By Soji Nagano

The market research landscape in Japan has evolved considerably over the last two years.

Despite the fact that the industry has always placed an importance on quality within data collection, there now appears to be more of a shift towards taking back the reigns when it comes to control over processes and methodologies. These changes are often seen in main two areas, DIY survey tool/international studies.

Following the success of Survey Monkey, many Japanese MR or survey tool companies, including Macromill, GMO and Creative Survey, have developed their own DIY survey tool where end users can create a survey by themselves. Some of the DIY tool providers have started offering access to online panels to the users on their interface. As of now, most of the panel access is limited to domestic panels; however, given the increasing demands of international studies over the recent years, it would be a matter of time that international panels become available on their interface as the next step. The key here is to allow end users to control over processes for any simple studies that they can comfortably conduct by themselves in more cost effective and efficient manner.

Another key change in terms of control has been seen within the area of international studies. More and more MR firms have started taking more control over the operation by, for example, developing an in-house scripting tool or their own online panel. In terms of research topic, on top of traditionally popular topic in international studies such as automotive or fast consumer goods, we have seen a huge increase in the number of inbound-tourism related studies. As Japan gears up to deliver the 2020 Olympics, the perception of the country during the run-up is important. This is further bolstering the MR industry in Japan and helping to develop it at a rapid pace.

When we established Cint Japan in 2012, we had a good idea that this was where the industry was heading. As a result of this foresight, we have been able to adapt to and capitalise on such changes and now have a vibrant and growing business here in terms of facilitating MR firms to conduct international studies with their control over panel source with an efficient DIY tool and building panels across. A highlight of such success has come this month, having relocated to larger premises to accommodate future team expansion in line with revenue and client growth.

Over the past six months, we have started to work with major strategic partners including Jupiter MR Solutions, Buzzbees (iConepts), IDINCU across Asia, providing guidance on the cost effectiveness of their panel sources and sourcing processes, whilst being efficient in conducting international online studies. Questions such as how panels are managed, what drives response rate and how panelists are incentivized, are now being asked by our clients to ensure that they can gain the best response.Such deep-level questioning is facilitated by our offering, with our supply model providing direct access to local panels through our SaaS user interfaces. This means we are appropriately and assuredly aligned with the needs of the market.

To further support the traction we are seeing in the region and to ensure the right level of continued service to our clients, Arianne Dumayas has been appointed as our project and customer support manager. Her experience in the MR arena across Southeast Asia will enable her to make a significant contribution to the growth of our business.

The combination of the new office move together with Arianne’s arrival puts us in a strong position for future growth amid the sea of change occurring in MR in Japan, which is something we are certainly excited to be part of.

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