ONLINE RESEARCH ERA AND THE SIDEKICKS | Online Market Research in Vietnam | W&S Vietnam

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The conditions paving online research era


Due to ESOMAR Industry Report 2014, Europe accounts for the largest market research turnover with $16,000 million, followed closely by North America with more than $15,700 million and Asia Pacific with almost $6,000 million. Market research industry has performed well in the last few decades, proven by the continuous growth of this market globally. However, with the benefits brought by internet, online research also gaining attention and it accounts for 24% spending in quantitative and 2% in qualitative globally.


In Vietnam specifically, the internet penetration is 45% nationwide and it’s growing continuously every year, expected to reach 55-60% by 2020. Compare to previous period, clients’ requests focus more on tight timeline and budget. Thus, online research is adopted as a new research method to support researchers to optimize their works.



Online research and its merits


4 main merits which cannot be denied as online research outstanding benefits in this industry are:


  • Cost effective: Cost for fieldwork management including human resource and transportation fee is reduced. Therefore, with same target requirements, cost for online research is only around 30% in comparison with offline.
  • Speedy: Research can be conducted simultaneously throughout Vietnam. Online research can reach more than 500 people within a few hours in various cities. The more invitation sent out, the quicker target respondents can be reached.
  • Easy target: It’s easy to target by not only demographics factors but also segment-specific information by using screening questions. Online research is suitable for sensitive topics as well.
  • Technological support: Multi-media integration can enhance interaction. It is useful especially in case of ethnography research, TVC testing or concept testing. Complex questionnaires are easy to deliver thanks to branching and piping techniques of online survey.


According to the prominent merits, online research is perceived widely as a useful tool for quantitative research, which requires large sample size to generate the general picture. However, online qualitative research has also gained more attention nowadays, under the type of communities (MROC), online diary/ blogs and hybrid methods such as Skype interview or webcam Focus group.


As any other methods, online research also has its downsides, but they can be minimized:




a)   Representative sample:

-     Mapping technology for sample distribution reference.

-     In some segment, there are not enough internet users to represent the segment. Use internet representative population instead of general population.

b) In-between survey long pausing time

-     Record average survey completion length for after-check.

c)   Lack of interpretation

-     Pilot before main launch to make sure questions are understood easily and precisely

-     Give clear description and instruction

-     Add more interaction/ illustration (e.g. image, video) to get attention throughout the survey.



In terms of quality, quality of a study mostly relies on collection and cleaning steps. The quality of sample leads to quality of data. In order to ensure the data quality, usually panel controlling process includes 4 main steps:


Step 1: Quality control policy for panelist

Step 2: In-survey system check

Step 3: After-survey manual check

Step 4: Quality control call


Once the data is cleaned, research result will be guaranteed.



Panels for Online research


“What’s online panel?”

In short, it is a group of pre-screened respondents, who are willing to participate in surveys or research sessions.


An online panel is built by 4-phased approach:





1.    Panelist Recruitment

Panelists are recruited via advertisements on digital channels (e.g. search engine, social sites, news sites) or traditional channels (e.g. workshop, posters), or by friend recommendation.

2.    Panel Management

Registered panelists will be managed through a panel Web portal, and their response will be tracked in order to manage Panel Health.

3.    Reward Management

Incentives program (e.g. gifts, cash or donation) is used to maintain the engagement.

4.    Retention

Marketing campaign, panel activities and survey’s strategy will be developed to reactivate lapsed panelists or re-engage panelists.



Since 1990 to 2005, online panels grew explosively in Europe and US to adapt to the rising demand of online research. It is now a phenomenon in market research industry due to its benefits as the most adoptable solution for industry issues.


Panels in Vietnam, similar to online panels in the world, is still facing skepticism and competence in comparison with traditional method. Despite the facing difficulties, with advantages from internet penetration, several Vietnam - based consumers panels are launched (Vinalink, Cimigo, Vinaresearch, InfoQ, Viewfruit, BEAN), joining this market with other foreign - based panels (iPanel, AIP).


The number of competitor in this market is increasing, and the competition race is not only about data quality but also the coverage of panels. In order to stay in this game, a strategy combining panel health management, incentive controlling system and social activities among panel community should be executed. In Vinaresearch, Japanese standards and Japanese experience in combination with Vietnamese local insights are being invested and developed as our competitive strength in Southeast Asia market.



Researchers as human sidekicks to Online research


Despite the fact that online research is supposed to develop dramatically, there would not be a big change in research’s role since online survey platforms are just tools to support researchers with their works. However, with the benefits brought by digital tools and the internet, researchers have more options to conduct a research, and less execution / routine work.


Researchers play the most important role in market research. They are the one who design the study, decide methodology, analyze data and make strategic report. Moreover, there are still many kinds of study that need interviewers and tools for interview process. Thus, online research cannot replace all other kinds of research studies in the future.


Meanwhile, researchers would look for time-saving tools to optimize performance for:

-       Routine/ repeating job during research designing stage.

-       Recruiting / Screening stage.

-       Processing data stage.


In short, there’s no conflict in the role of researchers and technology because researcher’s role is always to design and manage projects and the role of technological devices is to support researchers to complete these tasks.


Conversely, the development of internet tools and other digital tools would help researchers work more efficiently, handle more jobs at the same time or increase the quality of work.



Technological sidekicks


Technological sidekicks can be divided into 3 main types:


A. Questionnaire platform

B. Data analysis platform

C. Survey platform

-       Customize survey in terms of content design

-       Offer respondents database to deliver the survey

-       Have free version and membership version

-       Simplify the data analytics

-       Create more sophisticated graphs and charts

-       The most influential statistical program - SPSS

-       A combination of questionnaire platform and online panel

-       The quality of survey result depends mostly on panel’s quality

-       Users chose target respondents for each survey conducted


Future improvement suggestion for research technological sidekick:


-   Security tools, to ensure that both users privacy and business information are highly protected

-     Real-time tracking tools, to gather information in real-time and give more insights.

-    Single data collection platform, which help to standardize the data collection process, giving researchers more time to focus on analysis and provide strategic recommendations.



HaiSurvey: Human and Technological sidekick [2 in 1]


To combine the outstanding values of human and technology sidekicks, W&S Joint Stock Company has launched a new survey platform, HaiSurvey, which offers users the best solution for polls and market research projects.


HaiSurvey not only offers users a user-friendly interface questionnaire platform, by which they can customize and send survey according to their own respondents list (Open HaiSurvey), but also offers the access to our W&S Online panels in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand (Direct HaiSurvey). W&S teams representing in each country are available for technical support or research-related issues supports, which is the human value brought by HaiSurvey to users.


In comparison with other survey platforms, HaiSurvey’s unique quality distinguishes it from the market:


-  Not only a survey system as other similar products, HaiSurvey is more to be a service with the readiness of free research consulting from the local supporting teams.

-   HaiSurvey is more dedicated to users in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand and provides large and controlled panels in these 3 countries.

-   The question types equipped in HaiSurvey are various and more research-oriented than general survey platforms.

-  Added value to HaiSurvey: users can attain a better cost-effective full research package, by ordering segmented research services from the supplier – W&S along with spending at a much lower rate for data collection with HaiSurvey.


In short, HaiSurvey ultimate quality is its added value of human sidekick into the original technological product.

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Ho Chi Minh
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  • Tokyo +81(3)5421-7925
  • Okayama +81(86)293-2934
  • Osaka +81(6)6390-1441
  • Jakarta +62(21)2902-2227
  • Bangkok +66(2)6530-411
  • Hochiminh +84(28)3848-3731