Vietnam Government Needs Agricultural Market Research & Analysis to Help Balance Oversupply or Shortages

Vietnam News Agency is reporting that Đặng Kim Sơn, former head of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, has called for the State to establish agencies to conduct market research/analyses to reduce risks of oversupply or shortages in agricultural products.

Vietnam, which ranks 31st in the world for percentage of GDP coming from Agriculture, has historically seen wide swings in that sector’s contribution to total GDP. In 4th Quarter 2016 total Agriculture was valued at 468 Billion VND, 1st Quarter 2017 saw that level drop to 67 Billion VND, a 70% change.

The country is now taking significant action using market research and analysis to enable better management of the agricultural output for both domestic and export markets.

“The farmers need the State to help them study the market and provide information about directions to be taken, such as standards, policies and distribution systems. When the State provides full and up-to-date information for producers and traders, they will be able to make reasonable decisions on production and business to reduce losses for them and the economy as a whole,” Sơn said.

Since the initiative appears to be in its early stages, there is little known about the specific market research methodologies to be used. However, very likely there will be both qualitative and quantitative research involved, combined with analyses and projections from the responsible state agencies. Ministries, sectors and localities will need to work together to generate the most representative and useful information.

It will be an interesting period to watch. And reinforces our Leverage Research Solutions philosophy: “More effective research means better decisions.”

For the full article:

B2B Spending on Market Research Low…and Going Lower?

A recent survey by ESOMAR* estimated that just 4% of market research spending is on business to business projects. Perhaps, even more shocking is the fact that this year’s latest percentage is DOWN from last year’s 8%.  Andrew Dalglish of Circle Research has a nice write up on that which puts it in perspective.

*For those of you who have no idea who or what ESOMAR is, the following is provided: ESOMAR stands for World Association of Opinion and Marketing Research Professionals (formerly European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research).

The 4% level is shockingly (maybe even unbelievably) low since approximately 50% of businesses in developed countries are fully or partially involved in business-to-business marketing. (Editor’s Note: I don’t believe it is that low, either.)

Thankfully and with full attribution to Andrew, there are a number of points to consider, before all the B2B market researchers start jumping out of windows.

As Andrew writes, “First off, the data may be distorting the true picture a little. ESOMAR’s 4% figure relates to the percentage of market research spend, not market research projects. As business to business market research requires smaller sample sizes than consumer studies, this tends to make them less expensive than their consumer counterparts. This means that the proportion of business to business market research projects may actually be greater than 4%.”

Think of it this way. If you are a manufacturer of big jet engines and you want to research among prospective customers , your research universe is probably less than 100 of the major international airlines. On the other hand, if you’re researching flier interest in having a wifi internet option onboard during an international flight, the total universe is many, many millions. Guess which research project costs more.

But Andrew has some additional considerations that may explain (and question) the 4% number, specifically:

  • “Business to business purchases are seen as ‘rational’ which can lead to the mind-set that “it’s obvious what customers want, so we don’t need to ask”
  • Business to business companies are often ‘engineering’ led. This can lead to a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality and an internal focus
  • In business to business markets customer numbers are limited and relationships with sales teams close. This can lead to assumption (“I know my customer”), subjectivity (“I’ll ask them next time we speak”) and protectiveness (“that’s my customer”), none of which are conducive to conducting objective, independent market research.”

Maybe with all the above in mind, business-to-business marketers should think about investing MORE in research. Those that  do may find they get to know and understand their customers and markets better, and for them … that will translate to business success.



Airbnb launches new brand name in China. Maybe it needed “more effective”research.

Airbnb, the very successful, worldwide, U.S.-based online marketplace and hospitality online service provider, just launched the brand name it will use for marketing in China. It is a three-character name 爱彼迎 (ài bǐ yíng). Individually, the three characters mean ‘love’, ‘mutual’ and ‘welcome’—strategically on-target for Airbnb,  if you consider them in isolation

According to an Airbnb spokesperson, the name represents “the value and mission of our brand, with the love of the world’s tens of millions of neighborhood communities converging in the different corners of the earth”.

Except, there ‘s a little problem. Chinese consumers’ response to the name has been mixed and in some cases quite critical.

While an important step in localization for Chinese consumers and for establishing a clear differentiation from domestic competitors, the brand’s “love”-laden Chinese name may prove to be a liability.

The name has gotten more than just chuckles from Chinese netizens on the brand’s Weibo account and other social media, where comments have ranged from “ugly-sounding”, “sounds like a ‘filthy love hotel’ “and that the brand “might as well stick to having no Chinese name at all”.

Some marketing professionals have criticized the choice, because with the letters it joins together, it is not easy to pronounce. Also, the first character “爱 ài” is a widely used Chinese word expressing the idea of love. “Nothing wrong for a brand to be associated with love, but the issue is too many brands use it for exactly this reason,” says Jerry Clode, head of digital and social insight at Resonance. He feels the character is used excessively in the advertising of other industries and product categories in China. “There is too much ‘love’ in Chinese marketing; it seems difficult for Airbnb to own this emotion for themselves in a differentiated way.”

Well, we’ll see how this turns out. It seems to me that Airbnb will stick with its choice, until significant negatives develop.

However, it does seem strange that a company as knowledgeable in marketing as Airbnb did not either adequately or effectively use market research to evaluate all aspects of a completely new name in a market as widely diverse as China.

For the complete article from Campaign Asia go here: