A Hungarian-based media consultancy has now expanded into the United Kingdom as the next step of even grander plans.
Kinga Incze launched her own media consultancy business in 2002, and co-authored a handbook on media planning in the same year. Whitereport, her latest endeavor, is an independent cross-media data aggregation platform, of which she is founder and CEO, and had already enjoyed global acclaim before the move overseas.
Incze graduated with a psychology degree in 1994, and began her career as a market researcher. She later held posts of media planner, media director and managing director at Universal McCann Hungary, and was CEO at Magna Global Hungary.
She describes the beginnings of both the consultancy, Mrs. White Media Consultancy, and Whitereport as an “organic process”, in part driven by what she saw as unnecessarily unsafe business decisions, devoid of expertise on hidden media.
Whitereport was launched in Hungary in 2011. Incze says that as a media expert, she continually found that the fragmented, cross-media market was not transparent enough in terms of media supply and demand. Whitereport aims to track media supply and demand changes via “validated and mostly public data aggregation”. The aim of Whitereport, she says, is to shorten the time consuming task of gathering all the relevant facts for a media development or market analysis project.
“We had no idea how big the market is, [who] the hidden players are competing with the big players, what themes are booming, how big and how profitable the market is, and how SMEs are represented [in] the market. I just wanted to solve an information gap problem and instead of perceptions wanted to see the clear, big picture. So, we developed this tool,” she explains.
The company officially expanded to London in the late fall of 2017. Incze says the team decided to do so because it needed to cover a big market for the tool to become more global, and this would be more difficult to do from a smaller market like Hungary’s.
Although it is currently focusing its efforts on a scale-up in the United Kingdom, it plans to expand to Germany upon reaching critical mass in Britain.
The British board members are Hamish Sandison and Phil McCauley, who are, respectively, a lawyer and a management consultant. Sandison says Whitereport intends to advise U.K. media owners, investors, brands, and regulators to keep up with the changing reality of the market and enable them to make better decisions. McCauley believes that all industries are currently transforming, including the media business intelligence market, and Whitereport is a pioneer in it.
Forbes Hungary wrote that before Whitereport was launched, decision makers only had access to data on a mere 20% of the media industry; the Hungarian Media and Infocommunications Authority, RTL Hungary, and professional bodies all benefit from the wider, factual and cross-media market approach of the fragmented media supply, financial and commercial aspects .
The company claims to provide searchable data on more than 11,000 media companies and 6,000 media service providers in Hungary, and a further 1,164 media companies in the United Kingdom, which it describes as “just the tip of the iceberg”.
As Incze describes it, Whitereport essentially lists the complete cross-media supply (television, radio, print, online, cinema, etc.), media ownership facts and key financial data within seconds. Users can also modify their searches based on settlements, owners, platforms, and themes.
“You can monitor the financial performance of media companies and the complete market. We do the painful work of public data collection and validation, so our clients can benefit from the easy-to-use platform and tailor-made analysis,” Incze tells the Budapest Business Journal.
Members of the core management team alongside Incze include co-COO, Szilvia Marton, and chief research officer Timea Nagy, who worked aside Incze as a media research director at Universal McCann for 17 years and joined Whitereport in 2012. Marton, who served as sales and marketing director at TV Paprika, is a former client of Mrs. White Media Consulting, and joined in 2008.
When asked what makes the company unique, one of the aspects Incze mentioned is that not only does the core-management team consist of experienced media experts with huge professional and management skills, but it also happens to be three women, which is certainly distinctive in a field where men have traditionally dominated.
Incze explains that “most of the current media regulation was born in a different era of limited media supply”, and “Whitereport’s evidence of the new reality might impact public policy and regulatory and competition decisions”.
The scaleup company has already achieved international recognition and acclaim; in 2016 it was selected by Collision US and Pioneers Vienna as one of the most promising new data innovations. It exhibited this past November at the Lisbon Web Summit, in the ALPHA startup category. Incze sees increasing need for the service her tool provides.
“I believe that business-to-business and business-to-government decision makers need to be provided 21st century tools to keep up with market reality and make better, faster and safer decisions”.