S. Swaminathan, in his presentation on relevance of research in the marketplace, says that today market research is based on consumer behaviour data rather than on ideas. According to him, over the past 50 years, marketing has evolved from being only a right brain function to being a left brain function as well, i.e. now marketers need to be ‘whole-brained’ and be able to balance both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of research.
Drawing from his experience as a market researcher, Swaminathan highlights availability of data (not applicable to India anymore) and more so the availability of structured data as one of the biggest challenges faced when conducting research in emerging markets.
Furthering the discussion, he stresses upon the need for practitioners to collaborate with academic institutions and enlist their help to create more sources of data and solutions to work with imperfect data, get support for research and use the insights gained from such research to build real world applications. Swaminathan ends his presentation touching upon the importance of making market research customer centric.