UKOM Commercial Board member Elizabeth Lane is looking forward to two things from Ipsos iris: “measuring audiences of advertising campaigns, and daily data”

What's brought you joy in lockdown?
The benefits of not commuting into central London – swapping the crowded Central Line tube for a walk before work in my local area has been delightful, and I think it’s made many of us realise how important our mental state is when we arrive at work every day. I’ve enjoyed having more time in the evenings and I think I’ve improved my fitness levels. Gym workouts may never be the same again.

And the biggest challenge?
In the early stages of working from home, I found the lines between work and home life blurring – it was harder to switch off at the end of the day. I’ve settled into a good pattern now so I can put the early stage down to teething problems. Other than that, I have a temperamental WiFi connection, which isn’t ideal for Zoom meetings!

What are you looking forward to?
Seeing my parents and brother who all live outside of London – and being able to give them a hug. I don’t have a car so I’ve been unable to visit them yet. And heading to a pub garden – we have a lovely pub round the corner, and the summer nights leave me craving a drink with the buzz of the locals around me.

What impact has the crisis had on your role?
The IAB UK team were quick to respond – what it would mean for our members and our individual roles, so the move to working from home was really smooth. There has been a surge in the need for clear insights as we adjust to the new ways of working – how has lockdown changed online consumption patterns, what are consumers enjoying, and what are they concerned about? Here at the IAB we are always on the lookout for great research from our members and the wider research community, and lockdown has spurred that on even more. Clearly there are elements of market research and measurement that have had to adapt to the current times. We amended the objectives of one research project to reflect how attitudes have changed due to Covid-19, and another project is on pause, as it will use a face-to-face methodology. But overall I’m pleased that most of my role has continued in the same vein – albeit in a virtual capacity.

Is yours a role where remote working can be done seamlessly? What have you had to compromise on to get the job done?
The IAB was supportive of staff working from home once or twice a week before lockdown, so I think most of us were set up for remote working. That said, work has been brilliant at ordering us any equipment we need to make the adjustments more seamless – I have an excellent laptop stand, which means no more craning my neck to look at a spread sheet! Most of our work can be done remotely – my team have been presenting all kinds of research projects to our members via Zoom, Teams, Google Hangouts, BlueJeans – whichever system our members use, we can do it! But of course there are compromises – a physical office allows you to ask quick questions to your teammates, and have an informal chat in the kitchen. I’ve witnessed great creativity from those spontaneous conversations – often with someone from a different team, who brings a fresh perspective. As the world adapts long-term to the ‘new normal’, workplaces will have to think about this – we need those moments to spark the next big idea, even if those moment happen on a video screen.

As we approach its launch in January 2021, what aspect of Ipsos iris are you most excited by?
Two things in particular – measuring audiences of advertising campaigns, and daily data. The former is the IAB’s bread and butter and it’s what so many of our members are looking forward to. Being able to integrate UKOM audience data with online campaigns will be a huge boost to the insights we can draw on digital advertising. As for the latter, daily data will really raise the bar for online audience measurement. It’ll be great to see the impact that news and events have on daily consumption, and media owners in particular will be able to look at their own analytics systems alongside the UKOM insights.

Looking at your work, how do you see online audience measurement evolving? 
Online audience measurement has already grown in importance; the increase in requests for insights into consumption habits shows this. I can’t see it slowing down; whatever the ‘new normal’ is, digital media is going to be a big part of it. So it’s vital that we continue to work hard across the industry to improve and adapt what we measure, to make sure the insights and trends are clear to all. At the IAB, we’re continually striving to make sure our members use digital in the right way for consumers and advertisers alike, and that they measure their work in the best way possible. UKOM endorsed data has already shown that time spent online has increased since lockdown, so keeping measurement at the heart of what we do has never been more important.

Elizabeth Lane is Head of Research & Measurement, IAB UK

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