2016 marked an amazing year; I had the pleasure of meeting, re-connecting and working across many different countries and cultures. My experience revealed that having local market knowledge facilitates greater business-wide alignment on key goals. From Singapore to India; Australia to Hong Kong, each location showcased a distinctive, colourful culture. However, even through all this uniqueness, I encountered a common need: a deeper understanding of consumers. One can see why local brands are so successful in many cases, while global brands are constantly challenged in gaining significant market share.
Within these growing markets, there is much greater acceptance, uptake and utilisation of mobile research than I encounter in more established countries. It’s a balance of understanding how to use the right platforms to reach hard to find audiences, typically in very remote areas, and recognising the power of gaining insights through a mobile device.
While innovation is often driven by necessity, audience engagement is driven by interaction. Within smaller markets, we can better target and identify ways to best connect with consumers. We can disrupt the status quo and change our methodologies to reactively fit our audience. In Thailand, the social media landscape is exploding; we can tap into social listening to capture richer insights. Like many other emerging markets such as India and Indonesia, Vietnam has skipped the PC trend – under half (46%) of the population own a desktop or laptop computer. We know these respondents prefer mobile apps vs. surveys on their browser.
How will marketing research evolve in 2017?
The industry will be alive and thriving in 2017, but will challenge us. Fighting for consumers’ attention will continue to be top priority; while going mobile will lead the charge. Jayson DeMers, contributor to Forbes, believes ‘technology is finally catching up to the “interpretation” part of data analysis. Technology will be more sophisticated, and data analysis needs will be greater than ever.’
- The drive for mobile: Mobile is here. Researchers should use the effects of mobile to their advantage, not just adapt their methodology to suit. We need to have shorter, better interaction with our respondents.
- Enrichment through technology: Our clients continue to ask for solutions that enable them to gather clear, concise insights. Through the rapidly evolving market research environment, technology enables us to add multiple levels of understanding and more in-depth findings for brands to base their decisions on.
- Surveys + Third Party Data: Another jump in the combination of third party data (e.g., purchase, behaviour, etc.) with survey responses is likely to impact the way insights are moving beyond reported actions and perceptions into tracked activity.
- DIY: Marketing research is a critical tool for every brand, large and small alike. DIY tools give survey design control to both researchers and non-researchers. This year, we’ll see a wider variety of DIY type tools and dashboards with more speed and more power to enable insights.
- Bridging the gap: We will see more local MRAs being used by international MRAs to bring local expertise - a sort of virtual network.
Our clients really do have the most amazing minds and skills; when partnered with a local market and people, a deeper understanding enables the right findings and recommendations to be uncovered. In 2017, I’m looking forward to visiting new countries and learning how we can better connect with consumers in each market.
READY TO GO MOBILE?