Market-i, regional marketing research consultancy, won the ESOMAR Best Presentation Award for their paper on Mobile Technology in Marketing Research at the recent ESOMAR MENAP Forum 2015 at the Address Dubai Marina. This award was initiated in 2011 by ESOMAR to celebrate the most inspiring, effective and professional speakers and their ability to deliver an impactful, authoritative and engaging presentation.
The presentation showcasing the use of Mobile Technology in Marketing Research was a combined effort of Nisha Chandy Kumar, COO, Market-i and Girish Sangtani, VP innovations & Technology Market-i. The presentation outlined the need for transformation and change in market research today, and included a case study conducted on behalf of McDonald’s GCC demonstrating the features and benefits of a new mobile app developed by Market-i as a result of market research needs.
Speaking on the win, John Presutti, CEO of Market-i and ESOMAR’s representative for that UAE says in a press statement, “As a boutique consultancy, being recognized by our Industry peers through the ESOMAR best paper award is indeed humbling. This is a proud moment for Market-i and I am deeply grateful to Nisha, Girish and our technology and research teams for their commitment and hard work in developing the technology behind our award winning paper presented at the MENAP Forum 2015”.
The focus of the presentation centered around the need for clients to base business decisions on real time behavioral data. Driven by this realization, Market-i conceptualized and developed private online brand communities that would enable client’s to collect data directly from the consumer.
Although private online brand communities create that direct connection between users and brands, this dialogue is still based on reported evidence of their connection with the brand. It was the need to move away from passive insights that led Market-i to tap into the benefits of utilizing mobile technology to take research a step further and develop a mobile app to move consumer-brand interactions to a more real-time scenario i.e. while the consumers are in the brand or product moment.
With researchers having to move away from being reactive to being more proactive, this mobile app allows brands to engage in regular conversations through private online brand communities created by Market-i. A recent GRIT 2014 report states that “82 percent of market research professionals use, or plan to use online communities in the near future”. The purpose of such communities is to bring the brand closer to their target audience.
The advantage of such a platform vis-à-vis traditional social media platforms is that the former provides exclusivity needed for brands. Market-i brand communities are completely designed as per the client’s requirements and are developed specifically for market research purposes and harnessing the location-based services that the app provides gives clients an understanding into ‘real’ customer behavior rather than ‘claimed’ behavior in real time as a result of live interactions.
Technology has made it possible to activate the digital tools of engagement for continuous consumer dialogue. Utilizing such private communities and mobile research has greatly reduced the cost of research for the client and it has increased the belief and need for authentic real time data at the client’s side.
The case study on McDonald’s GCC presented by Market-i shared the business challenge of creating a granular understanding of customer behavior. In order to achieve this, Market-i established a private online community dedicated for research for McDonald’s Arabia in 2014 and developed a customized android mobile app for community members which was built on a geo-targeting platform that triggered a visit mission based on GPS location of a restaurant, engaging members while they are actively interacting/experiencing a restaurant visit. The app can be used for various types of studies by the Brand including visit experience/satisfaction, operations compliance, product evaluation, mystery shopping, category usage behavior and in-store communications testing.
A beta test conducted among 50 community members across a 4 week period, gave Market-i some clear insights that behavior and satisfaction data when collected in real-time show some interesting insights as opposed to those collected through traditional research, where the data is collected far removed from the actual occasion itself. The test also highlighted some considerations going forward including the importance of demographic balancing to reflect customer profile, attractive incentives to ensure strong participation rate and managing attrition.