Online market research in emerging markets
Is this the right time?
Making a difference in the Market Research landscape is easier said than done, especially if you’re one of those researchers not living and working in developed countries such as Germany, the UK and the US. However, borders have become blurry in the age of globalisation and digitalisation and luckily, there is a way you can up your game and get ahead in this increasingly competitive field: private online communities.
Higher Potential for Performance Improvement in Emerging Markets
It’s no secret that online market research is quickly gaining ground and is likely to take up the lion share of both Quantitative and Qualitative research in the near future. Indeed, being with a company that only deals with digital research methods, all of the undertaken projects are executed online which seems natural to me since, being a digital native, my offline and online lives, mesh seamlessly with one another. In contrast, researchers in emerging markets have not fully embraced online yet, while developed markets have already gone to lengths to research their consumers, decode their behaviour and interpret their attitude using digital methods. This implies that the potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of research in emerging markets is much greater. The current research state of affairs tends to dictate a need for nearly real-time information about customers and stakeholders. As expected, there’s a growing need for newer, faster, better research methods both in established and in fast developing milieus.
A Few Good Reasons for Emerging Markets to Go Online
There seems to be a common misconception that it’s not worth investing in online research in the context of emerging markets due to ‘low’ Internet Penetration Rates (IPR), but this could not be further from the truth. Here are a few good reasons why companies should consider using digital marketing and market research methods in countries with lower internet penetration:
a) The internet and smartphone penetration is on the rise and will only go up. In fact, Ericsson’s President and CEO Hans Vestberg predicts that by 2020, there will be 5 billion mobile broadband subscriptions.
b) Eventually companies will need to start transitioning to digital as everyone is bound to be online soon.
c) If a company’s product or service is mainly provided online, people with internet access are its only targets.
d) The growth of certain product categories in emerging markets is amazing compared to the low single digit growth in developed markets
For agile multinationals exploring the numerous possibilities of online market research in emerging markets is merely a question of time.
The Right Market Research Techniques for the Right Partners
We at DigitalMR aim to identify pioneering partners to promote and push innovation in emerging markets with our Private Online Communities tool: eCommunities, a customisable, modern platform that we hope will help selective market research agencies grow and evolve. Research professionals and their clients can benefit from an innovative and up-to-date range of research techniques, including online focus groups, video diaries, online chat groups, interactive surveys, and bulletin boards - in the local language - among others. These techniques constitute a fast, easy and efficient way to collect data. Participants can take part in the activities in the privacy and comfort of their own homes, both synchronously and asynchronously, which in turn can make the data more authentic and reliable. What is more, we are hoping that eCommunities will enable agencies and their clients to tackle certain cultural and/or religious restrictions that traditional research is less likely to overcome, such as moderator gender, while the lack of physical proximity might more easily facilitate the disclosure of sensitive information. eCommunities can also enable you to keep in touch with your participants, thus establishing a deeper level of engagement and trust.
We expect that eCommunities will be seen as a highly effective, fast and easy way to conduct research on an audience eager to engage in online communication, as it has been for our pioneering partners, including 360insights in Romania, MASMI in Poland and HoraCore in Turkey.
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