LAS VEGAS — A veteran audience insights agency is endeavoring to pivot from “passive” to “proactive” as it adapts to the new demands of brands.

Simmons has long operated consumer insights from its  American Consumer survey. Launched as a joint venture in 2019, MRI-Simmons is co-owned by GfK and SymphonyAI Group, with GfK as the majority partner.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Josh Pisano, SVP, Business Development & Product Strategy, MRI-Simmons, explains how the company is changing.

‘Data Overload Necessitates Interoperability’

To stay relevant, they must make their assets interoperable, allowing for seamless interaction with the vast volumes of client-important data, according to Pisano.

Pisano elaborates, “We live in an environment where data comes from everywhere and anywhere at a velocity that it hasn’t in a long ever before, really.”

He says that his challenge has been about “making the MRI-Simmons asset interoperable and enabling it to play with the data that’s important to our clients from everything and planning and strategy through execution and activations all the way through to measurement”.

Evolving Client Needs

Pisano acknowledges that the needs of clients have evolved, and so has the company’s approach to meeting those needs.

He says customers were previously more likely to build media plans by channel.

However, the rise of the programmatic landscape, particularly in digital, has altered this traditional approach. This has necessitated a shift from being historically passive in the activation to being part of the transaction.

So how does this change affect what MRI-Simmons delivers? Pisano indicates, “It’s been a key area that we’ve been heavily focused on for the last few years, really building out our capabilities and our integrations in that space to make it simple for our clients to transact on our asset.”

The evolution of digital media and the programmatic landscape has moved MRI-Simmons from a position of passive data provision to a more proactive role.

The interview was conducted by Mike Shields, CEO, Shields Strategic Consulting.