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Market Research Consulting – What is & What will be?

By Sneha Das, Coo, Ittisa

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Sneha Das, Coo, Ittisa

With 45 years of solid history behind it, Market Research Consulting in India today is effortlessly seen growing at a rate of more than 10 percent every year and this growth rate is only expected to accelerate with the liberalization of more industry sectors coming in. It is hard to believe but this industry was almost focused only to FMCG about two decades ago in India. But now we see that Market Research Consulting has changed the way business is done in India by focusing on methods which can take care of issues like customer satisfaction, market segmentation, buyer decision modeling, corporate image etc.

Evolution of Market Research Consulting over the period in the Indian market:

The reason for the sudden growth of market research in India was undoubtedly the factors such as Liberalization of FDI, entry of many new players in the market & low cost sourcing. The Internationals came from competitive markets where only the fittest and most prepared survived. Each of these companies had extensive R&D departments and it was then, that these companies needed local knowledge and information about the market that led to the start of research consulting in India. Now we can see a boom in Indian market research industry with new players emerging over the years and rendering this field organized, highly professional and fiercely competitive.

Importance of Market Research Consulting in today’s world:

At present, although the global economic slowdown has cast a gloomy shadow over most of the industries worldwide, it seems to be one of the key drivers of demand in the country’s consulting market provided you are quick to transform yourselves into data scientists or insight consultants and not just Market Research Consultants anymore.

Market research consulting is indeed witnessing favourable market conditions and promising opportunities in India. The emergence of the new forces in the market will forge the future of this profession. Given the present trends, some of the market researchers are transforming their services from that of traditional market researchers to those of consultants who have analytical knowledge and can provide real-time insights. The consultants in this industry are solving their client’s problems by mining into the complexly linked data and by making the appropriate usage of the available information.

The highly competitive businesses are heavily relying on third party consulting services to help them with business functions and strategy formulation steps such as Competitive landscape and benchmarking, Economic forecasting, Market dynamics, positioning, and segmentation, Market entry strategies, Market size estimations Opportunity analysis, etc.

Role of Market Research Consulting in bringing success to an organization:

Over the years, the Indian Consulting industry has expanded its size and portfolio of service offerings owing to the rising complexity and new emerging challenges in the business. The consultancy services are growing at a rapid rate across different sectors. Moreover, market research consulting, in particular, helps companies in many ways such as product/service improvement, profitability growth, risk mitigation, rise in brand equity or customer satisfaction. There are certain boutique market research firms that specialize in specific areas while other giants in this consulting industry offer all kinds of services and boast of knowledge repositories and syndicated data that can be used by multiple clients for their business process improvement. In addition to the role of extracting important information about customers, competition, and marketplace; the market research consultants understand client’s critical problems and develop insights by focusing on the consumer behavior.

The role of the market research consulting firm in forging the growth of the companies is crucial as it can help clients make the best decisions across several verticals based on the current scenarios prevalent in the market.

Future Scopes for this Industry:

As a Market Research Consulting company, one has to build a Strategic Competitive Advantage over others and the only way to do it in today’s world would be to able to handle Big Data. Agreed that the term has been used over and again and quite liberally but it remains to be what is going to change the face of game in the next decade or so.

The industry has to be quick in accepting the trend of ‘platform agnostic responsiveness’- i.e. align the traditional research methods to accommodate multi-screen respondents on a variety of platforms. This will continue to haunt poorly designed surveys trying to gather data from other platform users. The data collection has to be customized and responsive.

The second thing to watch out is the larger than life technology trend ‘Internet of Things (or IoT)’. IoT is heavily going to influence the industry and its dependence on primary data and to integrate passively collected secondary data into it. Information systems can now capture the data related not only to behaviors but attitudes, lifestyles and values and this is going to challenge the Market Research Consulting Industry in a huge way unless they are ready & bold enough to take this challenge and turn it into an opportunity.

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