Center for Media Design Project Managers Michelle Prieb and Jen Milks spoke at Mediapost’s Search Insider Summit Saturday, April 17.  The presentation, Reinventing Search: Through the Eyes of Next-Generation Consumers, explored the outputs of ideation sessions conducted with Ball State students to rethink  how they “want to find stuff”.

The students’ vision for a new search experience is highly personalized, communicative, very social and seamlessly cross-platform. View the presentation and our summary of the research outputs below and enjoy!

Search Insider Summit
– Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

One predominant emergent themes from our ideation sessions was that students want a personalized search experience. They want search (and thereby marketers) to really get to know them as individuals, rather than as data or statistics.

These next-gen consumers want search to know them holistically within the context of their lives including their location and the times when they tend to search. They also want search to learn from what they do online to understand trends and patterns in their lives, so search knows their routines.

This desire for hyper-personalization provides an opportunity for marketers to understand their audiences in ways that go beyond determining intent and profiling.

Open Communication with Search

Our next gen consumers express the desire for search to be less like typing keywords into a text bar and more like having a conversation with a friend who knows them very well. They want to give and receive feedback via ratings and preferences so search can learn to tailor results and refine the search process for them.

Our students want to reserve the option for search to be targeted when they need something specific or exploratory when they’d like to “be adventurous” and receive results that are a little more open-ended (yet within the bounds of their likes and dislikes). They’d also like recommendations from search that are based on everything search knows about them from their online history, social networks (friends, interests and status updates) and context.

This dialogue with search creates very unique opportunities for marketers to make connections with users that are meaningful based on the personalized experience.

Extending search into the social arena

Echoing the predictions of Summiteers, students want search to draw from their current social networks to provide richer, more contextual results. With the motto “we all get better the more we share,” next-gen students recognize the value of tapping into diverse communities for trusted word-of-mouth recommendations from grounded experts rather than paid or optimized results.

As they hope to garner insight from this rich and varied search pool, they affirm the need contribute to the free-flowing tide of information. The real-time instantaneous access and global reach of social networks uniquely extends the search experience with an improved (perceived) authenticity.

Accessibility and Design:
Robustly cross-platform search designed for users

Our students discussed the importance of instant and constant access to their search process. To facilitate effective and social dialogue, search must be seamlessly cross-platform and it must be optimized for all devices. They see cloud computing as the way that this can be accomplished.

Students want to see augmented reality incorporated into the search process, regardless of device (but again, designed for optimal cross-platform experiences). Students also want search to be designed to interact with them in the way they interact with people – they want visual, voice, tactile, physiological and emotive interaction with search. Essentially, next-gen consumers want search (and marketers) to read their minds.

Indexing Life
: The categorization of everything

This new search experience mimics human behavior and therefore requires developing a new Dewey Decimal System for life. Moreover, indexing all of human behavior necessitates an openness to sharing information to a higher degree than ever before, which ultimately incites abounding privacy implications. Next-gen consumers express a willingness to negotiate the exchange of information, but the option to control their own privacy settings remains paramount.

Characterization of Search

In a move away from the current disconnect they feel between themselves as users and results as pushed advertising content, students want a relationship with search and answers. They describe next-gen search as an intuitive soulmate, a loyal sidekick, a benevolent servant and prognosticating sage.

Moving Forward:
Considerations for search in the near future

Our students recognize that what they created during this ideation process is rather complex and incorporates a multitude of capabilities and technologies that they’ve seen applied in some form or another, all wrapped up into one integrated process. Accordingly, they note a number of considerations for marketers and technologists as we move towards this integration.

First, they express concern for the infrastructure that currently supports search and how it might need to change as we move towards more robust cross-platform functionality and hyper-personalization. Furthermore, they see a need for this infrastructure to move towards sustainability so as to exist in harmony with the environment.

Secondly, our next-gen consumers recognize that preparing for the transition to a seamless search experience will require a lot of work. Most of the capabilities they desire are scattered throughout the industry, siloed on singular platforms, embedded within applications or limited to textual input. There is a great deal of quantitative research to be done within current user databases and qualitative work needed to assess user perceptions and attitudes related to these functions.

As our students created their vision for search, they demanded that it be enjoyable and easy to use. This necessitates user experience and usability research to understand how search can learn from users and optimize their search process for every device.

Broadcase Engineering

There’s no place like home, unless you’re a young adult viewer, according to a recent Nielsen analysis of the Video Consumer Mapping Study conducted by the Council for Research Excellence (CRE). Nielsen found that adults 18 to 34 are 26 percent more likely to be exposed to live TV away from home than people ages 35-54 and 13 percent more likely than those over 55. Being younger affects what viewers watch while away as well (more sports and entertainment programming), while older viewers outside the house tend toward news.

At other people’s houses, people tend to watch entertainment and informational programs (53 percent of viewing minutes). But in restaurants, bars and stores, 38 percent of all viewing minutes are devoted to sports. Meanwhile, viewers at work split live TV minutes viewed evenly across sports, entertainment, news and advertising.

On another front, QuickPlay Media’s third annual survey on U.S. mobile TV and video consumption indicates high interest in new TV and video entertainment delivery models, pinpointing multiscreen video services. More than 50 percent of respondents were interested in services that let them seamlessly switch between multiple devices, such as PCs and smartphones, when watching programs.

WIBC Indiana

Apple says it sold 300,000 iPads last Saturday, the first day the wi-fi version went on sale.

The amount beats the number of iPhones sold on its launch date in 2007.

Jenn Milks with Ball State University’s Center for Media Research says consumers like the iPad’s large screen size, range of functions and content options, but it’s too early to tell if the Apple iPad will live up to the hype of being a game-changing computer device or just another must-have gadget.

Milks says the iPad isn’t bringing any new technology to the media world, but its packaging is different enough to defy categorization. She says it will initially have the greatest impact on e-readers such as’s “Kindle” whose functions are limited.

Milks says they’re planning a follow-up study once their survey respondents get some experience using their iPads.

MediaPost Blogs – Search Insider

by Aaron Goldman

Next week, many of my friends and colleagues will be descending upon Captiva Island, Fla. for the biannual Search Insider Summit. I had been very much looking forward to joining them but, alas, the best-laid plans of mice and men often find their cheese has been moved.

Unfortunately, this means I won’t be able to keep tabs on the Buzz-o-Meter but Frank Lee of The Search Agency has kindly agreed to keep his fingers on the pulse of the Capitva buzz in my stead.

In today’s column, I’ll share the results from the past seven summits to see what trends we can identify and help people “skate where the puck is going” or, more appropriately, “sail where the boat will be” in Captiva.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times

By Jerry Hirsch

The carmaker, known for its budget wheels, is tapping into the hype over Apple’s new tablet computer to add cachet to its Equus sedan.

It just might be the world’s first paperless car: Hyundai Motor America will include an iPad — loaded with a digital version of the thick owner’s manual — with the luxury sedan it plans to launch this fall.

The iPad pitch is aimed to tap into the hype over Apple Inc.’s sleek tablet computer, which is slated to be released Saturday, and will be included as part of the package for consumers who drive off with Hyundai’s Equus luxury sedan.

People who purchase the South Korean automaker’s first venture into the super-premium auto market will also be able to use one of the tablet’s pre-loaded applications to make service appointments.

“They are trying to position themselves as a modern, in-touch, technologically savvy brand. It is the sort of innovation you would expect from BMW or Mercedes, but not Hyundai,” said Mike Bloxham, director of insight and research at Ball State University’s Center for Media Design. Read the rest of this entry »

oDesk news

By Emma Thomas

The Apple iPad is highly desirable, new Ball State University research suggests, but will consumers fall in love enough to warrant a purchase?

That’s the question posed by Ball State researchers in a new white paper, entitled “Touching Consumers?” According to the researchers, consumers found the iPad desirable but seemed ambivalent about its real-world benefits.

Suzanne, a 44-year-old, called the device “more of a luxury at this point.” And 31-year-old Rebecca admitted that it could enhance her life, but said an iPad wasn’t something she would “race out and get.”

One interesting finding, Ball State Center for Media Design project manager Jennifer Milks said, is that consumers said they would be inclined to own an iPad and a basic cell phone, rather than a smartphone. “[The iPad] could save the cell phone,” MediaPost quoted her as saying.

No doubt, the device will be popular. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes Apple will sell every iPad it builds this year, All Things Digital reports. But software developers for the platform – many of whom can be found on oDesk – should keep consumers’ ambivalence in mind and consider building apps that add value.

MediaPostNews – Online Media Daily

by Joe Mandese

When Apple chief Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, he called the new digital gadget a “third-category” device that would not compete with consumer demand for some of Apple’s core products, especially laptop computers and smart phones. But some new research conducted by a highly regarded academic team suggests some trade-offs are inevitable, and that one unintended consequence could be that some consumers will replace their smart phones with iPads and downgrade to a not-so-smart cell phone.

Needless to say, no one knows exactly how consumers will behave when the iPad finally begins shipping the first version of its new iPads tomorrow, but researchers in the Insight and Research group at Ball State University’s Center for Media Design, conducted a small, qualitative study to at least try and understand how consumer attitudes about the new gadgets might shape their media marketplace behaviors. And the big takeaway is that Apple, for all the research and development it undoubtedly put behind the iPad, may have misjudged the degree to which some consumers use the iPad as a replacement devices for other things. Read the rest of this entry »

Marketing For Nerds via Nielsen Wire

Younger adult viewers tend to watch more live television out of home than older viewers, according to a Nielsen analysis of the Video Consumer Mapping study (.pdf) “Out of Home Television and Other Video Behaviors of U.S. Adults” conducted by the Council for Research Excellence (CRE). Nielsen found that  adults age 18-34 are 26% more likely to be exposed to live TV out of home than 35-54 and 13% more likely than 55+.

Marketing Charts

What adults 18 and older prefer to watch on TV depends on where they are, according to Nielsen analysis of the Video Consumer Mapping Study [pdf] from the Council for Research Excellence.

Entertainment Rules at Home
At home, people show a preference for entertainment programming. Almost half of home viewing (48.2%) consists of entertainment programming. Advertising and promotions accounts for another 21.9% of home viewing. News follows with 18.3% of home viewing time. Sports comes in last with a 10.7% share of home viewing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nielsen Wire

Younger adult viewers tend to watch more live television out of home than older viewers, according to a Nielsen analysis of the Video Consumer Mapping study conducted by the Council for Research Excellence (CRE). Nielsen found that  adults age 18-34 are 26% more likely to be exposed to live TV out of home than 35-54 and 13% more likely than 55+.

What a viewer chooses to watch on TV outside the home is also a function of his or her age. In general, Nielsen found that younger out-of-home TV viewers watched more sports and entertainment programming, while older viewers outside the home skewed toward news broadcasts.

The CRE study was conducted by observing the media usage among participants age 18 years and older in five DMAs (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Seattle) in the spring and fall of 2008. The sample included 752 observed days for a total of approximately 750,000 recorded minutes.

A detailed look at the data lends insight into what people like to watch in different out-of-home locations. Entertainment and informational programming, for example, is most prominent at other people’s homes (52.6% of  viewing minutes). But in restaurants, bars, and stores, 38% of all viewing minutes are devoted to sports programming. Meanwhile, viewers at work are equally split (in terms of live TV minutes viewed) between sports, entertainment, news, and advertising.

While viewers might be able to watch TV at out-of-home locations, they may not necessarily be able to hear what’s on screen. About one-quarter of live TV viewed at work is muted while almost 22% of bar and restaurant viewing takes place without sound. Only about one percent of viewing inside the home or at another person’s home is muted.

Download the full report Out of Home Television and Other Video Behaviors of U.S. Adults here.

Who Are We

Insight and Research at the Center for Media Design (CMD) has begun to receive quite a bit of attention from industry publications and mainstream media outlets in the last several years as a groundbreaking and reputable media research organization. This archive is only for educational purpose, if the content involved any copyright issue, please contact: Michelle Prieb:
March 2021



Insight and research in the News