By Alina Serbanica
Bucharest, March 23rd, 2017: The Romanian market research industry took once again the opportunity of a lovely sunny day in the beginning of the spring to vibe with the provocations the industry has in an emergent market placed in the core of the Central East European geography, in between the Western Europe and the border to the Asia / Middle East geography.
The event organised in Bucharest represented the 5th edition of the Best of ESOMAR (BOE) series, under ESOMAR umbrella and in partnership with the Romanian Market Research Association (SORMA) and with The University of Economic Studies – Faculty of Marketing, Bucharest.
The BOE 2017 Romania event was organised by the Committee of the following MR Agencies (members of SORMA): Daedalus Online, D&D Research, El Qusl, GfK Romania, iSense Solutions, Ipsos Romania, ISRA Center, Kantar Millward Brown, Kantar TNS, and Mercury Research, under the coordination of the Romania ESOMAR Representative.
The BOE 2017 event benefit from the support of its Media Partners: IQads, Money New, Piata, Progresiv, Research Romania, and SMARK, traditional BOE series partners in Romania, ensuring the appropriate visibility of the event and media coverage in the niche/targeted business media channels.
Professor Nicolae Istudor, PhD – the Rector of “The Bucharest University of Economic Studies”, addressed a big “welcome” to all participants, gave his appreciation to ESOMAR and SORMA for the continuous contribution to build bridges between the practitioners and the academic world (students and professors) as this is the only way to build the future generations of experts.
Best of ESOMAR Romania was hosted for the 5th time in a row in the same spectacular venue – AULA MAGNA, The University of Economic Studies, Bucharest – an impressive auditorium where the visitors and participants can admire the largest mural fresco (100 sq. m.) painted in one single piece and representing the history of the Romanian trade seen as a spiral from the top to the bottom of the wall. This masterpiece of art belongs to the UNESCO patrimony and was painted by one of the very famous Romanian painters – Cecilia Cutescu-Stork, who painted frescos in the Royal Palace – Throne Room (Bucharest).
The Aula Magna venue and the theme of this year BOE event – Trends in the Romanian market – attracted over 200 participants representing: MR industry’s clients – multinational/ international and local companies buying market research services, acting in all kind of fields of activities (FMCGs, automotive, banking, financial and insurance, telecommunication and IT, pharmaceuticals, media etc.); MR agencies belonging to international groups/networks or local small to medium sized ones, delegating high level experienced researchers and young researchers to attend the event; academic representatives (students and professors) interested of the novelties and insights experts from the research industry would share as presenting in the BOE event.
BOE 2017: Trends in the Romanian market – the event addressed a very diverse range of topics regarding market research trends in Romania: Which are the Romanian consumer trends? How to interpret and reinterpret them? How to be different, to innovate and connect with modern consumers? What are the market trends among Romanian youths?
The program was structured in four presentations and discussions blocks (hosted by Session Chairs representing the marketers/MR clients), outlining the trends in the Romanian market and research industry, from the complexity of understanding the nowadays consumers’ insights and use them to impact the business to the new role the young consumers – including the kids – start playing inside the society as significantly influencing the consumer decision making process inside the family and in the society (while being at school, while interacting via social media with other population segments, etc.).
Speakers representing “crème de la crème” professionals of the Romanian market research industry took over the stage for a full day event. (NB: to whom may concern the full program and list of speakers, please consult the ESOMAR website.
Special international speakers honoured the Romanian Best of ESOMAR event:
Tom De Ruyck (Keynote Speaker), Managing Partner – InSites Consulting, Professor at IESEG, Belgium:
Tom gives more than 100 keynote speeches, workshops and in-company presentations every year. He has spoken in 35+ countries around the globe at major business, marketing, technology and research events. For BOE 2017 – Romania event, Tom made the choice to challenge the audience with a provocative topic related to how to influence business impact by using consumers’ insights (From Consumer Insights to Business Impact); during his performance on BOE stage, Tom proved to the entire audience that there is still over 50% room for the market research industry and its researchers to succeed on changing the attitudes and decisions of the marketers. The most provocative/challenging will be how can tomorrow’s insight professional do this efficiently yet effectively?
Steve Wigmore (Guest Speaker), Director – Research Technology, Lightspeed, United Kingdom:
Steve is very passionate and spends much of his time working with clients and project managers to create surveys which maximise respondent engagement and deliver high quality data to clients. Particular focus is placed on the development of surveys for respondents on mobile devices. For the BOE event in Romania, Steve provoked the audience with the paradigm related to professionals’ choice (researchers or MR clients; reps) between quantity and quality (Quantity or Quality? You Decide! Collecting better data through shorter surveys).
Some of us may say that this is a trivial subject as continuously debated during the last decade, more intensively since the mobile/digital devices changed the way research industry is accessing its respondents.
BOE Romania participants realised that this is not a trivial subject at all; Steve proved to the audience that this is even more important nowadays than in the past as researchers and MR clients’ appetite for collecting and gathering together as much as possible data about consumers dramatically increased, as the ways MR industry collects data changes continuously – no longer “one way” data collection models applied, more and more very interactive data collection models, capturing consumers’ insights while experiencing products and services (in-household, in-shopping, in-“day-to-day” life depictions etc.).
BOE 2017 novelty consisted of an extensive block of presentations and debates (Q&As) addressing the relationships between the kids and parents, the psycho attitudinal segmentation of pupils and parents, the nowadays market trends influenced by kids, who will become the next generation of adults’ consumers in 10-15 years from now on.
There are very well-established patterns in the today’s societies such as:
Digital, mobile and social communities: there is no doubt that we are living in an age of the super-technology, when things are dramatically changing overnight, where digital is driving our living style, regardless age, gender, residence and/or social status (including education, profession, income etc.).
Let consumers step in, literarily and virtually! Consumers express themselves using a variety of communication channels (world of mouth; social media – Facebook, Twitter, Whats App, etc.; Customer Services facilities; spontaneous public speeches etc.). The consumers’ insights are no longer limited to the intrinsic features and functionalities of the products and services they are using/consuming day-to-day; the insights become complex, extrinsic, addressing dimensions beyond the product/ service itself, touching macro and micro-economic environment, social environment, social responsibility, driving technology evolution/progress, requiring adapting the educational systems to the continuously evolving societies.
Market research industry, the researchers have a complex role to identify the best ways to reshape the data collection models and to influence the new communication concepts between marketers (companies acting in all fields of activities) and its consumers, with the aim to take the consumers on board as partners in the research.
In the previous years the market research industry brought a great contribution to re-positioning the relationships between the companies and its consumers, making marketers well understanding that consumers play a significant role of products/services co-creation.
An important take away of BOE 2017 event hosted in Bucharest, Romania is that market research industry must play an important role to determine marketers to change the way they are interacting with the consumers, as completely insufficient to limit to the adults’ audience, highly needed to bring more and more into the game the youth/ kids, as they become a vital ingredient of the equation/formula for the “tomorrow” successful recipe of their businesses.
The digital, mobile era is giving high access to the information to the kids, they become conscious consumers, expressing desires/preferences, likes/dislikes, needs and expectations, acting in a vocal way when households’/families’ consumption decisions are taken, proving to express valuable insights as their experiences are complex and cognitive.
Are we, market research professionals, doing all our best to integrate the environment and society’s changes into our day-to-day research instruments, techniques and methodologies?
Are we well equipped to measure and translate into research valuable outcome for the marketers the insights youth segments – kids included – bring into the landscape?
We should never feel ourselves well prepared and done with our job; we should continue to be restless on finding the cutting edge research solutions for a future we still feel overwhelmed to picture, but already draw it in our minds as a future when consumers (adults and kids) may dare for more.
Alina Serbanica, PhD – ESOMAR Representative, Romania / Senior Vice President, Ipsos