Media buying agency Mindshare has launched The Loop, a data focused “war room” in India, which pulls in live data feeds from over 100 sources, for adaptive decision making for marketing. India is the first market outside of the US to get a Loop: a fully functional Loop room has been launched in Gurgaon, and a second one will be launched in Mumbai in June.

Note that Pinstorm also has a data ‘war room’ setup in its Mumbai office, using Raspberry Pi‘s.

By the end of June, Mindshare plans to have The Loop active in close to 15 markets globally. It is already operational in 5 offices in the US. Mindshare is part of GroupM*, which oversees the media buying sector for WPP.

Data being used in India

Loop3

Data being sourced varies from market to market. What’s important here is that not only is earned (media coverage) and owned (landing pages, properties owned by the client) being tracked, but contextual and paid media (advertising) allows decision makers a breadth of data in one place, for decision making. In an emailed response to MediaNama, M A Parthasarathy, Chief Client Officer of Mindshare, explained how they choose the data for The Loop, which gets data from over 100 sources in real-time:

“There is a how of data – both slow moving & fast-moving – which go into the loop room. The data comes from a huge variety of sources.

– Contextual data could include Client data (e.g sales, market shares, prospects/leads, brand scores, etc for their brands & their competition); syndicated category data (e.g Euromonitor, emarketer, WARC, etc); Agency syndicated data (TGI etc) and macroeconomic data as applicable
-Paid data could include investments across all media channels & platforms, from sources like TAM ADEX, RAM and other online sources
– Owned data includes data on all owned assets – websites (e.g. Omniture, Google Analytics), social assets (e.g. FB analytics, Unmetric), Mobile apps, etc. Could also include data on brand associations & properties including celebrities, sponsorships, etc.
– Earned data could include all forms of listening data (e.g Radian 6), Twitter activity etc.

The choice of data streams would be customized to each client and each brand objective,” he said. The Loop has two modes – ‘strategy’ and ‘campaign’.

In ‘strategy mode’, The Loop uses fast and slow data across different disciplines, including business planning, strategy, creative and communications planning, and across client agency networks.

In ‘campaign mode’, Mindshare takes third party data feeds and tools, and combines them with their proprietary media spend, performance tracking and intelligence systems, “to provide instantly actionable insight that can be executed in real time across paid media.” In other words, they track performance and competitive activity live, in order to change campaign spends.

Our Take

Data is easy, and there is perhaps too much of it to deal with today. What matters is what you do with it, and given the volume, type and complexity of data available, even on the screens above, decision making can be tricky. Choosing what to ignore is as important as picking the right data, for a particular decision. Mindshare has the rooms, but do they have enough people with experience in handing all this data, in real time, to arrive at the right decisions?  The interesting part of Mindshare’s statement is that they also view The Loop rooms as “a cultural change in working practice”. That, above all, is key here.

* Disclosure: two of my sisters work with Maxus, which is also a part of GroupM