Impact of APAC on market research digital transformation


Like the rest of the globe, the APAC region is ripe for change and is driving market research in new directions. As a market research technology and sample automation company we can see the obvious shifts toward digital methodologies. The global pandemic has accelerated this situation with, for example, traditional face-to-face qualitative approaches forced solely online. There is also a pervasive movement toward insights globalisation, arguably due to the cross-border interconnectedness that the pandemic has brought to the forefront. Across the board, there is an essential need for nimble, fast consumer insights in an metamorphosising market research technology landscape. “Just-in-time” and agile research has never been in greater demand.

Japan in particular is experiencing pandemic-driven change that is amplified by other significant events such as the resignation of the long-serving Prime Minister, the launch of the world’s first flying car, and the upcoming (albeit postponed) Olympic Games. The country’s appetite for digital transformation and market research technology is changing in step, as they begin to look past a saturated domestic insights market for a more global view.

We’re seeing the Japanese market looking for a more complete outlook on how consumer behaviour is changing in reaction to the pandemic, beyond its own borders, specifically as it relates to future attitudes toward tourism and travel. This differing approach means that the country will be seeking research that can deliver a global view, something which was not as much of a focus prior to the events of 2020. This will place differing demands on market research companies to automate sample and provide a highly engaged and deeply profiled respondent base.

In nearby China, market research is also experiencing a steep growth trajectory. In some ways, this market can be seen as a predictor of what is to come in other regions. It is farther along in its recovery from the pandemic, and, based on recent reports from the area, life is returning to some semblance of normalcy.

Specifically, there is a growing demand for online qualitative research that targets niche audiences including segments such as high net worth individuals, working professionals and international travellers. With a strong focus on the Chinese markets, these are the groups that are likely to have an economic impact on their landscape, so accessing them through the right sample automation and market research technology has increased in importance.

Across Asia, and elsewhere, research companies will be challenged as enterprise clients survey their own customers using Customer Experience (CX) tools. For example, most of us have received post-travel airline surveys. The airline already knows that they are tapping into their client base, because they have travel history, usage and purchase data already. Market researchers will need to get creative and diversify in these types of situations and contribute by doing research such as competitor analysis, market share analysis, brand health and other important metrics.

Australia and New Zealand
It’s impossible to address what’s happening in APAC without taking a look at Australia and New Zealand, where Cint is also experiencing significant growth with our market research technology offering. The story here is matching step-by-step to what we’re seeing on a larger, global scale due to the pandemic. Jessica Murdoch, our Vice President of Sales and Customer Success in the region, is not surprised by trends that are showing:

  • Increased need for automation and DIY tools
  • A significant shift toward shorter surveys and online (vs. offline) research
  • Push for global insights due to accelerated globalisation
  • Enhancement of quality processes, such as fraud mitigation, with advanced use of AI

These trends are becoming commonplace, no matter the region. Market research companies must work faster than ever to reduce the gap between technology and how market researchers use it. From a market research technology standpoint, customers across the board continue to seek the right balance between cost and quality by boosting adoption of DIY and programmatic sampling approaches.

It’s important to take a global view when we look at recent changes with the industry, keeping an eye on trends and developments that may affect market research technology on a wider scale. We encourage you to also see our piece in Research Live about the emerging markets of Middle East and Africa.

Companies and brands are leaning on their market research partners for advice, guidance and insights during this time to help them keep up with their audiences. This is our time to shine as market researchers, not just in APAC, but around the world as more are seeking the streamlined delivery of fast, iterative insights.

Access to global audiences, in APAC and around the world, has never been easier. Cint’s market research technology platform helps companies gain consumer insights from more than 100 million registered consumers in over 150 countries.