Consumer insights

Consumer insight is the collection, deployment and interpretation of information that allows a business to acquire, develop and retain their customers.

MRP-EURASIA organize Consumer Insights in 32 countries in the continent Eurasia (Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including sub-regions of CIS and FSU).

Below you see the list of countries where we are available to conduct consumer insights:

We use rigorous quantitative techniques combined with real customer interaction—interviews, ethnography, shop-alongs, IDIs and focus groups. We identify new opportunities for clients to deepen relationships with the loyal, profitable customers they know best.

We work with clients to marry their customer insights to their organization's unique operational strengths. And we help clients keep their segmentation insights fresh by enlisting their customers' help and continued feedback to spur innovation, navigate shifts in the marketplace and anticipate changing tastes and needs. By taking this customer-lens approach to every facet of customer strategy, we help clients allocate their resources, go after the right opportunities and ensure that they will realize the full revenue potential of their products, services and relationships.

To refine the list of countries and regions, you can go to "Our geography".

To send us a request for a case study of consumers in a particular country or region, you can:
1. Go to link "Contact Us" and select the desired country with contacts for your request;
2. Go to link "Our geography". There, in the list of countries (also in a contour map) you can click on selected country, then country page will open with email contacts for your request;
3. You also can select to contact the head office country, Moldova - at the page "Moldova" are direct contacts of the head research division for all our regions or
4. You should not forget about the main email address of our company all questions and suggestions).

If you want to save as much as possible on a budget, you have an opportunity to use our regional regular Omnibuses (syndicated surveys with a fixed sample, deadlines and other parameters). To learn more about our Omnibuses and calculate your budget, you can follow the link "Our Omnibus".


The Customer Insights Process is the backbone of good research work, and intriguing information will be identified by following those steps.
However, practitioners must do more than just collect the data.
To learn the most about customers, they must use the Customer Insights Process to ask further questions and to push the data beyond the facts.
Practitioners must not only observe customer behavior, but also understand why customers behave the way they do.

There are five tools that are especially underutilized in developing markets that have enormous potential for impact along the value chain: ethnography, piloting and prototyping, surveys, conjoint, and max-diff analysis.

Ethnography: Ethnography is the process of developing an understanding of how people live, work, eat, and sleep through close observation, i.e., through immersion in a customer's home or business environment. This tool can yield deep insights into people's behaviors and unmet needs by enabling a holistic view of customers and their environment as well as a discussion of the needs they cannot articulate.

However, ethnography is challenging to do well. It can also be costly, because it requires skilled ethnographers and significant time. Major corporations in developed markets employ ethnographers to build insights that could not be obtained through focus groups, interviews, or other types of tools. Though this tool is seldom used in enterprise development, there is growing appreciation of the need to involve ethnographers and other social scientists into value chain development teams—partly to understand customer insights, and partly to understand the behaviors of other actors along the value chain.

Piloting/Prototyping: Piloting and prototyping are live customer trials of product or service offerings that involve putting prototypes in front of the customer. Live customer trials provide invaluable feedback to businesses that want to offer a new product or service, gauge interest in a modified product or service, or test pricing. 

Pilots are an investment, and they require significant time and labor to monitor the results and make real-time changes. This reduces the appeal for MRPs or enterprise development facilitators that lack human resources to implement the exercise or are not able to make changes quickly. However, investing in a small-scale trial before a full launch can save MRPs from introducing products or pricing that are not market-ready.

Surveys: Surveys are questionnaires developed to collect responses to closed-ended questions from a pool of customers. Few primary research tools can provide quantifiable data representative of a target population as effectively as surveys can. Surveys with large respondent pools—such as end-market consumers or retailers — can also be used to calculate market opportunity, and they allow the results to be generalized to the population in a way that qualitative tools cannot.

Surveys are used in developing markets with some frequency. These surveys often measure "stated preference," or what survey respondents say is important to them. However, stated preference data tends to not predict how respondents will behave in real life. More advanced survey techniques test "revealed preference," or what customers reveal to be important to them when asked a series of questions designed to mimic decision-making in real life.
Revealed preference techniques tend to yield data that is more predictive of actual customer behavior. Two such techniques—conjoint and max-diff—are described on the following pages.

Conjoint: A conjoint is a type of survey question that uses trade-offs to reveal the relative importance of different product attributes to a customer. There are several variants, but a choice-based conjoint will typically present a few product variants, or "offers," to a survey respondent. Each offer will be similar enough to other offers to be comparable, but different enough that the respondent can have a clear preference for one over another. The respondent will be asked to choose his or her preferred offer. He or she will then be presented with another set of offers, and again asked to choose his or her preferred offer. This exercise is repeated several times. The resulting conjoint data is analyzed to reveal customers' preference for different product features and pricing.

An example of a conjoint might be an exercise designed to test the cacao seedling offer that smallholder farmers would be most willing to purchase. As illustrated in the text box below, this conjoint might force a respondent to choose between standard cacao seedlings at $0.25 vs. genetically modified seedlings at $0.35 vs. genetically modified seedlings for $0.35 with a discount coupon for the next purchase. This forced trade-off exercise will reveal how important each of the factors is to the customer. As this example shows, conjoint data provides specific information that MRPs can use to create the "offer" that customers are most willing to purchase.

Max Diff: A Maximum Differential Analysis (max-diff) allows organizations to measure the importance that customers place on different brand or product attributes. Like conjoint analysis, a max-diff analysis is a survey technique that forces customers to reveal their preferences around a given set of brand or product attributes by forcing trade-offs between a few items (see the textbox below for an illustration). Unlike conjoint, each attribute is evaluated individually against the others, while a conjoint examines joint trade-offs.

In a max-diff exercise, customers are provided with a series of attributes and asked to rank which is most important and which is least important to them in their decision-making process. After choosing the extremes, another set of attributes is presented, and this exercise is repeated multiple times. The resulting data helps organizations understand how relatively important different attributes are to customers in their purchase decision. For example, in the illustration below, the max-diff is designed to test cocoa buyers' latent preferences for multiple needs and benefits.


EXTERNAL LITERATURE Identify existing facts Varies; flexible, depending on
project needs
Basic analytics 0 - $
Identify market- and customer-
level trends and behaviors
Varies; flexible, depending on
dataset and project needs
Quantitative proficiency; comfort with
basic database programs
0 - $
EXPERT INTERVIEWS Develop further insight into
Weeks Communication skills 0 - $
CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS Collect direct feedback from
customers, one-on-one
Weeks Communication skills $
FOCUS GROUPS Collect direct customer feedback Weeks Strong, unbiased moderator with
excellent communication skills
$ - $$
ETHNOGRAPHY Observe customer behavior Weeks - months Experience executing ethnographic studies $$ - $$$
SELF-DOCUMENTATION Collect intimate customer
behaviors and experiences
Days or weeks Ability to recruit and motivate dedicated
In conjunction with local
stakeholders, identify problems
and formulate solutions
Weeks Experience with field research; PRA
experience preferred
Collect data on customer needs
and behaviors, to inform
quantitative analysis
2-6 months Experience developing and analyzing
survey tools and recruiting and deploying
$ - $$
Test product or service with
target customers
Several weeks to several months Varies depending on type of pilot; at
minimum, proficiency developing
$ - $$$