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Most effective data gathering techniques for emerging markets

ShirleyShirley Wakefield, the CEO of Cape Town, Africa-based Pondering Panda, made a presentation during the Market Research in the Mobile World Europe event, which was held in London on October 8-11, 2013. In her talk, she discussed the most effective data-gathering techniques and research methodologies suitable for use in emerging markets.

Emerging markets offer remarkable potential for mobile research because they bring in to the picture a highly engaged and diverse audience, according to Wakefield. The youth market is also considerably vibrant. However, there’s the issue of mobile platform limitations because feature phones are still dominant in emerging markets, specifically in the case of South Africa. Smartphone penetration is a mere 21 percent, and smartphones are a market researcher’s ticket to capturing the full essence of mobile consumers’ responses.

Pondering Panda then turned to MXIT social network, which works like an app that can lend smartphone-like qualities to feature phones. The said social network is used by the company to engage with and study the mobile behavior of young users. Wakefield attested to the fact that her company was able to generate an enormous amount of sample sizes. The ability to send follow-up questions to respondents was also pretty much straightforward.

The focus of her talk was on mood congruence applied to the mobile user environment in an emerging market like South Africa. She shared several interesting insights. For market researchers intent on understanding the global mobile consumer mindset, Pondering Panda’s initiatives would prove quite useful. With mood congruence, an advertisement, a communication platform, or a branded text message is targeted to match or complement the consumer’s mood. This is believed to enhance the receptiveness of the consumer to the advertiser or the market researcher’s message.

It is not surprising that mobile research can be leveraged as a tool to study mood congruence. And in Pondering Panda, mood congruence research is zeroed in on feature phones and the region’s fairly young mobile user base. Wakefield’s argument that “being in love” should characterize a mood in the context of mobile research is brilliant. When viewed in the light of a mobile user base consisting of adolescents and young adults, the said mood descriptor becomes even more valid. Not surprisingly, she talked of the finding that the younger the respondent, the more likely the “being in love” mood descriptor applies. The concept of new mood descriptors may not readily translate to actionable marketing techniques, but working with it while doing mobile research can pluck startling insight from the minds of consumers.

You can watch Shirley’s full presentation at MRMW Europe 2013 below:

About The Author

Jasper Lim

Jasper Lim is the CEO of Merlien Institute. He frequently reviews the state-of-art of the marketing research industry. Apart from his daily work, Jasper serves as an Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Work Innovation. He is also an accomplished qualitative researcher with several peer-reviewed academic publications to his name.

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