How Cint became the market research data collection “backbone” for Amplified Intelligence

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Thought Leadership

At Cint, we love powering innovations in the market research space. That’s why we’ve built a platform that quickly brings speed and scale to customers and partners who want to future-proof their insights solutions, bring those solutions to market and, ultimately, change the face of the industry.

One customer that embodies these goals is Amplified Intelligence. We sat down with the company’s CEO and Founder, Karen Nelson-Field, Ph.D. to chat with her about how they are working with Cint to help drive innovation and quality, while also meeting demands for efficiency and speed. She says:

 “With Cint, we have doubled our conversion rate of people completing the study and achieved record sample in the fieldwork timeframe. The importance of this for us in meeting our own client deadlines can’t be overstated. But perhaps even more importantly, it creates an opportunity for Amplified Intelligence to scale its business offerings.”

Read on for our complete in-depth interview with Karen, and how Amplified Intelligence (with some help from Cint!) is changing the way the insights space approaches the critical metric of attention measurement.

Tell me a little bit about Amplified Intelligence and your approach to metrics and measurement around attention.

Amplified Intelligence builds market-leading attention measurement and activation products which improve return on investment for advertisers and their agencies. We are trained researchers who recognise that unless research insights can be applied, nothing will ever change.

We listened to the industry when it said it needed help applying our deep and rigorous attention data. And our first attention product, attentionTRACE Media Planner, is a SaaS tool for agencies and brands to apply attention metrics as a supplementary layer of data in media planning.

One of the reasons our data is so valuable is the methodology and rigour we use in collection design. Another is our use of machine learning to transpose facial footage into attention measurement at three levels of attention – active, passive and non-attention. The granularity we offer can’t currently be matched.

As a company, we believe that media trading should be fair and accountable. We know that advertising measurement needs reform. And we also know – because we have proved it over and over again – that attention is a highly effective and accurate media metric.

Cint Amplified Intelligence Interview - Karen Nelson-Field PhD

Amplified Intelligence maintains that the ad industry needs to move away from measures like CPM and focus instead on the metric of attention. You refer to this as “changing currency.” What are the key challenges and opportunities here?

There are plenty of challenges! Perhaps the most immediate is the industry’s addiction to short-term metrics and reporting cycles. It turns out that instant measurement hasn’t delivered what it promised and, worse, it has degraded the overall quality of content. The natural result of this is diminishing attention.

The opportunity presented by attention metrics, however, is that we can use it to start to correct the course of a broken advertising ecosystem. As a metric, it is portable and resilient in the face of device and platform change. While it is complex to collect, it is also simple in that it focuses on the human elements: the human who uses the platform or watches TV, in all its guises, the human who sees the ad, or not, as the case may be, and the human who then chooses how to spend the money in their bank account.

We know attention metrics are a valuable metric because we recognise that there is a significant relationship between attention and sales uplift. Active attention drives the greatest behavioural outcome and transcends all other mediating variables, such as viewability. And we know that attention is related to memory. In fact, the more attention paid the longer the brand stays in memory.

How does Amplified Intelligence’s offering and methodology help to future-proof consumer measurement as the market research space continues to change rapidly?

We started future-proofing about four years ago because we could see that an audience measurement solution was needed to call out the differences between platforms and modes of video delivery. What we didn’t expect to happen so quickly was the legislative response to digital privacy concerns in so many jurisdictions. The resulting scrutiny on third-party data and the impending collapse of the cookie creates a world that urgently requires new measurement solutions. Importantly, these must be solutions that don’t have global targeted surveillance at their heart.

It’s true, we film facial footage of research participants but the people we film have opted in – at least twice. Ethical data collection and rigorous, generalisable, research can offer incredibly valuable insight without stalking every individual consumer for every waking (and sleeping) hour.

The ethics, resilience and versatility of attention metrics offer intrinsic future-proofing.

Amplified Intelligence’s solution is technical, innovative and built with a forward-thinking attitude. How important are these characteristics when it comes to choosing a like-minded partner?

Amplified Intelligence invites people to participate in data collection via panels which engage a nationally representative cross-section of the population to participate in the study. Participants download our app, which allows us – with full permission – to film their faces and track their gaze while they view various platforms. Once they have finished viewing, they are directed to a product choice survey. When all steps are complete, the gaze tracking app is set to become redundant. All of the facial footage is parsed through our proprietary gaze models.

The output is an incredibly granular measure of attention. At this level of granularity we can divide our attention measure into three levels:

  • Active Attention – looking directly at the ad;
  • Passive Attention – eyes nearby, but not looking directly at the ad; and
  • Non-Attention – face not detected or, for television, not in the room.

Amplified Intelligence’s innovative methodology turns the collection of single-source advertising data on its head. Now, after five years, that particular innovation is our normal. And we look for supply partners that respond and innovate as a matter of practice.

For us, the way in which Cint responds to our requests is as important as the solutions it delivers. The expertise, responsiveness and attention to detail provided by the Cint team, plus an understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish, helps us achieve our own objectives. Cint’s technology-driven solutions are agile, fast and innovative, all critical elements for Amplified Intelligence’s approach to insights.

Speed has been a persistent demand in the market research space. This is overlaid with a need for agility, scale and innovation. How important is it to you that your partners prioritise these concepts? Did Cint’s focus on these issues boost your confidence in the partnership?

Amplified Intelligence is no different to what you have just described, in terms of requirements: There is a driving need for speed in all that we do. The difference for us is the scale at which we need to collect. Speed and scale go hand in hand in terms of how we approach attention measurement. We are building a new category of audience measurement and, while we have been working on attention measurement for over four years, there is now a real groundswell of uptake. This has placed remarkable pressure on us for speed, scale and flexibility. Any partner’s capacity to deliver this is a deal-breaker. Cint’s obvious commitment to deliver at scale, with the world’s largest sample exchange as part of its core offering, and its willingness to listen and respond when we push for more – because pushing for more is key to our success – is a key ingredient in our partnership success.

Can you tell me a bit more about the synergies you found in working with Cint?

It helps that both organisations have staff who are committed to working quickly, laughing loudly and doing what it takes to meet intense deadlines. Because the Cint platform automates much of the insights gathering process, we can gain access to insights faster with unparalleled scale. Doing this requires the ultimate agility, in order to enable technology to gather consumer insights and supercharge business growth. In this way, working together to meet goals becomes a pleasure as the company missions are in sync.

Amplified Intelligence’s approach to sampling is unique, in so much as respondents change browsing environments mid-stream. How did Cint’s offering help to solve this challenge with server-to-server redirects?

Amplified Intelligence’s proprietary data collection technology presents a unique user journey from survey start to completion. Leveraging knowledge of its marketplace, Cint worked with us to implement server-to-server redirects which accurately report completions of a study where a user begins their journey on one device and finishes on another. Up until now, lack of reporting in this way has made project fieldwork challenging. Cint’s offering has helped us deliver insight metrics across the entire user experience to achieve our highest rate of conversion to date.

At Cint, we love powering innovations in the market research space.

Any other specific challenges you were experiencing that Cint helped solve?

Amplified conducts data collection across multiple countries and time zones. The time zone gymnastics is a tangible challenge that needs to be factored into our project management. Partnering with Cint gives us access to their global platform via a local Australian team. This solves some logistical and emergency response problems for us, achieving better outcomes during Australian business hours. Where projects involve peak conversion at out of hours times, the team from Cint are reliably available to problem solve and ensure targets are met. This even includes sharing a gin!

How important was Cint’s global reach and focus on seamless user experiences to Amplified Intelligence? Why?

Although headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia, the nature of Amplified Intelligence’s work means that it has built a profile and customer base that extends far beyond this. Our data collection demands global reach and our customers are mostly headquartered in the UK, Europe and US. A global business needs global partners; this makes Cint an obvious fit. Being able to serve our customer and data collection base in core and secondary markets via a single supplier, with a local team, is as good as it gets. Our global work is fast-paced, reactive and needs to hit the mark every time. Cint always keeps up.

What is really exciting for us is that Cint’s reach ensures that, as Amplified Intelligence scales, the partnership can strengthen and we can serve a variety of global markets with a unified supplier manifest.

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