Published Feb 02, 2022
Dixit Chanana, Country Director, India at Toluna
The Indian market research (MR) industry is passing through an exciting makeover phase. It is steadily making a much-needed transition towards technology-driven platforms and solutions that are transforming how research has been conducted in India over the last few decades. The adoption is primarily driven by the speed of digitalization of our society, led by the significant increase in smartphone usage, internet penetration, online shopping, and digital payments. This shift has been further spurred by the COVID-19 environment that has challenged all industries to embrace newer, more efficient, and technologically driven methods to drive business. The MR industry is living up to the expectation.
Today, we are living in a digitally charged, data-driven world where shifts in the marketplace are happening more rapidly than ever; therefore, impacting the way consumers interact with brands. In this digitally connected world, brands cannot afford to wait for weeks or months for market research data and insights; the need of the hour is agile solutions that connect them to consumer insights in real-time. There is a need for a complete shift in the way we collect and report data. Though this need is certainly not a new phenomenon, we have seen increased discussions around agility in recent times. The impact is evident across the way brands are looking at research – growth in technology-driven MR agencies, AI (artificial intelligence) driven research, developing mobile apps that can track consumer behaviours, and more.
For a long time, the Indian MR industry has heavily relied on the face-to-face method of conducting interviews, which is a time-consuming and expensive approach. The industry is looking at a faster adoption of online data collection methods that promise agility with better value in the changing environment. This shift means a change in the way we plan and design our research. Research instruments like questionnaires need to be simpler and shorter, adapted to the self-filling format. While a transition to online methods is an encouraging development, it also means that agencies need to multiply efforts and investments to expand the reach of proprietary panels to cater to different industry requirements. India is diverse, and the panel spread needs to have that representation. The MR industry needs to live up to this expectation.
The other significant shift is coming from marketers looking for platforms that enable them to get in touch with their customers in a matter of hours, or even minutes. Toluna Start is primarily a DIY or Assisted DIY method of conducting research that accelerates the time to insights while reducing the probability of error. The platform incorporates functionality built on simplicity and speed, enabling users to field research and analyze data immediately. Toluna Start’s automated solutions give you the flexibility to customize any step of the project, from questionnaire design to sample composition to the analytics and data visualization.
The idea behind the introduction of these platforms is to enable insights professionals to carry out research independently and with more control at each step of the process. The industry needs to ensure that brands can keep a real-time pulse on customers’ evolving needs. Overall, these are exciting times for the industry, where we need to remain ahead in the game and keep exceeding the fast-changing expectations of the market.