For many years (maybe for decades!) the qualitative market research in Brazil did not innovate. For a long time, the market was dominated by big international players, delivering jobs using traditional methods, without introducing new ideas or ways of doing things.
But in the last 10 years this market has been changing a lot. And turning into something better.
Several agencies are coming up with very new proposals, quite different and innovative. And these new proposals are coming from small businesses, created and run by people who (most of them) used to work outside the market research industry. These agencies work for all types of clients, from small local players to large international companies such as Unilever, PepsiCo, Danone, Kraft, P&G, Heineken, Pernord Ricard, which is an evidence of relative market success.
One of the most interesting features of this new agencies is that many of them are offering research services with a “plus”. And it is precisely this “plus” the reason why for such success. Some agencies do research + communications planning, others research + branding, other research + product innovation, among other services.
This is happening because many people who worked as clients or in advertising agencies entered the market, created their own agencies and added marketing and planning skills to the basic research services. In many circumstances the clients are preferring to work with these agencies. The main reason for that is because the deliveries are very actionable. Every research finding comes with an innovation / communication / branding extra service that can be implemented immediately.
How this trend will affect the Brazilian market? Really don’t know. Maybe they will become dominant, maybe they will continue as a small movement of niche agencies. But i’m sure this trend is strong enough to plant a seed in the boardrooms of the big players and maybe inspire them to be more innovative and bold.