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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Kantar looks to make a name for itself

Fresh from adding Press Index to its group, Kantar is embarking on a media charm offensive to try and bolster awareness of its data offerings. Mandy Pooler, Kantar’s director of communications, tells Joe Fernandez why the group is trying to raise its profile.

It’s hard to imagine that a company the size of Kantar might need to raise its profile. It’s the second biggest research group in the world, with 14 specialist companies and a combined 28,500 employees working out of 100 countries.

Yet for much of its existence, Kantar has been known – by those who know it – as the holding company for WPP’s various research assets. Now, though, it’s looking to forge an identity for itself.

Kantar’s director of communications Mandy Pooler says the recent addition of Press Index to the Kantar fold makes it the perfect time to “re-appraise the Kantar name”.

“We needed this new injection to make people know what the Kantar brand is all about and what it is we do exactly. The network has fantastic amounts of data flowing through it, but our coverage has been somewhat limited to date. By taking lessons from Press Index, we hope to raise awareness of our various services and help bolster the Kantar name in the process,” she explains.

In media circles, Press Index is well-known and widely referenced. It’s seen as a rich source of media intelligence, with information collected and collated through a vast array of media surveillance technologies that cover online, print and social media as well as broadcast clips.

Taking a leaf out of Press Index’s playbook, Kantar has launched Kantar.com as an online portal reporting and storing live trend data and insights on consumer issues. Pooler hopes it will attract a wider media presence for the firm, which could open up new doors for the group’s various offerings.

Pooler says: “We haven’t got any media exclusive deals like most of our rivals and so in some ways we’re often forgotten. Aside from Kantar Retail, which garners a number of headlines around supermarket market share data, we’re nowhere near as successful in achieving press cuttings. Having Press Index on board makes us more determined to be seen to be aware of the need for media surveillance and that’s what our portal aims to offer - free, shareable data and statistics which are easy to track and maximise opportunities for our brand.”

As the co-founder and first UK CEO of WPP’s media planning and buying shop Mindshare, Pooler says she is keenly aware that a media audience is just as essential to the Kantar brand as it is to the owners of major consumer brands.

“The simple fact is that media is an ever-evolving beast that has to be utilised in order to achieve stand out. For every modern event, the first place people look to for information is the media, and with this in mind it’s crucial for us to be a part of that experience.”

Pooler says: “My time with Mindshare and in advertising before this means I know just how essential it is for a brand to be seen at the right time if it wants to stay top of mind. That’s what we want for Kantar which is why we’re investing in content as a real business driver.”

The ultimate aim, Pooler says, is to “make Kantar mean something to the average person on the street — as well as the marketers and media owners.”

“It’s a hard job that will take time. Building relationships always does,” she says. “But we are on the right steps towards making our brand stand out and developing the reputation of our network brand – as well as our individual brand services. It’s about time that Kantar garnered some recognition.”

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