This post puts together some opinions – and expectations – from myself, founder of Scoop & Co qual reserch agency, Ana Claudia Alvarez, head of consumer insights for LATAM at Pepsico and Karina Meyer, Planning Director at Ogilvy Brazil.
Brazil is experiencing very positive economic times that brought great changes for our society, including the massive access to new technologies and especially to the internet.
When internet access meets the sociable profile of Brazilians it makes the country one of the champions of the world in terms of web access and social networks usage.
All this closeness to the internet is not being fully exploited by the market research in Brazil. The few initiatives that we see are punctual, only with tactical objectives.
“I do believe Brazil need to catch up soon all the movements and advances we can see in Europe, USA and even in Asia in the consumer insights arena . Brazil is not exploring at all the potential of the virtual world: online communities, social networks and all the other possibilities in this environment. It is a fact that even Low Income Consumer are connected and online . The mobile technology is growing rapidly (we have more mobiles than people in Brazil) but we from Insights are far from all this new ways of communication. It seems we are quite scared” – Ana Claudia Alvarez, head of consumer insights for LATAM at Pepsico.
For 2012 I expect Brazilian companies to give more protagonism to online methodologies and give it a more strategic role within the business.
Some ways to make it better in Brazil:
The web as source of strategic insight and not only for monitoring reviews.
The Brazilian market is saturated with suppliers (most of them are tech companies with no research skills) offering inexpensive monitoring system to catch opinions on social networks. Large companies, driven by curiosity of what is being discussed in the networks (and also attracted by the low cost of the tool) end up purchasing such services. However, these are services that fail to deliver strategic insights to the company.
“How to capture and transform what has been generated on social network? Or better identify cultural movements? Many things happen in social networks that we could take beenfit. There are already some attempts but most of them are not pratical and do not delivery great results.” – Karina Meyer, Planning Director at Ogilvy Brazil.
In my opinion, online monitoring is used in Brazil in a very reactive way, it only find problems (consumer complaints) but rarely finds solutions or insights that suggest new opportunities for companies.
There is an huge opportunity to develop new ways to extract strategic insights from what is being discussed in the web. Hope that 2012 and beyond we can find good alternatives for that.
The web as a platform to put the consumer closer to marketing decisions.
The traditional research, extensively used in Brazil (sometimes too much!), provides good results but fails to bring the consumer closer to the company. The old focus groups gives a limited access to consumer and fail to engage them to co-create solutions with the company.
The online methodologies, in contrast, can create another type of engagement with consumers.
But is important to say: Is not about “let’s build an online community for us” and use it for solving simple doubts in a fast way. Is about planning a new way of connecting the consumers using the potential of online tools (engagement, fast access, crowd conversations etc) as enablers for that.
Companies and suppliers need to rethink the use of traditional methods and sometimes leave the focus groups aside and seek alternatives that uses consumers in a more strategic way.
In 2012 expect to see more technology and online methods in consumer research arena in Brazil. I hope that companies be more open to them. And I hope the suppliers works harder to provide more strategic outputs from these methods. Otherwise we will keep using the traditional methods more and more and not following the developments of market research that we see happening in other countries.