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Review: Breakfast Seminar Singapore, Q4 2014

The Asia Research breakfast seminars are now the most regular research event in Singapore. The fifth seminar, “Co-Create It!” was held at the Goodwood Park Hotel in October 2014 and the speakers included Anthony Dobson (Director of BDRC Asia), Professor Jonathan Briggs (co-founder and Academic Director of Hyper Island, a digital marketing school), Mark Dwyer (MD of Vision Critical), and Clare Parham (Head of Truth Asia).

Anthony Dobson provided an overview of the various Asia Research surveys throughout 2014, highlighting the current challenges facing the MR industry in Singapore and with it some drop in optimism among industry stakeholders. While there is continued pressure on pricing, the opportunities through technology and consulting showed a way for the industry to meet these challenges in light of greater competition.

Professor Jonathan Briggs’ paper discussed that traditional marketing would fail in a digital era, but more controversially suggested that a new generation of consumers no longer cared about brands. Jonathan argued that corporations will have to think less about nurturing their brand image and instead think about the notion of the “Jobs To Be Done” (JTBD) and being able to deliver these to consumers. While MR functions of corporations have to date been conditioned by segmentation and what the “average” customer might do, the JBTD framework dontdontevaluates the circumstances that arise in consumers’ lives and how purchase decisions are made when consumers find they have a problem to solve. With an understanding of the “job” with which consumers find themselves, corporations can more accurately develop and market products well-tailored to what customers are already trying to do, and often the purchase decision is made there-and-then through their digital devices.

Mark Dwyer from Vision Critical talked about the growing “collaborative economy”, in which consumers are sharing or trading goods and services with each other. Mark proposes that behind these customer-to-customer transactions is a new generation of start-ups. Use of these online services is quickly spreading thanks to key technologies such as mobile apps and social networking. Mark, coining the term “sharers” demonstrated that the “The Crowd” are indeed becoming businesses unto themselves in categories such a hotels, taxis, agriculture, and a whole range of enterprises that are traditionally the preserve of corporations.

Claire Parham from Truth Asia delivered a paper on the core topic of co-creation, and “busted” a number of myths surrounding co-creation in a paper that demonstrated a process that cut through the hyperbole and went to the heart of making co-creation commercially applicable. Her paper cut to the chase by demonstrating how, if done appropriately, it can be cost-effective, efficient as well as having broad category use throughout Asia.