Kantar in an Interview: “Owned Media Is Playing an Increasingly Important Role – and so Is Content Marketing”

Kantar in an Interview: “Owned Media Is Playing an Increasingly Important Role – and so Is Content Marketing”
3. March 2020 Ubermetrics

Kantar in an Interview: “Owned Media Is Playing an Increasingly Important Role – and so Is Content Marketing”


Since 2019 Ubermetrics and Kantar have been cooperating as part of a strategic partnership in data acquisition and content evaluation. What significance does this partnership have for digital communication professionals? We talked about this with Michael Maillinger – CEO of Kantar’s Media Division in Germany. Further topics of our conversation are challenges for digital communicators, cornerstones of data-driven communication strategies, and effective tools for successful crisis communication.

Michael Mailinger - Kantar

Kantar is one of the world’s leading companies for data science, insights and consulting – what makes you stand out?

We understand more about how people think, feel, shop, share, vote and view than anyone else. To achieve this deep understanding, we use our own and external data to analyze, check, and combine them. The results are relevant recommendations for the crucial impact on business, politics, and society. The Kantar Group bundles activities in the areas of market research and marketing consulting.

Kantar’s Media Division additionally contributes its expertise in PR measurement and can also make the connection to findings and data from other fields. This enables us to take a holistic view – and we have the expertise to filter the results and insights that are relevant to our clients.

What are the cornerstones of a modern, effective communication strategy?

Although communicators tend to try to reinvent the wheel every few years, the strategic cornerstones have changed relatively little over the past decade. No communication strategy can do without the development of communication goals, the definition of target groups and multipliers, the formulation of overarching themes/messages and the resource-adapted derivation of measures and channels, and the permanent measurement of success using media intelligence and suitable KPIs. What has changed dramatically, however, is the weighting of the communication channels and, of course, new ones – those owned by the communicating brands not the least of it – have been added. Owned media is playing an increasingly important role, and with it Content Marketing.

Which instruments of media monitoring and media analysis are important for successful crisis communication of brands?

All of them. Crisis communication consists of three parts: Prevention, response, and conclusion. In the preventive phase, targeted monitoring using AI instruments helps to identify potential issues as early as possible. In the acute phase, real-time media monitoring and analysis support the adequate handling and communicative reaction to crisis events. Finally, the follow-up on crises through a detailed media analysis provides insights into crisis prevention and crisis response phases.

Data-driven work vs Data Overload – how can Kantar help here?

We are a service provider – in contrast to SaaS offerings, we do not leave our customers alone with the tools and the data. Our experts set up suitable searches for them for the underlying investigation order, optimize them on an ongoing basis or, if necessary, create new ones, select the most relevant results, and derive and prepare the learning. In doing so, we rely on the latest technology, like the one provided by our partner Ubermetrics – in combination with the human expertise of our specialists.

What are the biggest mistakes of communicators in dealing with social media and data-driven communication?

In my opinion, the most common mistake that communicators make concerning social media is the predominant focus on traffic volume. But that is mostly useless. The important thing is to reach the right influencers and use social media as part of cross-media communication. Social networks are not isolated channels; they have to be considered as part of communication to ensure a high penetration of messages and stories.

What are the best practices for measuring communication campaigns?

A mix of quantitative and qualitative data provides the best insights into the impact of campaigns. Measuring the output is essential as a basis. The most important thing here is to check whether the reporting achieved also corresponds qualitatively to the objectives. Moreover, the media impact on the target group should be measured. Market and media research go hand in hand here and help to determine impact effects across all media channels and to optimize communication measures in such a way that the campaign objective is achieved.

Kantar & Ubermetrics are partners – why does this partnership pay off, especially for communication experts?

Algorithm meets global expertise: We are delighted to count Ubermetrics among our partners, enabling us to provide our clients with excellent monitoring and analytics in the field of digital and social media intelligence as a basis for our comprehensive reputation management services.

Fake news, disinformation & similar issues present communication professionals with new challenges – how do you deal with them?

Today, fake news can be easily distributed with the help of AI tools and are not easily recognized as such. Particularly in the case of media analysis in social networks, constant monitoring of the content is therefore essential, for example, to exclude fake accounts at an early stage.

Branding & Communication: Which trends do we have to prepare for in 2020?

There are no really new trends, but what has been a trend in recent years – for example, the erosion of the status of traditional media and especially print, the growing relevance of digital channels, and owned media – will continue to pick up speed. The “blurring lines” between communication and marketing have been predicted for a long time – at least when it comes to brand communication, this has now come true.


Michael Mailinger - KantarMichael Maillinger

Michael Maillinger is the CEO of the Media Division of Kantar in Germany. Previously as a qualified journalism graduate, Maillinger was a managing director at the media intelligence provider META Communication and head of executive communications at the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Ubermetrics thanks Michael Maillinger for an interesting interview!