Market research insights and trends: Leading up to QUAL360 APAC 2022, we speak to Head of Sensory Consumer Insights APAC at Symrise, Bao DO as he shares the market research insights, trends, challenges and how to overcome the of lack of resources in the industry, a preview to his panel discussion this 8-9 November in Singapore.
Qual360: What are your views on the current trends and state of Market Research & Insights?
Bao DO: Speed and agility in research; we are in a time where speed is probably the number one requirement as business is moving at a fast a faster pace. Business decision could be made sometimes without waiting for research outcomes. Role of the researcher; technology has been exponentially progressing (AI, Machine Learning, Big Data and Modeling & Simulation). Technologies create new technologies.
Automation and digitalization are everywhere. There is an abundance of data and insights that requires researchers to put everything together and make sense out of it. Next is to drive forward the recommendations and implications with compelling story telling and narratives. But probably that’s not everything yet. What is the future role of human researcher? This question needs to be constantly revisited.
Qual360: What would you like our delegates at Qual360 APAC 2023 to remember?
Bao DO: Whatever we want to do, technology will figure out how to do it first. So as researchers, we should focus on is figuring out the “What” and “So What”. What questions needed to be answered and for what purpose. What data and insights are needed and its’ implications. Design the “What” and “So What” well, so that technology can be leveraged for the “How” to get those insight and data. Democratizing research, humanizing data, leveraging empathy are all key topics.
Qual360: What are the current challenges in qual research?
Bao DO: In terms of Research Capabilities, qualitative research probably evolves at the lower space than quantitative research. Qualitative works fundamentally based on conventional design thinking, psychology science and behavioral economics. It is more challenging to come up with new break-through methods and innovative techniques than in quantitative research. Most of the time fast evolving technologies come in to enable the a faster and more agile execution rather than making a groundbreaking revolution.
In terms of human resources, it takes time to develop new expertise and skills set of a researcher. Gig economy is growing, people move on easily. In the background, there seems to be fewer formal training programs dedicated to form new researchers in qualitative research than in quantitative research. A disclaimer; I do not have the statistics of average wage of researchers. However, based on what I observed in public job postings in Singapore for example, the average pay of an early career qualitative researcher may probably be lower than the one of a quantitative data analyst at similar level of seniority, and in the same market. Lack of human resources and talents is a key challenge in qualitative research.
Qual360: How can we bring in more innovation in qual research?
Bao DO: Agility is a major requirement. In most corporates, more and more business questions, and research questions are asked but research budget do not grow. More agility is needed when it comes to the “How”. Cross pollination and multidisciplinary approach. Collaborating and leveraging one other’s expertise. These are all key.
Qual360: What does research leadership mean to you?
Bao DO: It is about, but not limited to the follows:
- Advocating consumer/customer/market centricity culture
- Driving the democratization of research
- Making business impact leveraging research
- Building, empowering and stimulating new generation of researchers
Qual360: What motivates you to join Qual360 APAC 2023 and what are your expectations?
Bao DO: To learn a maximum of what has been going on and would come in the industry. To get a sense of what does it take to be or become a great researcher of tomorrow.
Qual360: What are your thoughts on the future of qualitative research and consumer insights?
Bao DO: Technology and research solutions will keep growing abundantly. Researchers and qualitative researchers would need to constantly position and reposition our role as human insights researchers, focusing on the “What” and “So What” instead of the “How”. Technology solutions would get things done.
Join industry leaders to discuss innovative research approaches, learn about the latest methodologies and how to leverage new types of insights at QUAL360 APAC 2023 live in SINGAPORE this 8-9 November 2022.