Historically and simplistically speaking, market research is often a tool used to help clients make informed decisions relative to media buying. The typical scenario used to look like this:
Our clients would buy media based on a series of inputs; survey data being just one. If a client wanted to advertise their new sports product, they’d likely purchase an ad spot in the sports section of a newspaper or on ESPN.com. If a second client wanted to promote the upcoming season of their TV show, they might advertise for it on a series of entertainment focused websites. In this model, media content was a proxy for media buying. The decision was likely influenced by several data points, i.e. survey data, viewership information or market trend data. The assumption was if a consumer was looking at ESPN.com or reading the sport section of a newspaper, they may be interested in the first client’s sports product. If a consumer is surfing one of those entertainment websites, they may be more interested in the upcoming season of the second client’s show.