What Do Market Research Companies Do?
Market research companies began formalising the trade during the 1920s. Originating in Germany, the practice soon spread to other European countries, England and then the Americas. With radios and newspapers being the principal form of consumer contact, businesses that advertised on these mediums began to realise the importance of listener and reader demographics.
Market research companies took note of this and began placing advertising space for certain products and services at certain times and in certain sections of the newspaper, where the reader profile was appropriate to a specific product, service or brand.
When sales of the advertised commodities increased significantly because of this strategy, the functions of market research companies became more refined to become more accurate in their sales and marketing predictions.
It’s all About Communicating with the Client
In layman’s terms, the principle need for market research companies is to open a line of communication between the producer or seller of a product or service with the buyer or consumer of that commodity. Direct communication with the client usually takes the form of information gathering to ascertain how well the item will be accepted by the target audience who will be receiving it.
This type of research can be most effective through either focus groups, product testing and, more popularly, surveys conducted within the targeted area. Before the internet, citizens of a specific area were employed to do in-shop or door-to-door surveys with a pen, a questionnaire and a clipboard.
This process was very labour-intensive and was expensive to undertake. Most corporates reserved this process for only prestige events like the relaunching of ageing top-of-the-range products or services or the launch of new, flagship ones. So, research and development were very specific and predominantly assisted only with targeting the top-end of consumers.
Along Came Africa
When international trade and investment businesses wanted to grow and invest in African countries, including Kenya, they found that the African consumer exchange was diverse, non-brand specific and volatile which made the modern, global market research companies’ data capturing and consumer information systems less effective.
Market segmentation and product differentiation were difficult to gauge and age- and gender-specific demographics were hard to read for many brands, products and services. Thankfully, with the development of technology and the internet, market research companies could build up both primary and secondary information directly from the consumer in Kenya, so that both retailers and corporates could better understand their consumers’ concerns and product-specific wants and needs.
What’s in it for the Locals?
Market research companies had to apply their minds to collect information from consumers about what kinds of products and services the local communities in Kenya needed and, more importantly, what the locals didn’t have.
The information that was gathered through this process immediately increased the scope of products and services that international companies could introduce into the consumer market, thereby vastly increasing competition and driving down local market prices. In consequence, the local consumer in Kenya has a much larger variety of products to choose from at reduced prices.
Likewise, they were able to further bridge the symbiotic relationship between the consumers, who were now enjoying lower prices, and the international sellers, who now had exposure to a whole new consumer base.
Why would Big Business Pay Market Research Companies in Kenya?
Many businesses make use of the data for making informed business decisions, securing funding from national or international investors, investigating areas of growth potential or new business opportunities and, possibly most importantly, avoiding venture failures.
MobiWorkX Kenya has been successfully conducting marketing research for more than ten years and we are always expanding our community of members. As a Kenyan consumer, you can benefit from joining as a member and completing surveys about your favourite products and services for a range of amazing rewards. As a company looking to refine its market research, we have direct contact with your consumers and offer a range of services, including collecting consumer-specific data to assist you in paving your way to success in the expanding Kenyan consumer market. Join our community now!