dataSpring’s new EMEA Region Director, Arjen van Duijvenbode shares his thoughts about working on an Asian sample panel and trends in the market research industry.
Q: What’s the current state of the market research industry in Europe?
A: Overall business growth for many industries in the EU market is flat, so that is leading companies to explore opportunities in Asia. Of course, any time a company is looking to expand into a region, market research is often the first step.
This is especially true for companies looking to Asia for growth. CMO’s know that the Asian market is fundamentally different, but more importantly, they are beginning to better understand that the region itself is not homogenous and has many important nuances between countries.
Q: What methodologies or approaches are you seeing more of these days?
A: In addition to the traditional tracking and positioning studies, we have seen a lot of hybrid “quali/quant” methodologies and online communities being fielded – both approaches are driving a lot of the growth in the industry right now.
Q: Why do you think those methodologies, in particular, are growing?
A: The consumer market keeps getting more complex. There are more product and brand choices, more media and messaging, and more information in general. Marketers need solid insights to break through the clutter. KPMG published their 2016 Global CEO Outlook report and nearly one-fifth of the interviewed CEOs say that branding, stronger marketing, and communications are their top priority. The hybrid methodologies potentially offer deeper insight into the market.
Also, data analysis capabilities have improved tremendously, so mining insights out of the abundance of data – both structured and unstructured – provided by hybrid methodologies is much quicker. The same KPMG study reports that 25% of CEOs plan to invest in data analysis capabilities. So you can see how the methodology and technology complement each other.
Q: You and your team are constantly working with clients. What’s the “buzz” in the industry?
A: I hear a lot of interest in mobile. While mobile data collection isn’t new, as an industry we are still developing best practices for study and survey design. Right now it is often being used as just another method for data collection, but I believe that with the rise of mobile purchases, there are opportunities to collect data at key points during the actual purchase process. This is especially important in Asia where mobile commerce continues to grow and in many cases outpaces other regions.
In addition, data quality and sample sourcing are always hot topics. Everything is shifting to more data validation and creating more actionable insights. Also being able to deliver quick and reliable data with the right sample structure.
Q: How are you counseling dataSpring clients to take advantage of these trends?
A: At dataSpring, our focus is on better respondent engagement. Most survey designs still come from CATI systems, so they are often lengthy and sometimes very boring. This not only leads to respondent fatigue, but the data collected lacks depth. We strive to keep respondents engaged and try and extract as much insight out of every moment. A lot of MR agencies still have first generation survey tools that have outdated visuals and technology. And many aren’t mobile friendly.
Q: How is dataSpring positioning itself in the European market?
A: Our company has been successfully creating and maintaining panels in Asia since 2006, so we bring a new level of expertise to UK/EU clients doing research there. And not just in providing a quality sample, but with study and survey design, and interpreting the data.
So of course, I think EU market research agencies should choose us, instead of the usual suspects, when doing a multi-country study that includes Asia. With our global panel network, we can easily set up any country outside of Asia within our own environment, while clients still get the benefits of our Asian research expertise.
Q: How are you set up to service clients?
A: We have a client service team here in the UK supporting all clients in the EMEA region. This is backed up by a new operations hub in Manila who service our clients around the clock. It’s a 24/7 service.
Q: What’s the direction for the future?
A: Currently, clients rely on us for our legacy work when we were known as Research Panel Asia. With the dataSpring company, we are a global sample provider in 35 countries and a full-service research partner. We are in the final stages of building a web-based platform that allows researchers and marketers to create surveys and select sample from our global panel with their own personal login.
It is very exciting. We’re building on the momentum we have with our clients so they can get even more benefits from our partnership.
Arjen van Duijvenbode has over 12 years experience in the Market Research industry, he has previously opened offices for Lightspeed GMI and Cint in the Benelux region and he also has worked for B2B specialist exëvo. He started his MR career at Bloomerce Access Panels which was sold by Kees de Jong to SSI in 2006.
dataSpring has offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore, Los Angeles, and New York, supported by a recently expanded main operations hub in Manila. The firm maintains over 2,000,000 panelists in Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore.
Headquartered in Japan, dataSpring is a tech-based market research firm connecting international brands with targeted consumers through technology. The company offers market researchers and end clients a powerful package of research solutions such as Global Sample in over 35 countries, a one-stop Fieldwork Suite from questionnaire design to tabulation, and a proprietary survey programming and reporting tool.