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Online market research is now mainstream in South Africa

The confluence of four market conditions - economic downturn; internet penetration; technology improvement; and consumer readiness to participate in e-commerce and online surveys, has created fertile ground for online market research companies like nudge to create disruptive alternatives to traditional market research.
"Online market research methodologies have been around for quite some time (mainstream in Australia since 2007) but corporate adoption in South Africa has been somewhat pedestrian until now. This is likely to have been as a result of low internet penetration and comfortable levels of budget allocation for market research. But both of these parameters have changed," comments Jake Orpen, Managing Director of nudge.

Consumer access to the internet in South Africa has hit the 50% mark and rising. This is driven by increased smart phone usage coupled with competitive pricing for data and broad-band. The second catalyst that is driving corporate marketers to consider online market research is cost. Heightened competition and a lethargic economy in South Africa has placed huge pressure on marketing budgets in the last few years. CMOs are looking for quicker market insights and at a fraction of last year's budget.

Online market research is fundamentally different to traditional methods in that surveys are sent directly to consumers as opposed to using "face-to-face" or telephonic interviewers. The "double-whammy" effect is that research can be done quicker and at a much cheaper rate.

Online market research has many forms and states. The most common approaches are "Access Panels"; "Branded Panels"; "MROCs" and "Insight Communities" but the category is evolving rapidly. The methodology is vibrant and is one of the fastest growing categories globally according to GRIT (Greenbook - Research Industry Trends Report 2014).

*source: GRIT Report 2014
*source: GRIT Report 2014

In South Africa, nudge specialises in online market research and in particular in building online insight communities. nudge is experiencing 50% growth as its blue-chip clients are opting for the benefits of online market research. Projects are typically turned-around within a week - a proposition highly valued by CMOs and marketing decision-makers.

20 Mar 2015 09:43