Our Industry will not be the same Again – Fasakin
Lanre Fasakin,Group CEO, CMRG Group in response to our typical four questions on post covid-19 marketing says Marketing ditto the research industry will not remain the same after the pandemic. Excerpts.
As a player in the marketing industry, how has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the industry?
There’s a ‘culture shock’ in the marketing research industry that we are still trying to grapple with on account of Covid-19. Suddenly we are seeing a lot of project cancellations and rescheduling because of our inability to adjust to the virtual data collection platforms with the required speed necessary.
Many things which we thought were not possible have now become our current reality. Survival now depends on how swiftly the industry can adapt.
Do you see or foresee a change in the mode of work or trend after the Covid-19 experience?
Truth be told; our industry will not be same again! Approaches to data collection, processing and possibly analysis have changed for good. Post Corvid-19 we would do a lot less of face-to-face interviews which call for physical engagement with respondents. Drive focus now would be CATI, CAWI and even use of social media for data collection. Working with our colleagues from other parts of the world, we are seeing situations where product tests and focus group discussions are now being done using different social media platforms. It’s all so interesting. And guess what? Less expensive and cumbersome so it’s not likely to disappear anytime soon since it’s a win-win situation for all.
What is the trend and how will this affect the industry?
The trend is to depend more on database of respondents and consumer panels. With this, CATI and CAWI techniques become more effective and efficient. The new trend underscores the age of disruptive technology, which is imminent anyway. Covid-19 has just quickened the process perhaps, faster than we would have done ordinarily. I have deliberately not talked about the implication of these on jobs. Let’s wait and see. One thing is clear though, new core skills will be needed in some areas post covid-19.
In all of these, respondents’ personal details and privacy must be respected which speaks to how we infuse data protection routines into our operations.
Going forward what’s your counsel to industry practitioners?
My counsel to colleagues in the industry is that we should not panic. In terms of revenue projections, the year has been greatly distorted so we need a strategic response to turn things around. We need to carry the clients along by organizing seminars and workshops that would enlighten them on the features and benefits of the new techniques. This may also require a review of our approaches to data quality control because the process will now be driven by technology. Obviously, investment in relevant softwares and personnel are also on the cards. More than ever before, the dominant theme in our industry now is “innovate or stagnate.”