In the kNOW: Tune-In with Real-Time Dashboard Tracking

Tracks the graphs. Team of stockbrokers works in modern office with many display screens

We had August’s ‘In the kNOW’ all planned out. And then, we didn’t. This month we take the NOW in kNOW up a notch -or three. With all that’s happening in the news, we wondered what people wanted to know about, what kept them tuning in and what might influence them to change the channel. And we wanted to watch the results pour in, real-time, as the news changed. So, we made it happen. (And we can for you too.)

We’ve all been there. The ’11th hour’ of a project, ‘first and goal,’ the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ And then BAM. We get a case of the ‘whats.’ What if? What about? What am I missing? And especially lately, ‘what NOW’? That’s where we were this month. And we bet you’ve been there too. Every morning it seemed we woke to some new major news breaking. We learned of the harrowing withdraw from Afghanistan, more Covid outbreaks, hurricane Grace, angry parents at school board meetings, another sexual harassment scandal, climate change, more and more. And just like that, well, best-laid plans, as they say.

We wanted to know what people really wanted to hear about in the news. But a moment-in-time wasn’t good enough. (Honestly, does moment-in-time research work for much of anything anymore?) We wanted the ability to see how their interest and attention shifted over time as the stories themselves unfolded. We set up and fielded a quick and simple survey and a real-time dashboard to track and trend results as they came in.

For about three days, we tracked opinions on news topics, top tune-in factors and factors for new program trial; information that everyone from advertisers to the news outlets themselves might find helpful to decision-making if tracked on a continuous basis. Our quick dashboard looked like this:

We monitored respondent sample composition across various news outlets and watched our meter move as respondents completed the survey. Though we paced our responses over three days for this study, we could have easily set our national sample to cap daily/hourly at a given base size or spread it over specific days of the week. We can vary the sample and respondent completion however necessary to meet any particular needs – an artful and vital component to doing real-time research right.

With this quick news survey, we watched as the shifts in story interest changed – albeit only slightly – over our three-day window. By the end, we saw interest in Afghanistan increase and people move away from Climate Change. Shifts in tune in and new program trial factors were insignificant during our three-day window.

Interestingly, though perhaps not surprising to many, the ‘host’ factors appear most influential in keeping people tuned in to their favorite Primetime News programs. Network loyalty, topics covered, and unbiased/fact-based prove less influential to respondents – by about 10pts – give or take.

‘Favorite program not airing’ along with ‘advertisements of new shows that look appealing’ are key reasons why someone might watch a new or different Primetime News show. Despite host loyalty most strongly influencing tune-in, a ‘guest host’ sitting in does not as greatly influence new show trial as one might think. Perhaps because it’s unlikely a guest host will venture too far away from the regularly scheduled opinion and views for which the show and regular host are known.

For our quick news survey, we recognize our questions were broad, and the survey was live only a couple of days, so the shifts were slight. However, over an extended period and consistently applied, the ability to see responses to YOUR questions in real-time as perceptions evolve can have game-changing implications for your business.

Perhaps you need to measure a campaign’s impact or gauge its penetration. Maybe you require a pre- and post-analysis, AB, or Concept test. Whatever the case may be, if you want to stay abreast of trending perceptions, opinions, habits pertinent to your business, moment-in-time research or simple ‘search’ and ‘scraper’ options often fall short. But a Real-Time Tracker, customizable as your needs change, can be the best investment you ever make. If you’re interested, let us know.

To give you a taste of the capability, we’ve updated our survey and re-fielded it. To see the results in the Real-Time Dashboard tracker as they unfold, click the link here.

Our ‘In the kNOW’ series tackles the burning questions we all want to know about right NOW. If you have questions you think we should ask, topics we should explore, things you’d like to learn more about, shoot me a note at