Finally the African Market Research community found its place on the busy agenda of conferences being organised all over the world!
16 and 17 February 2007 are the dates when the African Market Research Association (AMRA) will be officially launched at the AFRICA Forum 2017 to be held in Johannesburg (South Africa).
This first Africa Forum is organized by AMRA and event partners AMISE in Morocco, MSRA in Kenya, NiMRA in Nigeria, SAMRA in Southern Africa, and ESOMAR World Research: it will set the African Agenda for market research (including social research and opinion polling).
It will be a moment of celebration! The programme which has been developed by a group of experts representing the event partners will demonstrate excellence and inspiration throughout the two days of activities.
Four undeniable reasons for joining the Africa Forum
- Be part of History: the Africa Forum will mark the official launch of the African Market Research Association (AMRA). Being there will be of significant importance for marking this historical moment!
- Shape the Future: the launch of AMRA means that you can help shape the agenda for the African Market Research community: a key resource for the industry in Africa and for those who look at Africa as the place to grow their business. The Africa Forum will be the catalyst for the future of the Market Research industry in the continent!
- Build your Africa Network: research agencies, clients, advertisers, service companies coming from across Africa and the world will be there and will be eager to network, make new contacts, meet colleagues and share experiences – This is indeed a unique opportunity to have the very best of the Market Research industry representing the African continent all in one place. How can you resist the temptation of being there!
- Share and Learn: …and finally…the Africa Forum programme will ignite sharing of innovations and contribute to the body of knowledge in Africa.
To celebrate the journey ahead, an impressive line-up of African and international speakers awaits delegates at this once-in-a-lifetime two-day event
Opening speaker Berenike Ullmann is Vice-President, Consumer and Market Knowledge, for Procter and Gamble IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa). She is a champion of consumers and expert in research and African life. She has spent more than 30 years doing consumer understanding work in China, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe. Berenike will be sharing her thoughts about the transformation of consumers and markets and hence of research needs, using examples from Africa, China, the Philippines and other emerging markets, for inspiration.
Swaady Martin is the founder and CEO of the SWAADY GROUP, a woman-owned social enterprise; transforming African agricultural commodities locally to contribute to the reversal of the African commodity trap. The group’s pioneer brands, YSWARA and AKRAFO, are perceived amongst Africa’s leading luxury and premium brands and are present at recognised luxury retailers in 15 countries in Africa, USA, Europe, Middle-East and Asia. Swaady has received recognition and numerous distinctions and awards from big names such as Forbes, Oprah Winfrey and Aljazeera. She is also the author/creator of the “Luxe Ubuntu” concept, an inclusive luxury business model providing economic value and meaningful income to all the members of the supply chain, who participate in the production of luxury products.
Storytelling is one of the most important techniques for presenting research, and storytelling is a strong African tradition that cuts across African cultures, and Africa should be leading the way globally, when it comes to storytelling. Gcina Mhlophe has been writing and performing on stage and screen for over 20 years. She is South Africa’s favourite storyteller, and maintains that storytelling is the information technology of yesteryear. “For as long as there have been people in the world, there have been stories – long before all the great respectable sciences were known to us”. Gcina feels that the well-known traditional tales of Africa have worldwide appeal, as they recur in different versions in many other parts of the world. Gcina’s writings have been translated into German, French, Italian, Swahili and Japanese. She has received awards from BBC Africa, the Edinburgh Festival, Sony, London Open University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, amongst others.
More than 30 carefully selected presentations will cover topics such as
- African client perspectives
- Digital research
- Technology and research in Africa
- Neuro marketing research
- The future of the insights function
- Research and corporate decision making
- Professional standards
- Opinion polling in Africa
- Socio-economic classification systems
- The challenge of sampling and weighted data in Africa
- Motivating research participation
- The marketing of market research
- Young Africans and the future of Africa
- Intercultural consumer understanding
- Using social networks for research
ESOMAR is proud to be an AFRICA Forum 2017 partner. We look forward to supporting AMRA and ensuring that the Africa Forum will become an established appointment in the calendar of market research professionals in Africa and beyond.
This is your chance to be part of history: visit www.africanmra.org for programme details and to book – space is limited!
Seattle / 23-24 January
Join us for ESOMAR Bootcamp – brand new ideas, brand new format and brand new research training. Across two days take away an in-depth understating of the tools, skills and thinking that are needed to communicate research.
Join us to celebrate the social value of research! The European Insights Summit showcases the crucial role the insights community plays every day to inform policy debates, provide evidence for crucial service upgrades, and help business leaders drive economic growth.
Let’s come together as we identify the future of the insights industry, and the role it can play to accelerate Europe’s transition towards a data-driven society!
Not-to-be-missed Key Speakers’ line-up at Africa Forum 2017: Research and Innovation, Made In Africa! organised by the African Market Research Association (AMRA) in association with AMISE (Morocco), MSRA (Kenya), NiMRA (Nigeria), SAMRA (South Africa) and ESOMAR. Join and build your Africa network; Share and learn innovations; Shape researchers’ future; Make African history!
Book now and ensure your place!
ESOMAR brings together the data, research and insights community for ESOMAR MENAP 2017 – two days of content, exploring ‘Connecting and Collaborating for Impact.’
A sneak peek of the programme is now online – check it out and register today!
The regional highlight of the data, research and insights community goes to Mexico City for the 22nd edition of ESOMAR LATAM 2017 – more ‘IN’ than ever!
Exploring #IN: INsights, INtelligence, INnovation – the impressive agenda is now online and registration is open!
Register by 27 January to get the early bird ticket rate!
By Nino Gogoladze
The role of an ESOMAR country representative is not only about supporting the industry in the country, but also about helping citizens to be aware of specific local market conditions and future prospects.
Georgia is a small, pleasant, newly established post-Soviet country. Can you imagine how big the research sector might be in such a country? The reality is that the research market in Georgia is very small; the first Georgian research company, according to the official data of the Statistics Department, was founded in 1995- IPM Research.
So, where is the source for evaluation of this 20-year-old small market? The country’s economy is in crisis now, struggling to recover from the 2008 Russia-Georgia war; experiencing local currency inflation and low economic growth- all of which affect the research market. The above resulted in a decline in marketing research budgets and increase in political research budgets. There are few truly reputable research companies here possessing the sufficient skills, knowledge and experience, and so the competition is high.
For me, as an ESOMAR country representative, the first goal was to establish good relationships with association members. The dramatic effect of competition often nudged competing companies and professionals to avoid meetings, communication with the same audience, or the chance to share their experience. It was very important to break the ice and offer them a neutral communication format. Thus, my first goal was to encourage the seven current members of the association to become real ambassadors not only of their companies but also for ESOMAR.
At the 2015 ESOMAR congress in Dublin, the representatives’ meeting addressed the reasons for the low involvement of young people within the association and aimed to introduce them to the industry and society of researchers. Everyone agrees that youngsters should be encouraged to join the ESOMAR society, but there is uncertainty as to how to persuade them of the importance of joining. My idea was to arrange a meeting with students in local universities to promote association principles and benefits. Students of the sociology, psychology, statistics, and marketing faculties are the main target groups for meetings in which they hear directly from research professionals who not only promote the industry but also help a new generation to get information about the highest standards in the research industry.
The idea of the communication format helped me to involve most association members within the activities and proved helpful to students because all members of the association fully understand their responsibility to support future industry growth and to take part in the educational process of the next generation of researchers.
After receiving confirmation from key association members: Giorgi Abramishvili (Director, Market Intelligence Caucasus, Licensee of TNS Georgia); Tinatin Rukhadze (General Director, ACT Georgia); Gocha Tskitishvili (Director, IPM Research Georgia) to participate, the first meeting was planned in one of the biggest Georgian universities – Caucasus University. The eagerness of students of the sociology and psychology faculties there was impressive. Four presenters from the different Georgian research companies chose the best practice research projects to present the students, and each member talked about ESOMAR, the benefits they receive and the importance of ethical norms, codes and guidelines for the research industry.
Following that first successful meeting, we planned a second, and started thinking about inviting a guest speaker from ESOMAR to talk about a selected topic. A lack of budget meant that we were limited in options, so I chose to invite a foreign guest speaker from abroad to speak to attendees via online presentation rather than in the flesh. We were fortunate that ESOMAR helped by inviting Dr. Stephen Needel, Managing Partner of U.S.-based Advanced Simulations, to talk via e-conference. The resulting meeting was extremely interesting, informative and engaging and extended from the planned 2.5 hours to 3 hours. A journalist from local newspaper Georgia Today attended the meeting and wrote an article about it available here.
After that second successful meeting, the Georgian ESOMAR members’ group received an invitation from another university to hold a meeting there. It too, proved successful- in fact, we saw even greater motivation from students than in the first. We will continue this good work throughout 2017, and already have another university visit lined up.
Global events are of utmost importance for the information they provide, but small ones can also serve to change local environments and help the research industry’s current and future members. That is our aim and our current mission.
Nino Gogoladze is Managing Director at TV MR GE, Nielsen Television Audience Measurement’s official licensee
By Neda Eneva
How can we ensure our industry and profession keep up with the demands of our time and remain relevant not only in generating insights for our clients, but also in effectively impacting the lives of consumers? Last week Amsterdam hosted the latest edition of the ESOMAR Best of series, bringing Congress presentations to the local data, insights and research audience in The Netherlands. And while there wasn’t an official theme umbrella accompanying the event, there was a clear underlying message – if we wish to stay relevant we need to be able to look beyond the conventional and be brave to experiment.
The event opened with a presentation by Till Winkler from SKOPOS, Germany with an inspiring talk on the need for agile research. Are we truly in sync with the way our clients work? Drawing from his experience in the sphere of UX research, Till showcased interesting parallels between the 4 step feedback loop UX teams work with and fundamentally some of the current core requirements in working with clients not only in UX research, but also beyond. He observed that in the sphere of UX and probably most of the tech-oriented industries, the initiation of change and the generation of fact-driven decision-making have actually shifted towards the UX and tech teams themselves leading to a dynamic change in the way clients overall operate. It is the UX teams that drive the change, Till argued, and as drivers of change how do they operate? In a very agile manner, for example, adopting the popular Eric Ries’ 4 step feedback loop, which places the generation of ideas and their execution prior to measuring and generating insights. Research takes too long and it is too complex, UX experts argue and so there appears to be a gap between the model of “build, test and build again” they execute and the insights-first weighty cycles the market research industry provides. And while the clients have an increased demand for speed and continuous support, as well as high demands for specific expertise because they have fundamentally changed the way they work, is the market research industry adapting itself to their needs? Can we prove them wrong in saying that #mrx is just not worth the time and effort? To answer that, we do not even need to reinvent the wheel, Till argued, instead we could perhaps learn from the way our clients operate. To achieve that, he suggested four key action points. First, utilize technology and more specifically – achieve automation. Make use of new solutions to make your processes faster, easier and even cheaper, which can go as far as change the way you interact with clients to meet their needs. Number two, take control, ‘stop the waterfall’. Have the nerve to pivot and try something new, do not be afraid to adjust along the way. Try and experiment with new tools, such as communities for example, to achieve responsive and adaptive testing and insights’ generation. And third, rethink. And this, Till argued is a key principle in achieving a more agile way of working. What about our own UX? Have WE ensured fluid user experience and full, cross-platform integration or have we forgotten that methodology, while crucial, is only one aspect of the journey of meeting clients’ needs. Agile thinking is not something that we can or should switch on and off, it has to become a core principle in the way we work. And so Till concluded, maybe we do not need to prove UX-ers wrong, bur rather try and think differently and most of all, be brave to experiment, try something new, ask for feedback and adapt going ahead.
Going beyond working with clients and moving on to consumers, the need for adaptive action was also highlighted by the team at SKIM, and more specifically Julia Goernandt, Nijat Mammadbayli and Patricia Domiguez who presented their case-study on millennials as key brand development disruptors. And while many still fail to see the relevance, the SKIM team highlighted in a clear way the importance of this key demographic among consumers. In the US, for example, the team highlighted, there are more millennials than baby boomers and while millennials are transforming the market, brands still fail to rethink how they communicate to this generation effectively. To showcase that, a modified research method is needed in understanding millennials and the way they are adopting new technologies and are adapting consumer behavior to their own models. Julia, Nijat and Patricia presented their global case study showcasing a new research approach and namely conducting a survey on smartphones, and more importantly, asking millennials to respond in a way which comes naturally to millennials. Focusing on the telecom industry, the research addressed what millennials look for when choosing a network provider, the best way to talk to millennials, and ultimately what influences their likelihood to switch or stay with a provider. They adapted the swiping technique using ‘unspoken’ technology, which takes into account both the emotional and rational element in decision-making. The research was conducted across 3 different locations (Atlanta, London and Rotterdam) and across a 24/7 timeframe. And so, the case study paid off as they discovered interesting findings confirming key behavioral features of millennials as consumers. Millennials wish to be connected at all time, thrive to be themselves while having fun, value disruptors and are highly perceptive to visuals. And what does that mean for brands? When addressing millennials, it is important not to forget that they are open to changes in decision-making, value the basics and can be rather volatile. And while this global case study focused and highlighted this one key consumer demographic, it showcased an even more important issue – market research needs to maintain an adaptive approach when addressing different consumer groups and thus needs to adjust its methodology in generating insights accordingly.
The third speaker of the day, Nikki Lavoie, MindSpark Research International, continued the topic of connecting better with our target audiences. Where do we look for answers, she asked. Typically, market researchers adjust their methodologies through new tech or more data, but Nikki offered an exciting and rather revolutionary method – why not draw inspiration through a more cross-disciplinary method? She proposed the use of empathy, namely not only understanding and but also sharing the feelings of other people as a tool to gather insight that we understand and value. Market researchers, Nikki argued, both across the qual and quant, often don’t think twice about how they engage to get them into a focus group, for example. Are we motivating participants the best way possible and even more importantly, do we realize how detached from their experiences we are as researchers and how that potentially affects the insights and conclusions we generate from them. Nikki challenged the maxima of “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, urging market researchers to stop resting on their laurels, suggesting the need to go back to the foundations and shift the focus back to the recruitment process. She contested common motivation techniques, such as financial rewards, arguing that those always offer lower engagement rates and cause additional post factum issues. Using learnings from gamification theory, psychology and behavioral economics, Nikki underlined that understanding and connecting with human motivation is a lot more crucial than researchers often realize and there are a lot of limitations that can be found in un-empathetic techniques such as financial incentives. Trust, Nikki added, is another factor often getting lost in financial incentives. The moment you pay someone to answer a personal question, the relationship changes to an economic one, Nikki explained. To illustrate this, she presented a case study she conducted with a control group and a volunteer group who received different explanations as to why they were invited to participate. With the results showing that the completion rate of the task suggested was higher among the volunteer group, Nikki underlined that our ability to motivate and engage with consumers is limited at present. Are we ready to understand and share their experiences, she asked, to reach true understanding of both their shopping and participation behavior?
The final presentation by Anouar El Haji from Veylinx also focused on drawing inspiration from different fields and going beyond traditional methodologies to measure product value and perceptions. His argument was that we need to make the game as real as possible if we are to expect real insights. It is time for #mrx to go in the direction of introducing ‘skin in the game’ for true measurement of value. The problem with surveys, he argued, is that their hypothetical bias is a result of their fictitious nature. His answer to this – “Ask people to put their money where their mouth is” or, simply put, auctions. At Veylinx they have adopted a form of the Lonely but Lovely Vickrey Auction thus impacting the value by changing the positioning of the product. They set up a product valuation by setting an auction in which each participant has one anonymous vote, with the final price being the highest losing bid. By auctions, Anouar argued, the people that are willing to actually pay for a product are more clearly distinguished from the people that are not. A compelling approach, which certainly answers the call for unconventional approaches to commonly witnessed industry challenges.
And so, from auctions to empathy, from millennials to the need for being more agile, this edition of ESOMAR’s Best Of certainly didn’t disappoint in offering inspiration to the call for change from conventional research workflows. Biggest learning for me? Do not be afraid to experiment and look beyond your field when trying to push the boundaries for better insights.
P.S Did I mention that all the speakers are millennials themselves? How cool is that?!?
Neda Eneva is Marketing and Communications Manager at ESOMAR.
By Wale Omiyale
Earlier this year, we held a seminar in London focusing on the next 20 years of Market Research. Having seen so much change during our own 20 years in the industry, it made sense that a look ahead by the same timespan would deliver some fascinating food for thought.
So, when Lightspeed’s Jon Puleston predicted the future of MR with a single statement – ‘I have no idea’ – I was stumped. If we can’t predict what’s in store in the 20 short years ahead, how can we possibly foresee the shape of things to come in the next century?
Puleston went on to explain the nature of his statement as a demonstration of the challenges our industry faces in making predictions of any kind, and also made some very bold statements about how he expects things may turn out.
But his comments were a great way of shaking up my own thinking. With the dramatic developments we’ve seen since our foundation in 1996, how can we pin down what technologies will evolve to drive research, or indeed if different ways of working will disrupt the ways things stand today?
Solid foundations for growth
Historians say that to make sense of our present and future, we need to understand our past. So, without delving into a lengthy history lesson, perhaps we can more accurately predict how our industry will evolve if we take a brief step back and look at what has gone before.
Market Research as a practice really came into its own in the 1920s, a result of the boom in radio advertising and sponsorship in the US. In this decade, Daniel Starch, widely referenced as a pioneer of the MR practices we still work with today, developed the theory that advertising had to be remembered and acted upon to be effective.
Wale Omiyale is SVP, market research at Confirmit
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