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Pauline Robson - Director, Real World Insight

I head up our insight team and our role is very much about understanding the consumer and having a depth of understanding of consumer behavior in our clients’ categories – how they are using their products and brands and how these behaviors are changing in a fast-moving media landscape.

Our team has a number of roles, one of which is to act as a mini research agency running projects on behalf of our clients. Our other role is supporting teams internally, particularly the planning team, to get as much insight as possible to use when answering a brief.

It’s all about getting insight out of information and Mintel is really good for that.

We are a content and connections agency. At Mediacom, we believe everything is connected. This means that we think about media as a system rather than as siloes. Systems thinking is how we look at the inter-relationships between brands, customers, content and connections that make up the system.

This new approach to thinking about media means we have to understand how all the elements of a communications system work together, which is where data and insight are crucial.

Mintel is really good for getting a handle on a particular category quickly. If we are working on a new business pitch in an area we don’t have much experience in, it’s a brilliant way to get up to speed with what’s going on, what’s changing and what the key trends are in any category.

It’s very rare now that anyone will plough through a 200-page report – that’s why the summaries are really useful. We know they are backed up by a lot of detail, so if you need to go into something in more depth you know the information will be all there for you.

From my team’s perspective, it really helps us understand the societal trends we need to be aware of when we are looking at a client brief. We use Mintel Trends when we are seeking insight and inspiration. You can, for example, look at a different product category and generate some fresh ideas from seeing how others have tapped into a particular trend.

We also use Mintel Trends when reporting projects back to clients, for example, where we have seen something from our research that ties in to a trend identified from Mintel. We then explore the wider trend and how that relates to our clients’ business.

Mintel Trends and Mintel Reports

We use Mintel Reports and Mintel Trends pretty much across the board because there is such a wide range of categories covered.

We’ve been a subscriber for more than 10 years now.

We need to know how consumers are adopting new technologies, for example within mobile, how they are using new media channels like social media and how they are finding content through different channels so we can identify the best way to get our clients messages to them.

Understanding purchase journeys is another important part of that, looking at everything from how consumers find information to who influences them and then thinking about how we can use the communications system to influence them in that journey.

Our main need is to keep up with how categories are changing. New technologies are moving so fast and there is now so much more data available that staying on top of it all is a challenge.

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