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Know Your Foe


Over the past few years, Cambodia has experienced steady economic growth that has led to the emergence of a new Cambodian middle class, effectively raising the disposable income and consumption levels in the country. With a market willing to spend more, and with greater consumer demands, it is increasingly necessary for companies to be able to track the performance of their products and services against their rivals.

Anne

“ Companies currently underestimate how quickly Cambodia is transforming into a complex, segmented consumerist society. ”

– Anne Abcede, Head of Market Research, Saint Blanquat & A.

Some multinational companies, however, use regional market strategies for the whole of Indochina as though Cambodia is not a separate market with unique characteristics and needs, which is a mistake. “Companies currently underestimate how quickly Cambodia is transforming into a complex, segmented consumerist society with increasing disposable income and varying consumer demands,” says Anne Abcede, head of market research for Saint Blanquat & A.

“Brands’ conservative outlook toward the market can be seen in multiple facets, and is made apparent by inadequate marketing efforts – from limited products and variants on supermarket shelves to translated Thai and Vietnamese ads on local airwaves, copycat taglines, untranslated packaging labels, and irregular or no customer satisfaction checks,” she adds.

Spread the Brand

There is no doubt companies see the Cambodian market potential, however their propensity to rush too quickly to grab a piece of the pie without fully understanding consumers means the market flooded, and firms are failing to create sustainable, personalised relationships with potential customers. Of companies’ marketing budget for Cambodia, a very small portion goes to market research, while the rest is spent on media placement, advertising, activations and other promotions.

There is no denying the power of increasing brand visibility and communication. Budget restrictions dictate whether a firm can land a TV advertisement in prime time or take a promotion on the road, but while reaching your target audience is one goal, creating an impact is another, in the same way usage or sales figures do not readily translate into customer satisfaction and loyalty. A new market entrant who delivers specific needs such as creation of a new packaging format or a new product variant, or who connects better with Cambodian consumers, may well get your users to switch tomorrow.

Through market research, brands can be aware where they stand in comparison with competitors, how to build salient and long-term equity, and what market projections are. With this, strategists can blend future trends through product development and innovation, not just to fulfill needs but also to introduce original concepts and create new demands.

There is no doubt companies see the Cambodian market potential, however their propensity to rush too quickly to grab a piece of the pie without fully understanding consumers means the market flooded, and firms are failing to create sustainable, personalised relationships with potential customers.

The Cost of Data

Research can be financially intimidating for many, and this is exacerbated by the notion that research is too academic and to the point of being almost unnecessary. On the contrary, while research follows methodological and ethical principles, it can be flexible and be modified in several ways to guarantee actionable results or to simply address constraints such as time, staff resources or money. More often than not, money and lack of familiarity with different types of research are what inhibit companies from doing a study.

Omnibus and syndicated (OS) surveys are quantitative data collection instruments funded by several clients. The model uses a questionnaire covering many different topics concerning one target group. Multiple clients share the cost of data collection logistics and respondent recruitment, making it extremely cost efficient. As an OS survey is affordable, it can be done regularly, and through the process, it becomes increasingly efficient over time and makes it a vital tool for strategists and marketers to make moves based on up-to-date data.

Omnibus and syndicated survey data is exploratory and provides clients with some clarity of the overall market landscape. It later serves as a basis for custom- or tailor-made research when clients see the need to dig deeper into topics and issues specifically concerning them.

Omnibus and syndicated (OS) surveys are quantitative data collection instruments funded by several clients. The model uses a questionnaire covering many different topics concerning one target group. Multiple clients share the cost of data collection logistics and respondent recruitment, making it extremely cost efficient. As an OS survey is affordable, it can be done regularly, and through the process, it becomes increasingly efficient over time and makes it a vital tool for strategists and marketers to make moves based on up-to-date data.

Omnibus and syndicated survey data is exploratory and provides clients with some clarity of the overall market landscape. It later serves as a basis for custom- or tailor-made research when clients see the need to dig deeper into topics and issues specifically concerning them.


Words by Vivaddhana Khaou