June 27, 2018 marked the 6th time Merlien Institute hosted its industry leading MRMW APAC conference in Singapore. 180 attendees explored advancements in market research and the effects of digital disruption on the industry over the course of two insightful days.
Navigating the consumer centric disruptive world
Disruptive brands of the 21st century, including Uber, Airbnb, and Twitter, have given a new meaning to customer centricity and are thriving because of their ‘customer first’ business model. A well-known saying among market researchers is “Netflix did not kill blockbuster. they did it to themselves with ridiculous late fees”. That is the story of many traditional giants who have fallen to disruptive start ups because they refused to evolve. The point is, technology itself is not the real disrupter, not being consumer centric is a bigger threat.
A deeper dive into disrupted industries and businesses reveals a customer related problem: many giants have perished because they got ‘too comfortable’ and concentrated on short term gains but lost vision for the long run. Padmanabhan Ramaswamy (Paddy) from InsightzClub believes programmatic market research technology is what will differentiate insights from ‘intelligent insights’ into the consumer. He explains data collected from a combination of various sources: panel and organic sources (ecommerce, telcos, retail channels) will help companies target relevant audiences in the disruptive world based on behavioral and transactional data.
Anup Pradhan and Suruchi Biyani from Uber India explain disruption comes in all shapes and sizes but everything ‘we’(Uber) do starts with the customer. For their recent marketing Uber employed various research techniques including, ride alongs, chat diaries and digital ethnographies to get first hand dynamic experience of ride-sharing rather than relying purely on recall.
Uber also embraced tech to get real time insights and information gathering along with employing a real time measurement software for digital, social, and brand tracking. With data democratization, Uber was able to get close to its consumers by using different sources of information. Through this process, Uber came up with the successful ‘think of this as your car’ campaign that increased Uber India’s brand consideration by 10%, placing it at an all-time high. More importantly, it helped the company’s bottom line increase by 1.2x in users with no vehicle ownership.
The emergence of new consumer centric organizations has forced many businesses to reinvent their business model and re-position their brand. The triangulation of customer behavior, marketplace data, and measurement metric along with tech superiority, continuous measurement that drives actionability and democratization of data are the differentiators that will separate companies that consumers embrace from companies they do not.
Rohan Mathur from Lego Group encourages traditional brands to create new business/trial models with a strong go-to market strategy for transforming their business. Lego’s new Boost products, including a variety 5in1 DIY robots controlled by an app, are an example of this. It was a bold move by Lego to test uncharted waters by introducing mobile technology in their business model. As the data indicated, consumers wanted more high tech toys. While successful, Lego quickly realized from their customer feedback, through online surveys and in-depth interviews, blogs, online and mobile diaries, consumers wanted more from the product. Utilizing real time online social measurement tools and data and analytics, reviewing the results of their product launch, and reflecting on the lessons learned, Lego was able to understand the consumer didn’t want a 5in1 robot, but rather a robot with several functionalities.
Forward thinking, bold approaches and a consumer centric business model is what will separate the successful organizations of the future from the ones that fail. However, as we adopt new technology in a data driven world, data itself may not tell us the full story. For example, new consumers wanted more high-tech toys but, through qualitative research, they were able to give the consumer exactly what they wanted. A mix of research methods may often be need for a holistic 360 picture.
Couldn’t Join MRMW APAC 2018?
Do you regret that you couldn’t join MRMW APAC 2018? Don’t worry! The next MRMW conference is coming to Europe. This exciting event will be held on September 4-6 in Stockholm, Sweden. Learn how to reinvent insight and MR strategies in times of DIGITAL DISRUPTION from the speakers of leading brands such as IBM, PepsiCo, Philips, Heineken, BBC, Dow Jones, Bosch, Sky and many more.