New Delhi: Ipsos India is turning to technology based alternatives for seamless execution of client projects in the face of COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions, which have impacted fieldwork on projects.
“India is different from all our other global markets. 95% of our market research work involves talking to people and observing people, in person. With the lockdown and restrictions, in the wake of COVID-19, we are now turning to a wide array of contactless options for talking to people and observing people riding on technology,” said Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India.
“We are providing online, mobile and telephonic methods as the supplement or replacement to in-person research. These methods either partially or completely eliminate personal contact; and are faster,” added Adarkar.
“Whether online focus groups or interviews, mobile, video based consumer ethnography, mobile app based or online communities – the efficacy of these methodologies have been proven across at least 65 countries that Ipsos operates in.In fact, communities allow for longitudinal understanding of people’s attitudes and behaviors which is of interest for many of our clients in these turbulent times,” explained Adarkar.
After all, market research forms the backbone of strategy and marketers extensively deploy for consumer insights, product, pricing, advertising, communication testing, market entry strategy,et al.
Challenges with technology
It is not a cakewalk with technology alone. It has its share of limitations, cautions, Adarkar, “It maybe difficult to deploy in rural India; the surveys and interactions need to be shorter; interactions on mobile phone for instance need to be relevant and tying in with their lifestyle; questionnaires need to be dovetailed to work across multiple screen sizes (smallest to the biggest).”
Once the lockdown is lifted, it will still be sometime before normalcy returns; social distancing will continue; and it may make people wary of meeting researchers and interviewers. These alternate methods of data collection will ensure that the clients continue to get the insights they need to support their business decisions.