The digital revolution has affected almost every aspect of daily life across the globe, challenging all industries to remain ahead of the movement.
According to Borderless Access, a global digital market research product and solutions company, the research industry has embraced digitisation, enabling analysts to achieve superlative levels of accuracy, depth, and speed of data.
“Consumers are online, meaning that their demographics, activities and daily rhythms are all measurable,” said Ejaz Mirza, AVP, Client Development, Middle East and Africa, Borderless Access.
“By engaging with them digitally online, we are able to understand not only their behaviour but also their opinions, sentiments and intentions, enabling us to achieve a previously unimaginable depth of response, and therefore insight,” he added.
However, while digital research currently comprises around 30% of research on a global scale, it makes up vastly less than that on the African continent.
Interestingly, although Africa currently lags well behind other markets in terms of embracing digital research, the continent holds the greatest opportunity to benefit from it.
Commenting on the digital deficit, Stacey Grant, Unilever’s Consumer & Market Insights Director, Africa, said: “There is no continent that needs digital intervention more than Africa does. There are places in Africa that a researcher simply cannot get to physically, either because of cost, safety or health. These limitations are instantly eradicated by conducting research digitally.”
The report concluded that Africa was therefore fertile ground for digital research, due to both its logistical constraints, as well as the fact that mobile phones were the main vehicle for reaching the internet.
“Mobile-first markets facilitate respondent accessibility, and enable ‘always-on’ research to be conducted,” the report highlighted.
The report, therefore, concluded that the time was ripe for digital online research to reach its full potential in the continent.