Appreciating Asia Pacific – Part 1

This post is written as I reach the end of the first week of a three week Vision Critical trip to the Asia Pacific Region. For the last few years I have been spending about ten weeks a year in the APAC region, typically spread over three or four separate trips – because I am convinced that this is where much of the future (especially in terms of commerce, marketing, and insights) is being made. Singapore Client Round Table I arrived in Singapore Monday evening and the week got off to a flying start with breakfast with my Vision Critical colleagues from Sydney and from our newly opened Singapore office, followed by a meeting with the CEO of Indian partner, Majestic and lunch with an insight community client, Google. The afternoon was devoted to a client round-table meeting where several of Vision Critical’s clients gather to hear a keynote presentation (from me on this occasion) and then spend time sharing their learning with each other. This event was hosted by Google in their superb offices overlooking the Marina area, with key contributions from SingTel, Sony and others. Client roundtable sessions are a great way for clients to share their experiences […]

Opportunities and Threats faced by Market Research – Peter Harris

By Peter Harris, Managing Director, Vision Critical Asia Pacific. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few MR and Marketing Industry conferences in Australia, North America and Asia over the past 12 months. As always, these conferences are designed to scare the living daylights out of marketing and research professionals. They are highlighting how much things are changing, that consumers are more empowered than ever, that technology is the driving force, that clients are demanding more, faster, for less, and the fast flowing giant river of information (big data). In short, they are driving home the fact that the Revolution is on, i.e. “If you don’t like change, you will like relevance less”. In general I think this is right. But each of us has a chance to make a difference. As a global profession, our biggest opportunity and biggest threat will be defined and determined by how much we ourselves are willing to be flexible in a digital driven world. We need to find ways to keep up with change and feel comfortable in a land where we don’t know what is around the corner. It’s hard for many MR professionals to do this (as we love to be […]

Why you should take part in the GRIT Survey

Market researchers are really bad at taking surveys, first they mostly decline to click the link, and those that do complain that the survey is awful. However, there are some surveys that are so important you really need to take them, and the GRIT Survey is one of them (click here to start it now). The Green Book Industry Trends report is not a scientifically valid measurement of the research industry. Even the ESOMAR studies fall a bit short of that goal. However, it is the best indication about what the leading edge is doing. The back data (this will be the 13th report) and the new data allow intelligent estimates to be made about what is hot, what has peaked, where people will be investing next in research. However, to make this a valuable resource for you, we need you to take part in the survey. This year’s survey is much shorter and much less painful than any previous GRIT survey, indeed it is probably the most pleasant market research survey of market researchers around. So, please take part, please share your views, and then let’s see if we can share some guidance on where the world of market […]

A new book to help people to understand insight communities

By common consent, research communities seem to have been the fastest growing new research approach over the last few years (a view that was supported by the latest GRIT report). Indeed, in some sectors, such as media, brands are beginning to worry about being the last to adopt the idea of having meaningful and on-going conversations with their customers. However, given the speed that the area is moving, there are a variety of definitions and concepts being used. For example, one hears talk of MROCs, consumer consulting boards, and community panels, to name just three. My preferred term is insight community, and that is the title I have used in my latest book “Insight Communities – Leveraging the Power of the Customer”. The book has been produced by Vision Critical University and I’d like to record my thanks to them and all of those who have helped review material and helped source the many case studies used in the book. The book is a short read, but covers key elements such as: short-term versus long-term, large versus small, and branded versus blind. The book is packed full of examples and case studies from organisations such as NASCAR, Discover Communications, CBS […]

10 Reasons to buy ESOMAR’s new book

1 It’s not your classic textbook This book focusses on the questions that are part of the everyday practicalities of market research, the advice you don’t typically get from a textbook – the type of advice researchers would ideally have a mentor or more experienced colleague to ask – unfortunately not everyone has these support networks. 2 The contributors are practitioners The content has been prepared by a team of experienced researchers, so the advice is relevant for researchers who are talking to clients, writing proposals, managing projects, developing questionnaires, analysing data, reporting results, etc. 3 A great resource for the generalist or research all-rounder (Thanks to Sue Bell for emphasising this point.) Many conferences and events, social media forums, and journals focus on specialist areas. This book, doesn’t cover everything, but aims to give a solid grounding on the basics, written and reviewed by experienced market and social research industry heavy weights who know what you need to know. 4 A balance between traditional and new techniques The book covers the traditional areas – questionnaire design, qualitative, pricing research, B2B – as well as the emerging techniques, for example, communities and social media research. 5 A variety of views […]

How much of your research should be with customers?

Posted 9 May 2013 One of the questions I am frequently asked about insight communities is ‘Why are most of them composed solely of customers?’ ‘Surely’, some people ask, ‘we should be conducting market research with the whole market?’ My feeling is that this question fails to recognise how much market research has changed over time. Over the thirty-five years I have been in the research industry there have been quite a few changes, in terms of technology, organisation, methods etc. One of these changes has been a major shift from researching whole markets to focusing research on customers. If we look back at the 1970s and early 1980s, most market research was conducted with the whole market. But that approach reflected the times. There were fewer products, fewer brands, and fewer channels for advertising. Markets were less mature, brands were establishing themselves, they often had genuine product differences, and market researchers were like explorers, mapping an unfamiliar land. Moving to the later 1980s and the 1990s we see a shift to researching target groups and customers. Ad and brand tracking focused on target groups, customer satisfaction focused on customers. Concept and product testing, which had previously used whole market […]