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 […]

Opportunities and Threats in Market Research – Hannah Mumby

Posted by Hannah Mumby, Sales and Marketing Executive, Vision Critical, UK Having chosen to study Marketing and Advertising at university, I wasn’t prepared for the compulsory market research module. I faced every seminar with dismay as my classmates and I dreaded the endless dry statistics and spread sheets. The projects set were dull, the teacher unenthusiastic and applications to real life situations minimal. It didn’t take me long to form negative opinions about market research – research was boring, irrelevant and involved a lot of number crunching. Here lies what I consider as the most significant threat to market research. Too many people are put off by a job in research due to the same misconceived perceptions I had. What I failed to realise, along with many others, is how varied research is and how far it is from the impression I had been given at university. I had no idea at the time how nearly everything we consume – from the adverts we see and the products we buy to the prices we pay for them – has been a direct result of customer insights. Research is impacting everything around us and influences thousands of business decisions, so why […]

Feedback from the MRS Conference in London

This week’s MRS Conference in London was one of the best events I have been to in the last year, generating lots of material to think about. There was a great mix of thinkers from the industry, ideas from outside market research, discussion, and good networking. The conference was true to its theme of the ‘Shock of the New’. The only weakness that I think is worth mentioning, because it is a reoccurring problem, is that there was too little international content. If the UK is going to command a position as an innovator, it needs more input from outside the UK, IMHO. Key elements, for me, included: The limitations of Big Data The panel discussion, including great contributions from Lucien Bowater from BSkyB and Mark Risley from Google, emphasised the current limitations of big data in terms of the sorts of problems that market research is asked to answer. Big data approaches work best when there is a clearly defined, narrow question, and sufficient resources to find an answer. In many cases, market research is being called on to answer a more general, less well defined problem. Lucien, more than once, made the plea for research to tell him […]

How to run a successful MROC in Japan?

Click here to read in Japanese – 日本語 Yesterday in Tokyo I attended two events (one run by the JMA and one by JMRX – sponsored by GMO Research) and a client meeting, and one specific question arose at all three. The background to the question lies in Japan’s experience with MROCs (in particularly short-term, qualitative research communities). Although some companies have been very successful, several others have not, and some clients are beginning to be worried about MROCs. So, the question I was asked three times was “How do you create a good MROC in Japan?” By the time I had spoken to three audiences I had refined my answer down to three clear points: Good recruitment. A short-term, qualitative MROC (e.g. one month, 60 people) needs to be based on the right people. These people need to be informed about what they will be expected to do, they need to understand how to access the MROC, they need to be engaged with the topic (they might love the topic, hate the topic, be curious about the topic, have recently started using it, or perhaps have given it as a gift – but they need to be engaged). Good […]