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FIPP Insight Award: TI Media discovers a forgotten target ‘Heart of Britain’

TI Media won a Silver FIPP Insight Award in the category Research B2B for their ‘Heart of Britain’ project. ‘Heart of Britain’ are the 14 million people who make the household decisions, buy products and bind our nation together.  Brands that focus on the perceived affluence of ABC1 and millennial consumers may be missing out on a £350bn commercial opportunity. The research was aimed at urging media buyers to “look outside of the London bubble”.

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In partnership with research firm Differentology and using innovative methods like machine learning, video and AI, TI Media set out to better understand this audience and discovered a “forgotten economic powerhouse” and the “driving force” behind local communities and high streets. Much has been said about the alleged inability of the UK’s media and advertising industry to communicate with ordinary working Britons. These women – dubbed by TI Media as the “Heart of Britain” (HoB) – sit “at the centre of families, communities and the nation as a whole”. Without this group there’d be no NHS, no customer service, schools would close, and the British economy would be £350m a year lighter.  And yet, they don’t have the appeal of the likes of Millennials and are thus an often neglected and misunderstood media audience. Heart of Britain average and total income

The original influencers

Our findings featured around 5 core pillars:

  • Strength: They are the nations caregivers; full of empathy, compassion and generosity.  They have an optimistic outlook and embrace authenticity and honesty in the world around them, particularly in their media choices.

Graph Heart of Britain typology

  • Economic power: They are the forgotten economic powerhouse; representing 14 million women and £350bn in economic income (vs. AB audience £324bn, Millennial audience £190bn).  Representing more spend than both AB and Millennial audiences across key categories including groceries, Christmas, holidays and even automotive.

Graph Heart of Britain purchasing power 1

  • Savviness: the misconception is that this audience is driven by ‘cheap’ but the reality is that they are incredibly savvy with understanding and evaluating ‘value’.  They are willing to pay the extra price tag, but only when it is really worth it.

Graph Heart of Britain savviness

  • The original influencers: They have a presence in multiple communities from their family through to neighbourhoods, customer service and the wider world. They are powerful advocates within their networks connecting the dots for the community around her, with 58% actively recommending products they like to their peer group.

Importance of magazines and ads

From each of these pillars, we ultimately found the importance of magazines (and adverts specifically within magazines): our Heart of Britain audience are actively looking to magazines for inspiration and guidance that directly influences their wallet and purchasing decisions. A key finding of the study was how much the female figure in the house holds the purse strings and the likes of Iceland, Wilko and Lidl are all in advanced partnership discussions having previously done little to no weekly print media with TI.

Beyond this, Heart of Britain has informed TI Media’s approach to insight generation, and sales approach for Q4/Christmas period, expecting to hit £250k revenue in the Christmas TV issues alone, with the commercial offering fuelled by the Heart of Britain research. We took an often under estimated audience and shone a light on their value. Stepping out against the repetition of Millennial projects and demonstrating the value of mainstream audiences. The project has, (and continues to) service one of its primary functions, which is to open doors and start conversations with clients direct, who we previously may have struggled to engage with. Or, get access to planners/comms/strategy teams that are higher up the planning chain.

Goals and methodology

There were 2 core objectives to the Heart of Britain project which we have measured success against.

Objective 1: To break ranks and illuminate the value of the often mis-understood, ill-represented and under estimated, audience of aged 35+ C2DE women.

Objective 2: To open doors and start conversations for TI Media directly with clients, who previously may not have engaged with their print publications. Or, (where applicable) to gain access to planners/comms/strategy teams that are higher up the planning chain.

Methodology: to shine a light on this overlooked audience we took a large scale, mixed methodology approach blending in-depth ethnography, peer-led quads (to remove the researcher effect), AI semiotic and semantic analysis turning qualitative transcripts into at scale data points, along with a robust online survey. The results were brought to life using LivingLens video diaries to influence everything from ad sales to editorial and using AI analysis on qualitative transcripts allowed us to create impactful, data driven charts from a large-scale ethnographic study (a media research first!).

This innovation allowed us to understand beyond what is said in an ethnographic setting, mapping emotions and archetypes to deliver a comprehensive understanding of this audience, and how media is able to influence their purchasing decisions. Differentology and TI pride themselves on research innovation.  A key criteria for the project was to deliver a media research first that sparked attention but also delivered incremental value.  To do this we used semiotic and semantic machine learning into a qualitative environment, turning ethnographic transcripts into scalable data points.  Alongside this we brought the project to life through the use of video in order to ensure the project was able to live on and influence the business beyond the point of debrief!

Source: FIPP

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FIPP INsight Awards logo

FIPP Insight Awards: winners announced!

Last night FIPP announced this year’s award winners for the most effective insight project in the global magazine media industry. The overall winner this year was a research project by four British publishing houses, Immediate Media, Dennis, Bauer and Haymarket, which proved the power of magazine media to change consumer minds and behavior in automotive: Fuel the funnel.

According to the judges*the level of the entries was very high and the decision process harder than ever. The award categories were changed in 2018 to allow for a wider scope of ‘best use of insight’ instead of the former research focus. The jury did not give awards in all categories this year.

There was no controversy regarding the award for ‘Fuel the funnel’ since it was a clear winner to all. Besides being a solid piece of research with interesting results like ‘change in favorite brand’ and ‘change in purchasing budget’, ‘Fuel the funnel’ also managed to fuel the actual advertising sales for these publishers in an impressive way. For this last feat they also won a Gold Award for Commercial Outcome.

The Magnetic Media research which is based on the ‘Fuel the funnel’-project, covering the home deco market, won a Silver B2B research Award. Read more about this research here.

In the B2B category Sanoma Netherlands and IPG Mediabrands won a Gold Award with their Trusted brands, Trusted Ads research. Read more about it here.

Sanoma Netherlands won a second Gold Award in the category Multi-platform Insight with their BSR Quality Planner in 2D and 3D: a highly innovative tool for consumer profiling beyond demographics. The data and tool are used for both advertising and editorial/publishing purposes.

Magnetic Media won a Gold Award in the B2B Insight category with their ‘A Matter of Trust’ research. You can read our article about this research here.

The United States magazine media organization, MPA, deservedly received a Gold Marketing Award for their great campaign: Magazine Media. Better. Believe it. Read more about the campaign here.

FIPP Insight Awards 2018:



  • A Matter of Trust, Magnetic, UK
  • Trusted Brands, Trusted Ads, Sanoma Media Netherlands & IPG Mediabrands, The Netherlands


  • Brand Safety, Trust & Credibility, VDZ
  • The Role of Influencers in the Communication of Premium & Luxury Brands, Condé Nast Spain
  • Home Truths, Magnetic, UK


GOLD – Fuel the Funnel, Dennis/Immediate/Bauer/Haymarket collaboration, UK

SILVER – Ready to Shop, Associated Media Publishing, South Africa


GOLD – Magazine Media. Better. Believe it. MPA – The Association of Magazine Media, USA


GOLD – BSR Quality Planner in 2D and 3D, Sanoma Media Netherlands

SILVER – MPA Social Media Engagement Factor, MPA – The Association of Magazine Media, USA

* the judges are members of the FIPP Insight Committee; all of them working in research, insights and/or marketing at media companies and associations around the world

See the FIPP Insight Awards winners of 2017 here