Q&A with Ipsos, Kantar Insights and Lightspeed for MRMW APAC 2019

MRMW APAC 2019 will be happening on 20th – 21st February in Singapore.  And amongst our key speakers from leading global and regional brands such as Formula One, Amazon, Spotify, Go-Jek, P&G, L’Oreal, Mondelēz, Income, Intel, Citi, honestbee, Mastercard and Traveloka, we will also have Ipsos, Kantar Insights and Lightspeed.



We spoke with Katharine Zhou, Managing Director – Singapore at Ipsos, Sergey Sheykhetov, Head of Qualitative – East Africa at Kantar Insights and Young Ham, Director of Data Solutions at Lightspeed to hear how some of the world’s leading MR brands are approaching the digital future.

Q: What would be the core message of your presentation at MRMW APAC 2019?

Katharine: We would like delegates to know that they can leverage new techno-driven approaches to capture real, in-the-moment consumer behaviour – instead of relying on traditional approaches that rely on stated survey responses and respondent recall.

Sergey: I am going to talk about the digital revolution in qualitative research. I will try to prove that despite important advances in the digital sphere, online qualitative research is not going to replace “old” and “good” traditional focus groups and interviews in the nearest future. The online studies simply have a different format, which works better or worse depending on the research objective. This is “medium”, but not “message”.

Young: The real hope I have for the paper is that the audience, whether researchers or brand owners, will see the potential to be had in leveraging data and go away excited and informed enough to look at ways in which they can approach their insights in a new way.

Q:  There is a lot of talk about the current state of consumer insights – would you sum up the current state of the industry in 1-2 sentences?

Katharine: Consumer or Human insight is the corner stone of market research. And this hasn’t changed even though technology has advanced. Understanding human behaviour in the context of your business and responding effectively to it will give rise to longer term brand building.

Sergey: I think there are two most important factors that affect the consumer insights industry. First, it is obviously a digital revolution. It gives us so much more data than we used to have before. Second, it is the data integration.  We still have yet to learn how integrate and use a huge amount of data which is available.

Young: Consumer insights are at a crossroads. The landscape has changed significantly in recent years so thinking differently is essential to capturing the best of the new ways of researching the rapidly evolving consumer.

Q: How must researchers/content creators prepare and innovate for the future?

Katharine: To prepare and innovate for the future, I have a twofold advice. First, the way we gather information and interact with consumers needs to change. Consumers are more connected and empowered than ever before, technology is exploding and vast amounts of data is readily available. The innovation cycle that has served the manufacturers well in last few decades has been disrupted as a result. Researchers need to be more agile and reflect reality more than ever before. They need to connect the dots and strike the balance between use of primary research and consumer generated social data to guide innovation success.

Second, what I have noticed is that companies fail to innovate and transform not due to a lack of ideas, but due to lack of change in behaviour. To innovate for these changing consumers habits, we need to commit to behaviour change at the organizational level. This involves unlearning outdated thinking and behaviour and embracing new behaviour, to raise new ideas for innovation internally and externally.

Sergey: I believe that two factors are the key: curiosity and knowledge of the bigger context. Researchers must always remain curious about everything. They have to love exploring new things.  I also believe that researchers must not limit themselves by just one method, one product category, one market, etc. They always have to look at the bigger picture trying to understand the bigger societal trends.

Young: Re-defining what to measure VS what to ask is a big shift that will help provide more valuable insights. The approach of long surveys covering all brand metrics is becoming less informative. Now it is about taking multiple sources and understanding what this tells us as well as what we need to develop further to better understand the consumer.

Join Katharine, Sergey and Young together with key speakers from leading global and regional brands as well as well-known agencies such as Formula One, Amazon, Spotify, Go-Jek, P&G, L’Oreal, Mondelēz, Income, Intel, Citi, honestbee, Mastercard, Traveloka, Shopee, Insightzclub, Borderless Access, System1 Research, Linkfluence and many more at MRMW APAC 2019!

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