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Conducting Mobile Marketing Research in Emerging Markets

SeanAt the 2013 MRMW North America conference in Minneapolis, USA, Sean Conry, vice president for the Business Development Mobile Solutions group at Confirmit, presented Heineken’s mobile research initiatives in emerging markets, the likes of Africa and the Middle East.

Conry began his talk by describing what he saw as the fundamental principles governing the practice of mobile research. He said that mobile research was more than an alternate channel for data collection. There were insights derived from mobile research that could not be captured any other way. In addition, due to the fragmented nature of mobile–where there were different platforms for a myriad of mobile user behaviors–the one-size-doesn’t-fit-all rule must be applied at all times. Mobile research practitioners should also get it right. The research must be timely, personalized, and relevant. Otherwise, the entire mobile research initiative would collapse. Also, it should not be confused with marketing, as it was imperative to have honor in the profession. The history and methodology should be taken in to consideration at all times.

He described two mobile research situations. There’s “accidental mobile” or going with the consumers’ terms, which values the survey respondent. Then there’s “purposeful mobile” that leverages technology to obtain deeper insights.

A case study involving the iconic beer maker, Heineken, and its mobile research forays into Africa’s consumer base was discussed. With more than one hundred years of history courting and marketing to African consumers, Heineken has managed to carve deep roots in the continent. To show how Heineken established its mobile research in emerging markets, Conry offered possible sample questions addressing business drivers. They included specifics on top-volume outlets, price comparison with competitors in a particular channel, number of outlets needed to make a trade promotion.

Maps were also plotted to indicate the densities of product coverage, outlet, and volume densities per African commune. And based on the research findings, sales routes were planned accordingly and were acted upon by the company.

All in all, the Confirmit presentation touched upon the many fine points of mobile research strategically used across an emerging market backdrop.

For those interested to view Sean’s full presentation on video, you can visit MRMW Video Page.

About The Author

Jens Cornelissen

Jens Cornelissen has been writing for over two decades – initially for general newspapers in his home country Germany. After receiving an MA degree in Communications, he joined a new media start-up in Amsterdam as consultant on new media technologies and country editor for two daily newsletters. In his current day job, Jens runs the global conference division for Merlien’s dedicated marketing research events. Jens is a trained journalist with a BA in Journalism from Westminster University in London and has authored several media industry reports and articles on mobile and media technology.

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