Usable results instead of data sets: that's Digital Ecosystem Analysis!

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 Whatever a company does to inform itself about the market, it is certainly not a good direction to take if the outcome of its research and survey is a thick document, thousands of pages long, in which it has to search for concrete solutions with a magnifying glass. Faced with this problem, Progressive has developed its own methodology to address the situation.

For a brand's digital leader, one of the biggest challenges is when the pace of growth of competitors is outpacing their own - it's natural to look to data for answers. If you can't do this in-house, you can spend millions on surveys, but even then, success can be dubious.

“Before designing our methodology, we saw that the information needed to plan a communication strategy was not available because in many cases companies were struggling with data gaps or did not have the tools to use data to inform strategy," recalls Áron Szabó, Head of Digital at Progressive Advertising Agency, recalling the days before the birth of the five-pillar Digital Ecosystem Analysis. Progressive was looking for an efficient format in which objective data would generate a strategic set of recommendations, and the advice it offered would be easy to interpret and use.


The goal is business approach

"From the beginning, the goal was to take a business approach, to provide input for strategic planning, not to send the client a 300-page document that they can do whatever they want with," says Áron Szabó.

Data analysis was a powerful tool for this. Digital Ecosystem Analysis condenses the digitally available and processable data into a minimum of five dimensions, and then uses this analysis to provide solution proposals that fit the client's needs. Changes in the digital brand awareness of the client and its competitors, the stratification and seasonality of consumer interest, the content needs or digital reach of users, the digital and advertising strategy of competitors, the client's own digital channels and social media presence can all form the basis of these analyses.

All this in a conditional way: the five pillars give the Digital Ecosystem Analysis as a whole, but they are selected according to the customer's needs, which are worth investigating.

 "When you come to us, we will assess your needs and look at which pillars are needed to design your strategy. We may only use three," explains Áron.

Digital Ecosystem Analysis is therefore a scalable method, even geographically: if a client wants to expand in Asia, Progressive can look at the market conditions there.

Focus on the CIS region

For example, 120-year-old Richter Gedeon commissioned Progressive to run an analysis in four countries in the CIS region - Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Moldova - where sales of Stopdiar for diarrhea had fallen significantly due to restrictive measures during the pandemic.

"In addition to the drop in sales, communication channels have also become narrower, and communication has shifted to the digital space, which has led to the development of a new communication strategy," says Zsuzsa Kis-Tóth, international product manager.

Since the company had already successfully applied Digital Ecosystem Analysis in a domestic analytics project, Progressive was invited to participate in the tender, which Progressive won with its Digital Ecosystem Analysis methodology, as it promised the most comprehensive analysis of consumer and competitor behavior dynamics in the regional markets.

"We have worked with Progressive several times and had a very positive experience. The methodology is one thing, but it is important to know who we are working with during the implementation process, their professionalism and attitude," says Zsuzsa.

Richter was aware of the need for a new strategy. However, the new strategy required knowledge of consumers' online behavior, preferences, content needs, media consumption habits, the customer journey, as well as the creatives, messages, content and advertising strategies of competing brands. Progressive not only supported their assumptions during the analysis, but also uncovered new information.

The analysis revealed in which regions the brand's digital brand awareness is strong compared to competitors.


"It turns out that in each of the countries studied, there were initiatives to set up a digital footprint, create websites, run local campaigns, but the vast majority of the population in these countries consumes content available under .ru domains, and is informed by Russian-language sources," says Zsuzsa.

So it makes sense to create a local website optimized for organic searches, through which communication is consistent and cost-effective.

An important conclusion from a media and PR strategy point of view is that in all the countries studied, Russian websites, influencers and portals are the ones people are looking for in this area.


This is not market research

According to Aaron, success in projects like this can depend on small things, and Progressive's analysis can find those small things.

"For example, let's say that children are an important target group, we have a suspension version of our product for them, but the interest data shows that people in the country don't know about it or are not looking for it. If we want to strengthen in this segment, we need to focus on it in our strategy," he says.

The effectiveness of communication to date and the market position of competitors is illustrated by the change in digital brand awareness of Stopdiar and its competitors.


The price of Digital Ecosystem Analysis is project-dependent, as it can be used anywhere, anytime. The time to complete the analysis also depends on the volume of the project: between three weeks and two months.

The depth and detail of the delivered document is at the client's discretion. However, it will provide conclusions and recommendations that are important for decision-making and strategic planning, in an easily usable and goal-oriented format.

"Importantly, our methodology is not a substitute for full-scale market research, but it is fast and lower cost, providing decision-makers with a digital data-based research alternative to inform strategic decisions," says Aaron.

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