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Our Solutions

TV Programme Pilot Testing

We work extensively with a global entertainment brand to provide website visitor profiling, ad sales satisfaction and service improvement, website design/usability and pilot testing, across Europe.

Our client needs an ongoing quantitative pilot testing programme across several European markets.  We use our dedicated streaming server to serve local language online surveys, with a built-in media player showing c.15 minute streamed pilot shows, to robust samples of several hundred respondents.

For each pilot test we deliver analysis of style, theme, setting, characters, plot etc, as well as a benchmarking database with the capability to compare every metric in each test to other shows, genres, best-in-class etc. Initially, we tested a number of shows that had been “greenlit” in the US, in order to establish a baseline for norms, and this has been constantly updated by the performance of European pilots to build-in cultural differences. The pilot testing and greenlit norms help to optimise our client’s programming and production costs.

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Qualitative Website Site Design and Re-launch

This global entertainment brand had an online pre-school presence to support visibility and engagement with key pre-school properties. The client had web visitor profiling data but lacked an understanding of how pre-schoolers and carers were using the internet and how the website was performing. With a site overhaul and rebrand in the planning stages, the client commissioned us to evaluate the user experience in terms of needs and expectations, satisfaction, usability and navigation, content engagement and preferences, as well as an understanding of how the brand drives usage and impacts experience.
The three phase study went as follows: 

  1. Harris – Exploration of web usage, needs and site satisfaction: 12 x accompanied home surfs with children aged 2-5 with primary carer, plus a short ‘Harris Poll ParentQuery’ omnibus survey for frame of reference

    Client - design and beta site development
  2. Harris – Beta site testing: 12 x accompanied surfs to test reactions to the new site, usability, content engagement

    Client – further development and launch of new site
  3. Harris – Post-launch review: 24 x accompanied home surfs plus 2 x web clinics (8 parents with PCs web surfing intersected with group discussion of experience, frustrations and potential developments).

The study evaluated the strengths of the existing site to retain in the new design and the changes and developments for the re-launch to drive satisfaction and engagement and greater usage in terms of frequency and variety of experience. The qualitative depth and interaction with pre-school children and carers at each stage of the process ensured user insight and feedback supported the development of the site.

The re-launch has been a great success: The NMA reviewed the website very positively and after the first month traffic to the website was up 50% year-on-year.

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Video Game Concept Development for a Leading Global Studio

We have been commissioned by a world leading video game studio to help steer early concepts to final release. We have conducted a series of such studies for this client, typically using an online quantitative approach, screening for the right type of target gamer and getting their feedback on concepts, which could be stills or video footage depending on where a title is in its stage of development. 

For early concepts (typically artwork concepts and text only), we tend to test multiple concepts using a funnel approach such that the most promising concepts move forward for further development and others are either rejected or reworked. 

For very late stage concepts, the test is more focused on helping the studio understand potential drivers and barriers to refine their marketing of the game, together with deep profiling in order to market it most effectively.

While the studies use a quantitative approach, a relatively high number of open end verbatim questions are used, which provide fascinating and rich detail on real gamers’ feedback, which a purely statistical approach would otherwise miss.

Such research helps our client focus on the concepts that are more likely to resonate with the target audience and to create the best possible platform for their final release.

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Partnering with a B2B Global Technology Solutions Provider to the Travel Industry - Stakeholder Research Consultancy

We have been working with our client since 2006 on customer loyalty measurement.  Over time we have helped them to put in place a consistent way of measuring customer loyalty, so they have a clearer picture of high level kpis across their business that are tracked against key competitors.  We have also introduced a broader perspective of customer loyalty via measuring rational, emotional and intentional elements of the customer experience using a specific Harris Interactive loyalty framework.

In summary, for 7 business areas, different customers are asked to rate our client on a set of loyalty metrics and their performance across a whole range of touchpoint attributes including product, account management, customer services, training, and so on.  The level of detail is adapted for each business area whilst retaining consistency of themes across all for comparability.  We then get a strong picture of service delivery strengths and weaknesses at a detailed level.  We then use analytical modelling to derive which aspects of the experience are most important to customers.  By matching priorities and performance together, we then produce Action Planning Grids that clearly highlight what actions our client needs to take to put improvements in place to better meet customer needs.  This aspect is critical to drive actionable change within the organisation.  The results are shared with numerous internal stakeholders at business area, global, regional and market levels via reports, an online portal, dashboards, and interactive workshops.  At a global level, we work cross function with strategy, marketing, communications, product, and customer services people, to help them drive operational change.  Key results go all the way to the CEO.

In our client’s largest business area, 85% of their business is covered every two years, covering over 40 markets worldwide.  So we conduct interviewing and report results in North America, Latin & South America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and we explore differences in the results based on strategic market share positioning.  We also review and report findings according to our client’s current segmentation.  Interviewing is conducted via a mix of online and telephone data collection and we adjust results to deal with multi-mode differences/biases.

The programme is constantly innovating and, recently, we have supported our client in setting loyalty targets as an added incentive for markets to promote customer focused improvements, and adding new analysis like loyalty groups and simulators to support performance forecasting to bring new value to the programme.

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Brand Positioning for a Global Technology Company

Our client is a leading global technology and consumer electronics company.  We have worked with them internationally for more than a decade on many studies covering loyalty, brand & comms, U&A, product and pricing related topics.   

This particular study focused on two of their brands that operate in the same consumer electronics category.  In theory, each brand should serve different segments, needs and price points, but our client was concerned that they were not working optimally alongside each other.   They needed to determine to what extent the dual brand strategy was working, if/how it could work better and how best to position and market each brand to improve their overall performance in the category. 

We were commissioned to help answer these questions in order to support major marketing and investment decisions.  We designed a custom study to determine the relative positioning, strengths, weakness and opportunities for each brand, in relation to each other and the competitive set in five key markets.       

The study confirmed that the two brands were not working together optimally.  Their ‘footprints’ overlapped and their relative positioning was not clear.  One brand in particular was suffering from a lack of clarity and positioning around its key strengths and opportunities, although generally speaking it resonated positively with the market.  In other words, the market wasn’t clear what it stood for or where it was heading, but it was open to its potential.  We identified a clear opportunity to reposition and strengthen the weaker brand, relative to other competitors, to help our client compete more effectively within the overall category.  Our client used our analysis and recommendations as the basis for significant marketing and business planning.

Our market needs mapping and brand footprint analysis approaches proved to be particularly relevant and useful for meeting the objectives and providing highly visual, holistic and easy to understand outputs.

We conducted 1,250 quantitative interviews and a smaller series of one-to-one in-depth interviews, across five markets, to underpin the analysis and recommendations we delivered.

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Assessing New Market Opportunities, Product Development and Marketing Optimisation for a Leading Gaming / Gambling Operator

Working for many years as the preferred supplier to one of the World’s best known gambling brands, we support across product development, marketing, brand and strategy development. Our client operates across the globe providing online casino, poker, bingo, sports betting and skill gaming and we help in each of these areas.

In terms of product development we support an end-to-end process through a range of qualitative and quantitative approaches and a variety of methodologies to gain a deep understanding of consumer needs and test initial concepts. This insight feeds into development briefs and once concepts are developed we test them among the target population to provide usability and design feedback to refine designs before final launch.

On the marketing and brand side, we help our client understand brand perceptions and evaluate how well products, services and marketing communications relay our client’s brand values and drive intention to play.  We pre-test marketing communications and go on to measure the impact of campaigns.

Our work also includes assessing the opportunity of new markets and licensing opportunities to inform investment decisions.

Essentially we serve to provide insights that help our client make decisions in many areas of their business and optimise their offerings and marketing effectiveness.

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B2B IT Software and Services Strategy Development

For a major software company, we interviewed IT decision makers in SMB businesses to understand their IT strategy, the importance of different services, trends in home working and hot desking, and attitudes towards developments in outsourcing, software as a service and cloud-based services.

The insights helped inform our client’s prioritisation of industries and company types for new products and services, as well as providing a view on trends that could impact future software and service needs.

We are repeating this study to monitor trends and extend the coverage to larger companies. 

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The UK Video Landscape – DVD, Blu-ray, Digital, Piracy, Devices, Channels for Film & Television – for a Major Distributor

In such a fast changing market, a major film studio and distributor wanted a snapshot of the entire UK market for video. This was an ambitious undertaking given the multi-faceted means of watching video (everything from the cinema to the TV screen to the iPad), the various and ever-growing ways of acquiring the content (physical, digital, pirated, subscription etc.) and an incredibly wide range of different content (different genres, box sets, gifts etc.).

Such an ambitious study required an equally ambitious solution. We interviewed a nationally representative sample of more than 6,000 consumers aged 16+ using a split-sample approach to extend the scope of questions to get the widest possible coverage. While any individual respondent had an interview length of 25-minutes, over an hour’s worth of data coverage was collected by using this split sample approach.

Each facet of the video market was covered – from sources of information, to the choice of screen, to how it was acquired, all replete with drivers and barriers per channel. This was put into context by rich profiling and attitudinal analyses.

To support the quantitative findings, a series of eight focus groups were conducted to delve more deeply into the emotional and more personal relationship with different ways of watching different content. This also included a deeper analysis of drivers and barriers of different channels and platforms.

The final report included an overview of the entire market, using correspondence mapping approaches to see the whole market at a glance, plus a chapter was developed for each channel (e.g. one for cinema, one for physical etc.) such that each of our client’s departments had its own mini-report replete with conclusions and recommendations.

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Video Game Franchise Research for a Leading Global Studio 

We were commissioned by one of the world’s leading video game studios to conduct an exhaustive study of their leading strategy franchise in key European markets and the USA. The objective was to appreciate where the franchise stood in a competitive context, what appealed to strategy gamers, how best to position the title, all in lead up to a major global release of the studio’s next iteration in the series.

We conducted an in-depth U&A and brand connection online quantitative study among strategy gamers in four major markets. This helped size and place strategy gaming within a wider gaming context, as well as size and profile various sub-categories of strategy gaming. Furthermore, within this framework we were able to inform our client where its franchise was positioned vis-à-vis the competition in a market where there are a number of high quality strategy titles available for gamers with limited budget. 

As well as providing competitive benchmarks to our client, a large part of the study was to uncover the DNA of strategy gamers – their likes, dislikes, needs etc., as well as exploring attitudes and perceptions towards different potential commercial opportunities, such as free-to-play, expansions and DLC (downloadable content).

Together with rich profiling of different strategy gamer segments, all of this information provided a one-stop-shop for all the key information needed to appreciate and market to various different core audiences.

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UK Film Council (now effectively the BFI – British Film Institute) - Published Study

Our reference from the client summarises the whole study:

“Harris Interactive were able to deliver an excellent report to a challenging deadline and I would have no hesitation in recommending them for future work.”

“In 2010, the UK Film Council commissioned Harris Interactive to undertake a major national survey of diverse film audiences.  The competitive tendering process attracted a high quality field of applicants and Harris Interactive was selected following interviews with the shortlisted candidates. Their impressive proposal set out a clear and rigorous method by which they would seek to research diverse film audiences whilst also contextualising their viewing behaviour and preferences with an additional nationally representative omnibus survey.” 

“The initial wave of qualitative research (12 face-to-face focus groups) produced a fascinating array of rich material on the film viewing preferences of the diverse audiences groups.  In the subsequent quantitative phase, Harris Interactive conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,228 interviews among adults aged 16+ using the Harris Poll GB Omnibus.  In addition, a targeted online panel survey of the diverse audience groups was conducted (2,087 interviews among adults aged 18+).”

“The surveys delivered a wealth of new information on diverse audiences and we were able to compare and contrast the responses of those groups with the national population as a whole thanks to the results of the omnibus survey. The comprehensive final report, ‘Portrayal vs Betrayal: An investigation of diverse and mainstream UK film audiences’, provided a new level of understanding of the definitive drivers and barriers for diverse film audiences in the UK. The findings are being used to inform UK film development, production, distribution, exhibition and education activity by providing, for the first time, detailed information on diverse audience groups.”

Download a copy of the report - Portrayal vs Betrayal

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BPI (British Phonographic Industry): Music Piracy Landscape and Trends - Published Study

Using an online panel approach, weighted to be nationally representative of online demographics, Harris Interactive has worked intensively with the BPI since 2009, conducting three major investigations on consumer music piracy. These major independent studies have formed an important part of the music industry’s official responses to Government and media.

BPI client reference:

“Harris Interactive have conducted several research projects for BPI which have been very useful in helping to understand online behaviour around all channels of illegal (and legal) music acquisition.  Their knowledge of the digital landscape has helped to provide insightful research regarding attitudes and opinions of people engaged in unlawful activity.  Their work most recently featured in our Digital Music Nation 2010 report, published at the end of last year which was extensively covered in the media.” 

Outputs & usage:

BPI’s Digital Music Nation 2010 report - and BPI’s official submission.

As indicated above, our research has been used extensively by the BPI in a number of ways:

  • To understand from an independent perspective the landscape of the consumer music market, with specific reference to understanding the extent and volume of unauthorised music acquisition, including P2P (peer-to-peer), Cyberlocker, FTP, newsgroup and other unlawful means of sharing copyrighted music
  • To understand the potential impacts of strategies designed to deter consumers from acquiring music from unauthorised channels
  • Beyond behaviours, to understand the underlying attitudes of consumers engaging in unauthorised music acquisition
  • To use all the evidence gathered to lobby the UK Government and media organisations to further the cause of encouraging consumers to use exclusively legal channels

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CBS Outdoor – Europe on the Move: Out of Home Media Opportunities - Published Study

Open this mobile research case study as a .pdf 

We were commissioned on a major project to help the client understand the mass audiences to out-of-home media and the opportunities to reach these mass audiences in moods and modes which offer unique need states for advertisers. While out-of-home is one of the oldest media opportunities, our aim was also to help CBS and its advertisers understand the huge potential offered by new technologies – not just the growing digital and connected infrastructure that the out-of-home industry has invested in, but also the opportunities for digital interaction that increasingly lie with the customer through mobile connected devices such as smartphones and tablets. One of the study objectives was to begin to understand the degree to which new media could be “activated” by relevant prompting.

Our study, across 6 European countries, identified a series of vital audiences and opportunities for out of home media, including smartphone users as a core commercial target. The research identified not simply the basic demographics of these users (who tend unsurprisingly to be younger, and richer than average consumers), but also help CBS paint a picture of how they travel, and vitally, how they feel on those journeys. The insights allow CBS to take a leading stand as “Expert on Audience”: in an industry which is often focussed on what technology can do, they differentiate themselves by having a focus on what the audience needs the technology to do, and wants the technology to do. With this they can not only focus their own investment, but also help advertisers ensure they use the out-of-home media assets most effectively to appeal to these consumers in ways that are most likely to connect with their moods and feelings.

The main quantitative sample consisted of over 9,500 online interviews across 6 markets, drawn from a broad audience definition (the eligibility criteria were simply to have left the house, and not have been on holiday over the previous week). Because the survey covered moods and feelings when out-of-home, this survey, which was completed by most respondents while at home, was also followed by a mobile survey among a subset (3,000) of respondents, which was used to map objective data (length, purpose, and mode of journey) as well as subjective reporting of feelings, in order to demonstrate the accuracy with which feelings were reported in the in-home environment.

Having carried out the large scale quantitative survey, we recruited carefully selected respondents into a series of online bulletin boards (1 in each of the 6 countries) to deliver qualitative insight into the impact of out-of-home media in real consumers’ lives.

The boards consisted of 5-days of exercises, to which individuals would contribute at the end of each day. They began with an introduction, which included a description of their most regular journeys (which for most was a work commute), and then of a less regular journey (a trip to see a friend, for example). Each journey description was probed to encourage respondents to note how they felt, and what they saw and did in as much detail as possible, with a specific emphasis on the way their needs and feelings altered during the journey: needing coffee, needing music as a distraction, needing a paper for the news/Sudoku, and so on. As the week progressed, the tasks developed, with an increasing emphasis on asking people to note different adverts they saw and the degree to which each connected with the needs and moods they were in at that time. By the end, all the respondents were very self-aware and able to report the adverts and the way that they connected with them; but an interesting additional analysis was to look at the degree to which some of this ad-noticing was reported even in early stages of the boards, when they are seen not just to meet needs and moods, but also to set and change them.

Our insights from the main quantitative project provide a convincing picture of the scale of the out-of-home media opportunity, but the qualitative insight tells this story in a very human way, allowing CBS to approach clients with the angle that is right for them.

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