Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category
In March/April 2012, Asia Research (the industry journal for the market research industry in Asia) conducted its fifth annual survey of corporations in Asia who undertake market research through external firms. 108 interviews were conducted with individual research buyers in various corporations across Singapore, with some of the key findings summarized below:
On average, 7.1 projects (mean figure) are commissioned each year, a figure which has not changed much in the last year. Most companies (41%) commission between 2 and 4 projects.
Referrals was the most popular way of finding out about new market research agencies, with ‘consulting colleagues within their company’ (79%) and ‘consulting personal contacts in the research industry’ (77%) by far the most widespread methods employed. Attending networking conferences and seminars (51%), formal reviews of agencies (49%), receiving sales calls (46%) and Internet searches (45%) were the next most commonly used approaches.
Of the types of research suppliers used, almost 9 out of 10 research buyers (88%) turn to large multi-national agencies, the benefits of which are seen to include their networks, proprietary tools and specialism in certain sectors. Continuing staff churn, compounded by merger and acquisition activity, is, however, causing some dissatisfaction.
Notably there has been an increase this past year in the use of online panel companies (44%), and it should also be noted that DIY research is used by more than a third of research buyers. In a similar vein, while just 19% of respondents were aware of the recent launch of Google Consumer Surveys, 60% showed some interest in using this facility.
While there is a net increase in research budgets in 2012, this is much lower than research buyers had predicted they would have available to them. Furthermore, the net increase is mainly down to FMCG clients, with many other sectors reporting a net fall in budgets.
For more information on this survey, please visit the Asia Research website, http://asia-research.net/
The recently published 2012 BrandZ report on the Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands found that the value of the top 50 Chinese brands has grown by 16 percent to US$325 billion, representing more than five percent of the Chinese economy. Combining both financial data and opinion gathered from interviews with over 35,000 Chinese consumers, the survey also indicated China’s shift from maker to innovator, the phenomenal rise of online and FMCG brands, and an increasingly brand savvy group of middle class consumers. The list includes China Mobile, the world’s largest telecommunications operator; the four major Chinese banks; and a number of consumer brands, such as Mengniu, Sunning and Lenovo. (Find out more by clicking here)
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Although there remains considerable debate as to which of these brands, if any, can become established as global brands, many Western competitors are beginning to realise the long-term threat from their new Asian competitors. In the face of stagnant economic growth in Europe and the US, and the lingering Euro-zone crisis, it is the Asia-Pacific region where many organizations are looking to try and substitute declining revenues elsewhere. The increasing power of Chinese brands within the Asia-Pacific region, not to mention other rapidly developing regions such as Africa, raises several questions for Western businesses intent on growing market share in new international markets:
• How can Western brands compete effectively with strong Chinese brands in local Chinese markets?
• Should premium-, mid- or low-end brand positioning be adopted in developing markets such as China?
• How should Western brand propositions be adopted for the local Asian market?
• What measures should be taken to defend brand position and market share in home markets from Chinese competition?
• Which Chinese brands represent the most significant competitive threat?
• How can social media in China be exploited to build brand presence?
As Western corporations tackle these important issues, it is clear that the challenge of Chinese brands is only set to grow in the future. However, while this rise represents a challenge, many Western firms are also looking to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Chinese brands. As Chinese brands aspire to compete more effectively with their global competitors on the international stage, the demand for high quality suppliers, product components, and consultancy services has never been greater. While marketing to Chinese businesses brings its own set of particular challenges for the uninitiated, over the past few years Western firms have begun adapting to China’s unique environment and have made inroads selling to some of China’s largest firms. As Chinese brands continue on their relentless march forward, it will be those firms that are able to grasp the characteristics and requirements of Chinese organizations that are likely to see the greatest success in the long term.
In summer 2011, Asia Research, the publication for the market research industry in Asia, carried out an attitudinal survey of the Asian market research industry. Conducted online with 260 respondents from clients, agencies and support industries from 12 countries across the continent, we are pleased to present a summary of the findings of the 2011 State of the Market Research Industry in Asia report on our blog today:
On balance, stakeholders are positive about the prospects for the Asian market research industry, with 64% considering there to be more opportunities (most of which are in the area of technology) than threats compared to just 14% who view the threats (among them price pressure, inability to attract talent to the industry, poor quality fieldwork, and lower respondent co-operation rates) to be greater than the opportunities.
In general, both clients and agencies agree that clients are more price-driven than they were five years ago. Despite this, expenditure in research is expected to rise.
While inability to attract and retain talent is viewed as the biggest threat after pricing pressure, increasing staff salaries is not seen as a leading concern, implying that agencies expect a relatively good supply of candidates and it is common practice in Asia to source candidates internationally (a third of people who took part in the survey were expatriates).
Over the next five years, fairly significant changes are expected to occur in the industry, with more than 60% of respondents believing there will be at least ‘very different products, services, and types of organizations’.
Despite the importance of product innovation and new technology, stakeholders think that ‘investment in staff training and development’ will give agencies the biggest competitive advantage in the next five years. This reiterates that although technology will have an enabling role, at heart market research continues to be a people business. It’s a good thing, therefore, that 84% of stakeholders stated that they ‘enjoy working in market research’, with just 2% disagreeing with this statement!
Find out more by visiting Asia Research.
China Business Review
This article can be found on the China Business Review website at the following link.
Alternatively, the B2B International white paper Marketing and Selling to Chinese Businesses can be accessed by clicking here.
As B2B International expands its operations around the world, the most recent office opening earlier this year in Shanghai, Director of International Operations Matthew Harrison says: “we are delighted that we’re strengthening our North America and Asia-Pacific teams. As the number of clients grows, so too does the need for more experienced and talented researchers.”
Guan Jingyuan joins as research executive in B2B International’s Beijing office. Jingyuan, a bi-lingual Chinese national, has previously worked for Shell in London, UK. A skilled qualitative researcher, she has undertaken research projects for several multinational clients across a number of different industry sectors. Her clients include the likes of Shell, Air Products, International Paint, HR Certification Institute, Etola and DSM, and she has experience researching the fine chemicals, education, agriculture and renewable energy markets.
In the USA, Cristin Malone is appointed as a research analyst in the New York office. In her role, Cristin analyses both qualitative and quantitative data, designs questionnaires, moderates and manages online focus groups, and develops presentations for clients. An experienced market researcher, her previous work has included developing syndicated multicultural attitude and purchase behaviour reports, and conducting primary research for major cable, satellite, and Telco operators, TV networks, Internet companies, and technology developers.