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‘Relevant, Actionable Consumer Insights’

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Monalisa Dani is the Founder & CEO of Pixights, a specialist research and consulting firm with a focus on visual communications and content. Having worked for 16 years in the market research industry, Monalisa started as a one-woman army when she founded Pixights in 2012. She excels in content generation, maintenance, and management. She also works as a brand strategy and positioning consultant for numerous leading media houses. Monalisa holds a Post Graduate in Marketing Communications from MICA Ahemdabad and a two year stint as Marketing Communications Manager at the Center For International Business at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth,USA.

In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Monalisa says, “We believe that it is not possible to generate insights on content if one does not consume it or is prejudiced against those who do.”

What is the idea behind Pixights?
Pixights is a research and consulting firm focused on media - TV, Cinema, OTT, Print, Live Action shows, Gaming – anything that is based on content. The core promise of the firm is to provide insights into viewers and their content consumption habits and preferences as well as establish linkages between the two.

The idea started from the insight that traditional market research methods and timelines did not work for the media industry since the product was very different and the turnaround was extremely dynamic. Also, most senior researchers were not consumers of content especially general entertainment content- hence domain understanding and empathy with the viewer was an issue resulting in lack of rich insights that could be actionable. The time required by a traditional agency to deliver findings also did not work for a fast moving media industry. A TV channel could not wait for a fortnight for a report since the findings would be obsolete post 10 episodes being aired! This gap was what we started out to fill- a research firm dedicated to the media industry.  

How are you different from others or your USP?
Pixights operates in the media and entertainment niche. We focus on generation and maintenance of media content and have tools that are designed to work on and around content. This specialization was part of our strategy to differentiate ourselves from the incumbents.

Our specialization also dictates the choice of people who work with us. High content consumption is a prerequisite. We believe that it is not possible to generate insights on content if one does not consume it or is prejudiced against those who do.

Apart from this, action ability is built into the DNA of the company (our promise “Data, Insights, Actions” is literally engraved on our front door!). Our insistence on action ability has helped us tailor our customer offerings better.

What would you point as your achievements or successes in the business?
In just a short span of time, we have managed to work with all major TV networks: Star, Zee, Sony and Disney. Almost all our clients have been repeat customers. Our award- winning Trends study (shortlisted as “Best of India” by Esomar) has now been conducted for multiple clients, multiple times.

When you reflect back, what would you like to do differently?
Because we grew faster in the initial years than we planned for, we were behind on the curve on active demand creation. We got projects based on the quality of work and word of mouth, without actively managing where the demand was coming from. Consequentially, we allowed our destiny to be tied with that of the media industry. When the industry did well, we did well and vice-versa.

We recently finished an India wide survey on the consumers and consumption of OTT platforms- a first of its kind syndicated research in India.

Balancing life with business – how hard or not is it? What helps balance it best?
Balancing professional and personal life is tricky but not impossible if the priorities are set right. Good time management skills and work ethic helps. Having a good team around helps. Allowing yourself a bit of a leeway every now and then helps.

What challenges do you face on a regular basis?
The key challenge is to make all our findings relevant and actionable. The audience choice and consumption patterns change frequently. With the influx of new content through OTTs, the Indian audiences are getting exposed to new genres and story formats. The out of home consumption through mobile has boomed. To keep ahead of this trend has been an ongoing challenge. It is also a challenge keeping our ideas and insights fresh when working on an umpteenth project for the same customer. We also need to keep abreast of all the content in order to have relevant information and stay up to date on industry benchmarks.

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