The International Media Image Survey: measuring the media landscape

Ipads are held aloft as Pope Francis appears before crowds in St Peter's Square in RomeIn the media sector, reputation plays a hugely important role in selecting the right media partners. The revolution in digital players has meant that the International Media sector, more than any other, is unrecognisable from only a few years ago.

To measure these changes the first I-MIS (International Media Image Survey) was launched in 2013 and the fieldwork for the 2014 survey has just opened.

For those of you who missed last year’s findings, one of the interesting factors was that CMOs prioritised ‘strategic planning’ over ‘buying strength’, which may explain a surprising lack of concern regarding the (now scrapped) proposed merger of Omnicom and Publicis.

Also interesting was the fact that agency ‘creativity’ was rated more highly than ‘transparency’. I can’t help wondering whether this will still be the case in 2014, as more advertisers become concerned with visibility and hidden commissions. Both sides of I-MIS intrigue me but for very different reasons:

The network media agencies through consolidation have become mega buying operations.  Having spent the last couple of years overlaying their business offering with planning and consultancy, the agencies have a wealth of experience positioning their client’s brand messages but only recently started to think and behave as brands themselves.  I-MIS 2014 will show which agency has been the most successful so far, at building their own brand reputations!

The media brands are in an extraordinary flux.  Some of the biggest brands today barely existed a few years ago.  Many of the brands measured in I-MIS 2013 have been bought, re-branded or closed and my guess is that, by the time this year’s survey is completed, more will have gone.

Some of the strongest media brands such as the Financial Times, BBC News and The Economist have maintained a power position but Google and Facebook are already right up there and the likes of Unruly are snapping at their heels.  There is everything to play for.

For me, I will be particularly interested in seeing how budget priorities have changed as digital channels continue to proliferate.

Plus, of course, who isn’t interested in seeing which agency and which media brand win the top award for reputation.  However, I-MIS isn’t really about me, it’s about you.

If you want to take part this year, the I-MIS questionnaire is now open here .

Belinda Barker is the managing director of BSB Media