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Insights That Work

How Structural Consumer Collaboration Enabled SONY Pictures Television to be More “C.R.E.A.T.I.V.E.”

[Insights That Work - Case Study] InSites Consulting is helping Sony stay consumer-centric and discover insights before they become market trends.

Editor’s Note: Every year, participants in the GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report survey vote for the most innovative companies in market research. In Insights That Work, these top companies share the real-life challenges and solutions of their biggest clients.


Many changes have impacted the television business in the last decade, from the way consumers watch content to the blurring lines between traditional broadcast and online distribution, to name only a few. In order to be ahead in launching relevant content, it is important for Sony Pictures Television to detect consumer insights in a very early stage before they turn into real market trends. Research at Sony Pictures Television thus needs to be like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, where the CMI team is challenged to identify emerging trends early on and make stakeholders aware of these shifts in consumer behavior.

In addition, stakeholders increasingly expect speed and automation of insight generation. The increased availability of different information sources (e.g. ratings, market intelligence, consumer surveys, piracy and social data) leads to the expectation that the research team can automatically access what they need with a few clicks to then instantly craft the right data-driven story. Yet often, the CMI team is left with the feeling of ‘having a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear to the party’, lacking the ‘right type of data’ to answer a certain challenge.



A Consumer Consulting Square (i.e. next-generation research community) was launched, allowing Sony Pictures Television to swiftly combine different qualitative and quantitative methodologies within a research challenge. This ‘fusion’ approach and versatile way of working allows to focus on the business goal rather than to think in method silos. 2,000 interesting and interested UK consumers were engaged in the community to collaborate with Sony Pictures Television on several topics. This approach resulted in:

  1. Delivering answers quickly and efficiently through short research challenges. The in-house resource allowed SPT to conduct studies that otherwise wouldn’t have happened due to time, implementation and budgetary constraints.
  2. Uncovering new insights on how to develop engaging content for the future and exploring new consumers behaviors. This strategic challenge was tackled by means of a series of phased studies (instead of the traditional large-project approach) enabling the client to reflect on interim findings before moving into the next phase, connect the dots with previous research and tailor the output to various stakeholders in the organization.
  3. Uncovering drivers and changes in viewing behavior. Continuous bottom-up conversations with participants allowed the CMI team to understand the drivers behind the success or failure of certain shows, anticipate changes in viewing behaviors, and even project the success of certain shows based on pre-release buzz.



The Consumer Consulting Square is helping Sony Pictures Television become more consumer-centric, and the insights team to deliver on its “C.R.E.A.T.I.V.E.” principles by being more: Confident, Relevant in tailoring messages to clients and consumers, helping Elevate their relationship with clients, Agile in delivering tactical information, Timely in uncovering new content trends, highly Informed on emerging viewing behaviors, helping them Validate assumptions and becoming more Engaging in internal communication or with external clients.

Moreover, this research approach using our Consumer Consulting Square proved to be a positive touch point experience for participants, with 88% rating it as a top-two experience.

Featuring case studies from ‘GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative’ companies, Insights That Work is your ultimate guide to understanding the process of producing pivotal insights with impactful business results. Download Insights That Work to read more case studies.

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