Erika Harriford-McLaren

Today is a day of first’s for ESOMAR – our first ESOMAR research event in Central and Eastern Europe and our first ever live stream event.

Finn Raben ESOMAR Director General, opened the conference as a stand in for Dieter Korzcak, ESOMAR President, who was ill and could not attend. Noting that the region is growing and presenting new opportunities for business, Finn highlighted that now was the time to host this event to support the local MR industry and to bridge the global and local knowledge for maximising the true potential of CEE. After a warm welcome of the student ambassadors and special thanks to the sponsors and partners, he handed the reigns over to the CEE Programme Chair, Marta Hoffman.

“When we hear West or East we know what speakers are talking about.  But what does CEE mean?” asked Hoffman. The answer, she noted, is within the question. CEE has been the borderline of much in Europe – religion, commerce, politics … The region exemplifies the struggles that most of the western world is now experiencing. But the blood of survival is genetically coded within this region and thus it remains a region worth focusing on.

Keynote Speaker, Kornell Mueller
Often when meeting with others from different regions and talking, researchers find that they have many of the same concerns and insights no matter what they are from.  One that looms over all agencies, from all corners of the globe is “What do clients really want?”

Kornell Mueller, CMI Director at Unilever Haircare, UK gave a helpful summary that is sure to help researchers in CEE and beyond.

What do clients actually expect from the industry?
Do clients want to spend money on research? Mueller says “no”, which is something I’m sure you don’t want to hear.  But why? Because it is a cost – but if you set it up as a “business opportunity” then you may just get their attention.  Clients want insights … so, what is a consumer insight at the end? According to Mueller, it is fresh thinking that triggers action….i.e. actionable learnings.

How can agencies can get there?
Getting there is a combination of 1) people with 2) an MR approach….i.e. get the context! Don’t think in isolation, but in a broader perspective. If you are on target with macro trends, consumer connections ,and trade visits you will be on target. The #1 enemy of insight is a pure project reportage!

The real insights are not just facts or information or advice…we must remember that they are directly actionable fact-based insights. Make your insight resonate by being short, simple, and considering “people” and not just “consumers” and you will connect with the client! Yes, it is time consuming and expensive…therefore you must log it (solidify in writing), land it in the business and then take action or it will be lost. With this there will be ROI .

So how can you enable this in your structure?
Mueller believes your structure should mirror the client structure when at all possible, have cross-agency teams, dedication to industry-category client and make every effort to have an on-site presence for clients.

How can you contribute to this change?
So what do clients expect from you? Mueller notes that they want experience and wide-skilled staff with open-minded and inspired managers.  Don’t just give them streamlined or narrowly focused experts.  Without inspiration and open-mindedness a client will not feel they are getting a holistic view.

– Agencies – clients want them to deliver the content…i.e. the meat and to do it with expertise.  Clients want to work with you as a genuine team member!

– Client Insight team – clients want you to lead insighting

– Marketing – give a solid brief and act on it

By providing inspired work, connecting with consumers as people and not just respondent consumers and listening to the client and selling the ROI and business opportunities from the research investment  – you will be that much closer to truly satisfying your client needs.

The Global Family Today
Nickelodeon kids and family GPS
Carlos Garcia, Nickelodeon, USA
Marcin Lipnicki, Viacom International Media Networks, Poland

Is there a difference between families around the world? According to Carlos Garcia, of Nickelodeon, surprisingly there are few differences.

Using research conducted in 21 countries around the globe, with various methodologies and targeting children from 8-15 years (and their parents), Nickelodeon found that households are shrinking in many ways … increases in single family households and space decreasing between kids and parents – from age ranges, to technology (can you get your son or daughter off your iPad?) to relationships – parents are now best friends.  All of this means the role of the family is changing…and this is happening everywhere.

Even with the increase in working moms and stay at home (or at least making meals) dads – they have found that moms still are the parent that kids connect to most, despite working outside the home. There is also now the introduction of a deeper role of grandparent involvement providing both emotional and practical support – things that one can’t get from external childcare. This is a growing shift.

Kids dreams, parents inspirations and education are the top three topics around the globe.  Families are connecting over finances as well. 75% of parents discuss finances with their kids… and Nickelodeon found that now, more and more, kids are talking about saving… even if they don’t know why. Parents are doing this because they want their kids to solve problems well and feel strong and confident about the brands they choose. They want to better prepare them for the future.

Collaborative family decisions are also on the rise…Parents are allowing kids to make key decisions like car selection, actions that were usually only part of the parental domain. A true shift from “what I say goes….”

Research Capabilities in Selected Countries in CEE
Marcin Rzepka, PMR, Poland

One must have proper data gathering processes to get good results for research in the CEE region. What are some the basic issues that face researchers when preparing research in CEE? Price, facilities, incidence rates, response rates and incentives are a few….

Socio-demographic diversification
The western perspective commonly believes that all CEE countries are post-soviet, similar and small…there are strong connections between the stock markets, exchange rates and more to support this view, but these countries are indeed very different. Huge differentiating factors are GDP, population see, urban vs. rural populations and lifestyles.  These countries vary vastly in these areas. Be sure to keep this in mind.

Technical Facilities
Before starting your project be sure to ask what is the landline coverage for telephones – since this is the cheapest and often most used in these countries. When it comes to phone and internet coverage, rural vs. urban areas, facilities for CLT and FGI, as well as for web streaming… be sure to ask ,or you may be surprised from country to country.  Also be sure to book early.

Methodological Background
To get true understanding of global requirements  – be sure to shape your recruitment criteria  for each country. Level of usage and competency – this will vary widely. For example, large portions of CEE populations have internet access, but they may use the internet differently and thus not offer the same reach or anticipated response rates.

Sampling of professionals will also require you to understand how credentials works in each country. Often this differs dramatically from Western qualifications. Lastly, be sure to check the English skills – as these will vary tremendously as well.

Helpful hint – ask for a pilot study first and get quotes for each country to see what your real costs may be. Internet and phone costs will vary, sometimes greatly, so be prepared.

Panel discussion
From the Global Stage to the CEE Reality
An interactive debate exploring the research status of the region and future developments

Moderator: Marta Hoffmann, CEO, TNS Hoffmann, Hungary

Participants: Marcin Rzepka, Head of Research Services, PMR, Poland
Robert Pinter, Client Service Director, Ipsos, Hungary, Russia and Czech Republic

Noting that of the global industry growth in Europe (42%), CEE turnover was 7.6 % of that total, Hoffman noted that CEE was in essence a distinct part of European turnover, but not a driver. Since 2008, there was a significant drop in turnover, which is now steadily rising.

So what does this mean for the region now and the future? From pricing to use of tech are barriers to make MR compatible with western standards, it is important to differentiate this region from the rest of the world. For example, globally 22% of investments went to online research, with only 10% for CEE studies…this leaves tremendous room for growth.

Importantly, researchers must truly focus on each country within CEE – The world must stay aware that each local economy offers different things and that the region needs to market itself as a true MR region with unique and multiple opportunities to offer.  The world has moved past the thoughts of 10 years ago, when the region was seen as homogenous and not offering much in relation to western standards. Dig into each country and discover the rich insights that each country has to offer on it’s own.

Emerging Middle Class in Russia
Metamorphose of brand perception
Marina Simakova, O+K, Russia
Ioannis Kavounis, The Futures Company, UK

Moving from client expectations and insights to a true CEE focus, the afternoon session started with a view on Russia – one of the stars of the world and of the CEE region.

Is there a middle class in Russia?  How is it defined and how different are they? After 70 years of socialism and 20 years of capitalism, times have changed and middle-class consumers have appeared over the horizon.

So, who is this new consumer?  Using a focus groups, ethnographic immersions and multi-media self-ethnographic methods, the speakers explored this new rise of the middle class and found that this consumer is between the ages of  20-35 years old and is free from Soviet hangups and interpretations of American dreams.  They seem to be quite educated and find personal fulfillment and financial success in their work. They struggle to find a balance between stability – wanting to be certain about their future –  and taking risks – wanting to have new experiences.

This consumer is also up to date… which enables them to be fully engaged in the contemporary world and follow the latest trends.  However, at heart they feel very connected to  the world of their parents and therefore nostalgia is high.

Additionally, they have a distinct set of values  – individualism ( personal interest and decision making) but with realistic optimism ( ideas in action and is a go-getter – the world depends on them.) and the need to ask for more (is never satisfied and makes the most of one’s life – infinite possibilities)

This person is a catalyst of consumption – consume it right now! So how has this affected brands? During the Soviet times, there was no private or intellectual property – there were only commodities… But in the 90s, there was a move to international brands, and an advertisement boom; but no real understanding of brands as a concept.  For them it was just a name.  This evolved into today where the brand is always considered and now brand savviness is common.  The true semiotic dimensions of brands is now appreciated.

There are three brand groups today – local functional brands (Lada) – accessible brands (Nescafe, Carlsberg, Adidas and Ford) and premium brands – (i.e aspirational brands like Chivas, Chanel and Audi). Remember it is this middle group that is driving growth. This growth is happening fast, so speed is key.

Using an alcoholic-brands case study, the speakers underscored that when looking into Russia, researchers must remember that this consumer sees themselves as the masters of their destiny’s and brands are instruments to help them judge their financial situations against the backgrounds of others. They separate their work lives from personal lives, expressing different rituals and behaviour patterns for each part of life. Remember, brands can provide guidance, educate and be the true social currency for social and economic standing in Russia.

From Terabytes to Archetypes
The psychology of internet security
Simon Patterson, QRi Consulting, UK
Alexander Erofeev, Kaspersky Lab, Russia

First of all, congratulations to Alexander Erofeev in his new global research role at Kaspersky. While it was our loss to not hear him speak due to new obligations, we are happy to hear of his promotion.

By 2015,  it is estimated that there will be 3 billion users with more than 15 billion internet connected devices. The estimated costs of cyber crime currently runs at 17 billion, and therefore internet security has never been more important for both technical and economic reasons.

Kaspersky, when seeking assistance from QRi was really an unknown brand, except for IT experts, who held it in high regard..i.e. were in the know. So, they commissioned an international study (B2B and B2C), which covered 8 markets in the world to raise brand awareness in an industry that was relatively new. Surprisingly, they used face-to-face workshops and in-depth interviews – in an effort to get away from the internet environment.

QRi found that IT folks are constantly worried about their job – as staff are always compromising security. Consumers have an increasing dependency and fear  regarding security for their laptops and info in the cloud as well as for the protection of identities, memories and data. They had consumers create archetypal stories (stories within stories) through collage and analysed them.

They found 6 archetypal stories coming out by B2B and B2C including the scientist (leading-edge brand); the craftsman (designer/specialist, cool-brand; bespoke); the female/Protection intuition – female energy and guiding hand through all the problems ( Lara Croft; captivating and enchanting); the Guardian ( peace of mind/ freedom) takes care of you; the warrior (good against evil, defending against cyber crime) and lastly the magician – (the superhero who duels with hackers, mythical figure).

By combining some of these archetypes, they reconstructed brand strategy. communication and product development  around the guardian, warrior and magician  archetypes and have created a single and successful brand strategy for B2B and B2C ( as well as for their Formula 1 sponsorship) that is based on shared emotional benefits. A really unique way of using  psychology and brands for better business…

Guest speaker
How Cool Brands Stay Hot in CEE
Joeri Van den Bergh
, author How Cool Brands Stay Hot. Branding to Generation Y

Joeri Van den Bergh, on his first visit to Poland, wowed the audience with his now famous presentation on how cool brands stay hot – all with a unique CEE focus.

Consumers today are marketing savvy – used to mass media advertisements and this generation (Y) is the  most marketing savvy of all time.

So, how different is Gen Y? H&M wanted Gen Y to spend their time with them, so they created a special bus stop that would give this generation 15 minutes to shop while waiting for the bus. H&M changes the store every week – repaints, refurbishes the store and reshuffles the clothes. For Gen X and baby boomers – it’s frustrating, but Gen Y loves it.  Another great example of this is Forever 21 – who changes their clothes every single day.

For this generation it’s good to remember that the number one influence/role model is Facebook. Parents rank second, even over Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber and Rhianna.

Additionally for Gen Y’ers, the notions of individual  and ownership are paramount.  They can be hard to coach and as a generation feel individually empowered to ask for change in the company.

Realness and authenticity is not so important to this generation. When presented with authentic history of a brand versus a marketing gimmick (Haagen-Dazs not really being Scandinavian – only a name for marketing), it does’t matter if it is actually a real story. A brand can be seen as authentic as long as it is presented well and stays true to itself. . To this generation, even Apple is an old brand ( my dad uses it) – showing that their version of old is very different..

Things to remember:

– Stay true to your root – but don’t shout

– Warm is the new cool –

– Be open and respectful ( listen like friends) brands should  be human like friends or parents…