Middle East earns 1% of global market research revenues
The entire GCC and Middle East region earned only a paltry 1% per cent of the global market research spends, which show’s the potential for market research agencies in the GCC.
Need for research
In a recent report, a leading financial institution doing B2B research and consumer research said that significant investments into infrastructure, construction of free zones, industrial zones and establishment of world class universities and hospitality outlets fuelled additional demand for Market research in the Middle East – Both Qualitative and Quantitative research.
In the GCC too, the need for market research has grown as the countries, Esp. UAE have increased their efforts to diversify into Luxury brands, hospitality, medical tourism and align the economy more towards need based developments, the report said.
“Lack of reliable statistical data and credible published Quantitative research has foxed private sector investments from taking risks,” it pointed out.
Research providers for data – Qualitative, Quantitative and B2B data in GCC region include a host of international and national players including Boutique Market research agencies affiliated to ESOMAR.
Lack of reliable market research data
In the Middle East and Africa, not a lot of data is published – and if so not so on a regular basis. Consumer spending, incomes, nationality distribution, Arab population etc is very limited and in pockets
Central banks in GCC try to provide statistics on national spends and GDP in respective countries while national statistics authorities sometimes publish economic, cultural, social and demographic data.
Corporate information is not often disclosed by Gulf organisations as there is no taxation and hence B2B research becomes more difficult compared to consumer research (Focus Groups, IDIs, market research surveys, CAPI and F2F for primary data collection.
“The region (esp.non GCC countries) lacks qualified research analysts with statistical skills and professional qualifications to interpret and analyse financial research and B2B research data. Most researchers in the region are expatriates who often lack bilingual skills hence unable to teaching their skills to its citizens,” said the report.
Role of Market Research agencies
Collection of data can be done in various ways including Quantitative Surveys, B2B research, hospitality research, focus groups done at venues, CATI, CAPI and online, distribution of research data can be done in various ways such as media, press releases, market research reports, press conferences, posting on websites, social media campaigns and roundtable discussions. Research usually is outsourced as there are qualified market research agencies in Middle East and Africa that provide both qualitative and quantitative research. Access to wide plethora of qualified market research resources at minimal costs is possible via outsourcing,” it said.
It is time that brands start investing in market research and understand needs of their consumers and their B2B partners
Unboxed Consulting is a Boutique Market research agency based in UAE (Dubai) and is an ESOMAR affiliated agency that does Qualitative and Quantitative Consumer research, B2B and pharma research as well as work among High networth individuals (HNWIs). They have access to Focusvision enabled venues in UAE and Saudi Arabia. Its founder Dipen Mehta has been working in the Middle East with various Consumer FMCG , Telecom, finance and hospitality brands over 20 years. Their footprint spreads over Middle East, GCC, North Africa and India