The MRSS Round Table 2010

Following the Market Research Society of Singapore (MRSS) stakeholder survey that was implemented at the beginning of 2010, the MRSS recently convened two focus groups with major market research buyers in Singapore.  This was to obtain further insight on the industry and, by popular request from clients, to provide a networking opportunity for buyers of research.  Held at the ‘Oso’ Italian fine dining restaurant in China Town, the MRSS brought together ten clients representing some of the most active research buyers in Singapore.  These included consumer goods clients Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Coca Cola, Kraft, and International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF), and a range of service industries including M1, Starhub, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore Post, Tiger Airways, and the BBC.  The groups were moderated by Piers Lee, MRSS President and MD of Kadence International, and Greg Coops ESOMAR representative for Singapore and MD of Asian Strategies.

(Left to Right) Oana Laza (Proctor & Gamble), Karen Stanton (IFF), Jitendra Papneja (Kraft), Regina Soh (M1), Piers Lee (Kadence & MRSS President –moderator), Christine Kwan

The discussions focused on the role and status of research
within client organizations, the relationship with external
research agencies, and the perceived gaps in the supply market.

The key takes out from the groups highlighted that while
market research is increasingly valued among the senior management of client organizations, market research might not gain its full potential within some organizations due to the influence of global strategy (e.g. among the multi-national
corporations), and the tight turn-around timelines especially
for product launches.

While discussing the research buy lasix solution online supply market, there was broad agreement that the key consideration in choosing vendors is their understanding of the client’s business, which is not just limited to their category expertise but also the extent to which agencies research the client’s business and proactively find solutions to client’s problems.

Clients feel that innovation in the form new black box solutions has probably run its course.  One of the main gaps in the market today is in qualitative research, an area where clients are most willing to move their business around to try out new agencies.  Some complain of poorly executed qualitative research that fall short of expectations. Inexperienced staff and over-promise were sighted as the most common root causes of these problems.  Others though pointed out that the inherent weakness of qualitative research is that it is difficult to identify and recruit consumers who can really come up with break through ideas.  While consumers might be able to articulate their dissatisfaction, often consumers would not be able to find the solutions that could lead to breakthrough product innovation.

The other potential gap in the market is the use of social networking sites.  With the prominence of social media platforms, clients are looking to their research agencies not only to keep abreast with the technological as well as social developments, but also guide their clients on the best ways to utilize these sources.  Some see this as an opportunity for agencies to differentiate themselves by providing alternative access and dialog with consumers.