How Can You Measure Digital Behaviour Through Passive Measurement?

One of the scariest statistics I read recently came from an Ofcom report which stated that we, the UK consumer, now spend more hours than we have free in the day interacting with media and digital devices. 


That must mean that we are spending the majority of our time hooked on to these things, and that in a lot of cases this is more than one thing.  Let’s face it, we can all think of times we are sat in front of the laptop at work or the TV at home, fiddling with our phones or tablet.  And the number of people I see walking down the street staring wide-eyed at their smartphone is becoming worryingly like a zombie movie.


That means our interaction with digital media must have risen to such a level that it’s now happening at an almost un-conscious level.  This has ramifications for market research – how are we supposed to expect respondents to recall what they did on their devices yesterday, let along last week or last month?  And as far when and where they did, for how long and on which device – forget it.

That’s why the role of passive measurement is becoming all the more important.  Don’t get me wrong, we still need to understand why people did the things they did and understand how it made them feel – but the best way to measure actual digital behaviour is to track it passively.



And that is exactly what Reflected Life does.  Reflected Life is the new UK consumer panel from Marketing Sciences Unlimited and ICM Unlimited.  It is a panel of 1,500 UK consumers who have agreed to have their digital devices tracked using our passive metering tool.  This tool monitors what people are really doing on their devices (including their PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones) capturing a wealth of information including websites visited, apps downloaded and adverts viewed.

It collects data such as search terms used, websites visited, social media activity, apps used as well as device features used. We can also monitor ad exposure and track the purchasing journey. Data from these devices can then be fused with survey data, customer data or market data for maximum impact.

Being panel based, we know lots about the members of the Reflected Life panel because we have asked them many questions; so we know who they are and what they like and what they do offline.  This means we can build-up consumer-rich insight, understanding the difference between different groups such as customers and non-customers.

Some of the things we can capture



The power of this level of behavioural data linked with detailed profiling of individuals’ demographics and attitudes can be hugely powerful for clients like Danone, who as one of the founder members of Reflected Life have an ambition to understand consumers and their real digital behaviour better.

On our website you can check out how we used this approach to support a major UK bank understand the online purchase journey when taking out a new bank loan, as well as a fascinating case study on how our actual use of social media apps differs to what we think we’re up to… or at least what we’ll admit to.

We believe that the Reflected Life true multi-device approach is unique, capturing a holistic view of their digital life.  And unlike click-trackers our panel allows clients to understand customers’ use of competitors, as well as their own sites.

But most of all Reflected Life is different because we do not simply collect data – we work in partnership with our clients as trusted experts to deliver clear insight that can truly drive change within their businesses.



If you’d like to know more about our Reflected Life™ panel then please email me   or call me at 01962 835414.

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Ian Ralph
01962 842211
Article date - 13/11/2015
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