Since its foundation, IMCA has abided by one guiding principle: anticipation. This involves closely monitoring social trends, identifying new content, and analyzing the consequences of new technologies on consumer practices. IMCA focuses on all these aspects in order to supply its clients with constant up-to-date information.
IMCA has acquired great expertise in carrying out research, both on the analytical front and the design and monitoring of observation tools for public behaviours and attitudes (consumers and/or professionals).
IMCA’s services comprise several types of research:
Conducting qualitative and quantitative surveys
IMCA supports its clients throughout the implementation process, depending on the missions undertaken and their specificities: IMCA defines the research objectives and the associated methodology, drafts specifications, consults and selects an institute, and participates in the launching process and in-the-field monitoring (samples, drafting of handbooks, and questionnaires), and analysis of the results.
While specialist partners under IMCA’s direction handle focus groups and surveys, IMCA is regularly called on to conduct semi-directive individual interviews with high-level professionals in the communication, media, telecommunications, and digital technology fields, in both the private and public sectors.
IMCA provides its consultants with an efficient documentation service. This enables them to conduct exploratory and in-depth research, which is essential for all analyses, diagnostic studies, market research, and so on.
Over the years, IMCA has developed considerable expertise in benchmarking.
IMCA’s consultants are all highly experienced in this method, which consists of identifying, analyzing, and providing clients with information about the ‘best practices of the competition, colleagues in other markets (international), and leading firms in other activity sectors’.
This is an important activity at IMCA, and the analysis of media consumer behaviour is absolutely crucial.
The ability to gage content performance or that of a content diffuser is an essential requirement for any expertise aimed at modifying or rearranging content on a given medium.
IMCA has the best tools at its disposal for this purpose (IMCA is a Mediamat subscriber and has several MMW consultation interfaces) and produces many ad-hoc analyses for its clients.
The ‘Tendances’ (Trends) surveys
IMCA has been conducting Trends surveys for the past fifteen years. These surveys are an effective way of monitoring the changing social structure and they provide an insight into our changing attitudes to individuals and community life, and our private lives. The digital revolution and the rise of social networking sites, the recent economic crisis, and the individual’s quest for greater safety and liberty, all condition our behaviour in every aspect of life: in media and cultural practices, consumption, the role of the elite, and so on.
The ‘Tendances’ (Trends) Survey
‘2009-2010 Année virale ?’ (or ‘was 2009–2010 a viral year?’) was a survey that invited its contributors to reflect on the general mood as the decade drew to a close. The period was marked by the phenomenon of contagion. Viral advertising became a buzzword—the H1N1 flu virus wasn’t the only contagious virus around! Digital technology imposed its language and objects upon us, dictating our behaviours, and paving the way for new trends. Only yesterday, the Situationists were denouncing the tyranny of capitalist society. Today, the focus has shifted onto the merchandise as an object in its own right, which can even be held in the palm of the hand … in the form of a Smartphone. Moreover, the object itself is no longer indispensable: the screens are flat and highly portable; there are no longer any controls, or even a keyboard or screen. Social links have become virtual and have shifted to social networking sites. Meeting one’s interlocutors has become the least important objective in the process.
IMCA commissioned the writer and journalist Martin Even and Renaud du Peloux (journalist and philosopher) to conduct the 2009 Tendances/Trends survey.
Their survey contained fifty-six current buzzwords (such as amortality, bluff, Darwinism, nomad, network, recommendation, vampire, etc.) and comprised the contributions of the socio-professional actors, experts, and analysts they met and interviewed. ‘Now, I only read articles on the Internet, not because my approach to reading has altered but because my way of thinking has changed,’ wrote an American blogger quoted in the 2009–2010 Tendances/Trends survey.
TV season audience Assessment (latest publication: July 2010)
For more than 10 years, IMCA’s TV season Assessment has provided an overview of:
• The strengths and weaknesses of the TV channels in terms of audience figures,
• the most successful and least competitive slots and programmes,
• and the most successful and underperforming old and new programmes.
This study constitutes a unique tool for analyzing the programming strategies of TV channels.
The weekly assessment of new TV programmes
This weekly publication, which is reserved for IMCA’s clients, provides an overview of the changes in audience figures for all the new programmes broadcast on terrestrial TV channels in France (the standard French TV channels and TNT, the French national digital terrestrial service). This tool, which continually monitors new programmes, is aimed at media professionals and advertisers.
NOTA study: Connecting TV (connecting TV to Internet) published in April 2010
The latest NOTA study analyzes the influence of social networks on the design and production of new TV formats in 12 countries.
Created in 1997 by IMCA and Médiametrie (French audience measurement company), NOTA (New On The Air) is a service that monitors new programmes in 3 main TV genres—entertainment, factual programmes, and fiction—in 13 countries.
La Société immédiate (or ‘The Immediate Society’), by Pascal Josèphe, Calmann-Lévy, 2008.
The digital revolution has completely changed the notion of time. By substantially reducing the time in which needs are satisfied, any notion of an individual or collective project has disappeared in the immediate society. Constantly bombarded with external demands, we no longer have the points of reference that enable us to make choices. Post-modern individuals are religiously, politically, and ideologically anchorless. Their capacity for exchange with others—in space and time—has been reduced and their survival depends on their ability to adapt and react quickly. Paradoxically, the more that widespread communication is valued in our society, the more its role as mediator is diminished. We are submerged by information but can find no meaning in it. How are we going to resist all the temptations that are around us? Every civilization has been built on the notion of delayed gratification: ‘sow today and reap tomorrow’, or ‘save today and consume tomorrow’. The social time and individual time were synchronized. Today, there’s a demand for immediate satisfaction: ‘I want, I take’. By criticizing the pernicious effects of this demand for immediate satisfaction, Pascal Josèphe questions the future of the post-modern man, who’s threatened with possible regression to a pre-civilized society.