective, and an ever-evolving shell game. Instead of quoting derivatives on derivatives, we are building media consumption models based on the behavior of our client's customers and pipeline. We are buying people not networks and we are driving everything back to our clients’ KPI, not what market perception should be based on an arbitrary survey.