What is the FMCG industry?
Fast Moving Consumer Goods (also known as consumer packaged goods) are defined as products with a rapid shelf turnover. These goods include consumer goods such as food, drink and toiletries.
Here in Ireland, the FMCG Industry has seen a 32% year on year growth in revenue as of Dec 2020. Additionally, the global FMCG Industry is projected to reach $15,361.8BN by 2025 according to MarketWatch.
In an ever growing and increasingly competitive industry, many of the FMCG industry’s biggest players are pouring their resources into market research and consumer insight platforms such as Bounce in order to gain competitive advantage over their competitors.
What is market research and how is it conducted?
Market research is the process of assessing the viability of a new service, marketing campaign or product through the use of research conducted with potential consumers. This research allows companies to discover and analyse previously unknown consumer opinions and feedback regarding their interest in the firm’s products or services. This research can be conducted in-house, but many firms lack the resources, expertise and panel size to gain any significant insights from research conducted this way.
Another option available to firms is to use third party companies that have the expertise, panel size and resources available to conduct research on their behalf. This research is usually conducted through the use of surveys, product testing or focus groups, all of which have their own respective advantages and disadvantages. A trade off with this is the loss of control over data quality, you’re trusting that these panel providers are providing high quality human respondents and not just automated A/B bots that fill out surveys on mass.
Respondents are the consumers being interviewed through the use of these surveys, focus groups or product tests and are usually compensated monetarily or through the distribution of product samples for their cooperation.
Why is market research important?
Market research is a critical component of the research and development process, especially when it comes to the FMCG industry. The data gathered, analysed and disseminated amongst teams within a company form the very foundation of every single decision taken thereafter. This foundational knowledge touches all areas of the business, from product, marketing and distribution. Failure to secure reliable information that you can trust and can move fast enough to keep up with consumers can, and has, cost companies in the FMCG industry billions of dollars.
There is a profound importance on the reliability, speed and engagement of respondents in order to deliver data these FMCG brands can trust. However, traditional methods of market research in this multi billion dollar industry have left brands to deal with slow, unreliable and disengaged panels that provide dubious insights and tainted results.
This is one of the main reasons we founded Bounce. We solve this problem by taking a respondent-first approach, ensuring our panel and clients have an unparalleled experience. With our speed, reliability, robustness, flexibility, and agility, we are able to deliver the speed, reliability and agility modern FMCG brands need. We are the only ones in the industry who can offer this.
Who conducts market research?
Anybody in the FMCG industry that cares about what their customers think and feel, conducts market research. The goal of this research is to gather consumer insights that empower firms to take informed action on their marketing, product and vision for the future. Ideally this research is done to increase efficiency and save costs but in some instances it can lead to what’s known as analysis paralysis. This refers to the challenge of sifting through mass amounts of data to pull out small insights, it can be resource heavy and extremely frustrating if it’s a regular occurrence in a business.
Market research gives companies the opportunity to uncover previously unknown or repressed information, emotions and feedback. Albeit, this feedback can emerge positive or negative, taking action towards gathering insights before executing on a plan is the best course of action for FMCG companies in the long run, as their competitive advantage hangs on consumer perception and demand. Be that as ait may the research itself removes biases and reveals insights into previously forgotten or ignored areas. It removes the guesswork from strategic decision making in essence.
At Bounce we have realised that the value we provides particularly resonates with insights managers in large FMCG brands. The insights departments in these organisations usually expands to several other arms within the business. In particular the CMI Consumer & Market Insights.
How will market research be conducted in the future?
Traditional methods of market research are struggling to keep up with changing client demands and industry conditions. The issues of data integrity, speed and engagement levels are becoming more and more obvious to brands as they switch to alternative methods of market research.
Our hypothesis for the future of research emerged three years ago when we recognised that as respondent engagement fell to it’s lowest point in 30 years, an alternative solution was required if brands were to maintain their connection to their customers via consistent research and insight. A solution that involved being in the pocket of consumers through a medium which they were not only accustomed to but enjoyed using.
The future of surveys needs to be mobile, since mobile surveys allow for speed, specificity of respondents, high engagement rates, and proper data integrity. This alternative solution needed to be non-intrusive, seamless and accessible to respondents around the world. In 2012, we launched Bounce, a mobile app that has grown to over 10,000 users across Ireland. Due to the mobility aspect of delivering surveys via an app, our engagement rates are the highest in the industry (70+%).
Mobile surveys also solve the issue of slow turnaround times too, with our clients enjoying a 24 hour turnaround time from launch to results in hand via our interactive dashboard. This is something completely different from any other solution on the market today, consumer neglect has been a prominent fetaure in the market reserach industry and we decided to put a stop to it.
Using Bounce as a case study, we’ve proven that Mobile Surveys are the way forward for gathering consumer insights at scale, and the FMCG industry is already benefitting from access to our unique insights platform. The distant future of market research seems to be leaning towards Artifical Intelligence and behavioural analytics. Could this mean the end of qualitative research?