Microfluidics is still a term unknown to many! It doesn’t belong to one particular area but the term comes into view when chemistry and technology intersect. George M Whitesides, one of the major contributors in the Microfluidics area rightly explains how it is referred to the flow with a channel dimension less than 1,000 µm as microfluidics and how the term is a lot more than that.
What is shale/tight oil?
Shale oil, in other words, tight oil is light crude oil contained in petroleum-bearing formations of low permeability.
The Major tight oil producers:
Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran Iraq had been the major producers in the industry, however, the US, Canada production is on the rise since past few years, dominating the market. This eventually upturns the production hierarchy in the oil and gas industry.
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OPEC has always been the swayer of the international market for several decades. While the growth of the tight oils market is on the rise, the United States surprises OPEC by playing a major role in the whole event. Needless to say, the growth has led to a rise in the prices of tight oil. What should interest you more is the recent market report which projects the US to overhaul Saudi Arabia and other major producers in next few months presenting the future of oil and gas industry 2018.
How did the US production suddenly increase?
The oil and gas industry overview suggests the typical production methods for oil wells have relatively lower break-even point.
The case isn’t the same in shale oil companies as they need the propulsion to get desired output.
This driving force came from the high crude rates. It eventually boosted the US production in oil.
OPEC: Off the back seat
The rise in oil price is not new to the market. Aiming to lower the rates, OPEC was already on a production cut move ever since the price had taken a rise-jerk last year.
However, the US energy market has suddenly emerged as the overpowered oil producer in the world, it has impelled Saudi Arabia and OPEC nations to withdraw from their cut-in-the-production policy.
Market insights reveal OPEC plans to prioritizes to balance their global tight oil production.
The discussions are projecting to get the output back to its place once the oil cuts expire.
That being said, Saudi Oil ministry informs that their emphasization will be more on lessening the OECD endowment having seen its far above inventories.
Although the production cut ends in March 2018, officials plan to extend it further for another month or two to avoid price collapse in the market due to sudden change.
OPEC ensures a subtle exit from the cut-move and covers the accumulations of past years.
Other nations having tight oil reserves:
The number of nations with shale oil reserves has remained a subject of dispute.
The harmful environmental effects such as ground and water contamination and other polluting elements have made many countries involved in the oil production with stealth.
There’s a huge dissent from other countries against the production of oil and gas. According to environmentalists, oil production does not benefit to the extent it causes environmental adulteration.
Will it cause price reversal?
The oil prices are pushing upwards since global economic growth and expectations increase demand growth.
On the other hand, the side including OPEC and its non-OPEC allies led by Russia take up tightened policies limiting the oil production.
Russian and Saudi energy officials recapitulate the cut-in-the-production approach while Saudi urging non-OPEC associates to continue production cuts.
The cut-production strategy picture isn’t clear until coming June. OPEC’s long-term strategy seemed afar extending the cuts and anticipating the market finally balance.
Businesses talk about big words like planning and strategies and whatnot, however, they would often be found oblivious to the most crucial factor of the business. Customer!
How many businesses understand their customers to its true sense? When it comes to creating new products and services, or marketing products to potential consumers, very few firms refer to what they call market research insights.
Companies have done a lot of research to create something which can be called insights. Many of them don’t even know the actual meaning of the word. Most of them are misled in the name of it.
A dictionary defines the term as knowledgeable information that holds an accurate and deep understanding of something or someone.
We would look a couple of more definitions which would clear the air by explaining its meaning in a better way.
A study suggests the denotation of Insight lies in a meaningful opportunity created from the information perceived through research.
While that research can be called as insights. Others have interpreted insight as to the answer to why rather than what of a trend or behavior along with further explanation of what if?
Insight is something that seems obvious to a layman but important to a marketing fellow. Industry insights give you ‘I never thought of it that way’ moments eventually helping you to turn the information into opportunities.
If we try to study different words related to insight, we can comprehend the word well.
Fact: 66.7% employees in an organization drink coffee.
Observation: Employees drink coffee twice a day.
Insight: Employees drink more coffee when they are stressed.
From above examples, we can understand that insight has to be new, focused, intense and directional.
It outlines our thinking of how we see a situation, leading us towards creativity.
Market research companies can give you insights in following ways which would have prospects to accelerate your marketing strategies of the company.
- Consumer insights
- Cultural insights
- Future insights
- Products insights
- Brand insights
- Market insights
- Purchase insights
- Usage insights
- Owner insights
Incorporating insights into marketing the product
- Insight helps to understand your target group in a way that you can market products towards your customer to propel purchasing habits.
- Demographics, psychographics cultural impact can help you analyze how your customers make decisions while buying a product. Besides, it enables organizations to know what can be done to influence customers’ choices.
- It involves accurately determining which marketplaces have a demand for your product as it can be an important element to increase your product sales.
- Research on your competitors focused on where they’re most effective and how their marketing strategies are affecting customers can help to analyze your company’s strategies and the necessary changes to be done in your operations.
- With rapid changes seen in technology, you have to select the right channels to sell your product which would keep pace with technological trend most effectively.
These are only a few ways how you can incorporate insights to market your brand. Market researchers comment, insight is rather an open concept which open thousands of doors trailing innovations and creative visions.
Rapid times require rapid measures. Today, technological impact on all organizations across the globe is carving a cut-throat competition in the market.
Business firms are expected to be on their feet, swiftly molding their business with the change in customer demands and commerce trends overall.
Market Research is becoming a key element to witness the transformation taking place in industries.
We, as businessmen, hold information in high regard when it is made just for us. Custom market research offers data precise enough to plan our business and make important decisions.
So, here we are, with 5 methods how custom market research helps business to grow better.
- Goal setting :
Setting definite objectives while entering the market builds a foundation of any enterprise. Although it gets difficult if you lack the necessary knowledge of your product, your company analysis, market analysis, customers, and competitors. You may land up in the middle of nowhere with too much of vague information available.
However, customization gives you a direction, with a clear understanding of the requirements of your firm.
It lets you know where you stand and what you have to do to lead the market, eventually setting goals for the company.
- Rebuilding your firm :
With new potential competitors coming in and technologies getting advanced, the competitiveness gets increased.
Even after being in the market for a long time, updating your business becomes a necessary thing. Customized reports bring you up to date and hence upgrading business operations.
You rework on weaknesses and mold your entity as per the demand.
- Acquisitions or Merger
Merging or even dealing acquisitions can be a dicey game. You cannot predict what you’re getting your business into.
Custom Market Research help reduce risks by giving comprehensive analysis and review of companies and proceedings. It involves studying history and projecting future with reasoning estimates.
- Expansion and diversification:
Expansion and diversification can be key factors to heighten businesses and taking them to the next level.
That being said, it has to go with well administration and conduct.
Market Research which is tailored to your requirements, bought from a firm who is investigating all these procedures on a regular basis, can give you better data and insightful information on the same.
It incorporates possible opportunities in concern region which would fit your company’s environment.
- Specific section:
A company may require independent data for standalone requirements. Many a time, firms focus on one of the aspects of their business operations.
For example, finance, sales, marketing, technology or product quality enhancement. Personalized reports can cut short the unnecessary information and present you with detailed accurate data of what exactly you want.
Market Researcher’s go down to the wire and give a bigger and exact picture of the required facet.
Normal market research can help address a variety of business challenges with panoramic view of the market, on the other hand, Custom market research reports give you a more explicit solution to meet a client’s one-of-a-kind requirements and objectives.
It maintains customer experience (CX) has hit a wall in spite of becoming centre of attraction of business strategy. It estimates around 30% of businesses will face further declines in CX performance, which will translate into a net loss of a point of growth, in 2018.
Additionally, smart executives will interfere to create customer experience an internal disruptive power, one that is underpinned by the basics of Customer experience management with customer trust at the core.
Moreover while digital resdiponse is required to meet customer expectations, it is not always being attained by business.
The market research report points to more than 60% of executives think they are last in their digital transformation. However that misses the point. CEO problem and an economic question is digital transformation.
The rules of the market are varying as power shifts from the organizations to the clients. As per the market analysis, the data will be used to increasingly control consumer options and decisions.
10% of purchase decisions will be shown by a platform’s agent that is the beginning of important economic impact of allowed machines, in 2018.
Other estimations in the market industry analysis consist of using IA to filter out the noise of the day; which 80% of organizations affected by GDPR will not comply with the regulation by May 2018; 75% of artificial intelligence will underwhelm because they fail to model operational considerations, causing businesses leaders to reset the scope of artificial intelligence investments, and that enthusiasm and rhetoric will continue to restrict blockchain gains.
Blockchains support the creation of more complex value networks, which can otherwise be supported.
Usually, transactions costs and other sources of friction linked with having more vendors keep the number of partners in a value network small.
However if locating and locking in partners becomes more complete, easier value networks can become profitable, yet for quite small transactions.
Brands engaging with customers on social media, market researchers say, must bring something of value to the table before they expect customers to be receptive to their message or expect them to share their data.
This was the main message relayed from the industry insight experts at MRS’s annual conference, Impact 2017.
Social media star Alex Pettitt who has more than 2.5 lakh followers on Periscope, the video streaming service, commented that consumers must be provided with something of value and only then can brands expect to ask something in return.
He furthered that with some of the brands he worked, it was frustrating as they only sought to market their social platforms. While, only a few chosen ones actually sought to build a community that loved their brand.
Therefore, as per market research experts, by sharing the content people enjoy, Pettitt earns the right to target them with marketing and sponsored content.
Understanding how to use personized content
As per Simeon Duckworth of Group M, opined that it was no longer the technology impeding personized marketing, rather lack of understanding of how to use it and comprehend its value.
According to him, it’s not so much that we are not capable, but it it’s just that we do not understand how the advertising works well enough.
The limitation, therefore is as much on what we are looking for, as it is what’s technical proficient.
Meanwhile, Celina Burnett, Head of the marketing analytics at Asos.com, cautions that personalization can go too far as well.
It may start to creep out customers who may find it inappropriate and make them concerned as to how their data is being utilized.
This may turn them off from the brand. According technology market research reports, this effect also depends on age, the younger the age group is, the more comfortable customers generally are with you using their information, she commented.
Head of research at O2, Jessica Salmon, said that EU’s upcoming new data regulations, which will require brands to be crystal clear about how they utilize customer personal data, signified a “big opportunity” for brands that act in a responsible and open way online.
It will be the right thing to do and will cut out the slightly creepy part, that brands are concerned about and the bad personalization as well, she added.
Salmon, however also cautioned the market research industry that, with personalization, it also needs to support its own value and expertise.
She added that as an industry we have a challenge, with drive towards the personalization and data science, that it gets picked up by analysts, media companies etc.
Our skills as research industry are in our comprehension as humans and interpreting it, tells a story regardless of where that info comes from.
So from an insight point of view, it’s about bringing that synthesis and consumer understanding and that’s intensely powerful, therefore we should be stepping up that to take a pro-active stance.
If we cling on to doing things the old way, we would be in danger of being obsolete, Salmon finished.
While there are many who think that market research ethics are simply the case of ‘common sense’, they haven’t though it thoroughly, as per the seminar given by Agnes Nairin of International Business School at Impact 2017.
She addressed the audience and took them through a series of illusorily simple questions of market research ethics.
Answers to these questions, however are anything but simple.
For e.g. Should you provide incentives to the research participants? If yes, then how much? From whom should be take consent in case for children to be taken part in research or should a company’s own staff be allowed to participate in testing new products? Etc.
According to Nairin – the ethics of what you ask and to whom, and whether or how you ask for permission is not absolutely a case of black or white.
Industry codes on market research ethics
Diverse industry codes of practices exist to provide assistance to answer such questions, this includes those published by Esomar, MRS and industry bodies in other countries.
Nevertheless, it is not clear whether they are actually much of assistance.
A market research report from the Auckland University of technology among the researchers in New Zealand concluded that the codes do not have a significant impact on the ethical behavior.
The outlook is divided among academics on whether or not these industry codes really guide the decisions of market researchers.
In many instances, people do not have enough knowledge about their industry codes well enough.
Therefore, the codes are not reinforced by regular training or people simply feel the codes support their current values.
So what can be done to make sure the industry codes are adhered to?
Nairin, again has a solution, to make sure industry codes are being followed sincerely. She gives the following advice –
- Make sure the subject of how you want the people to behave is boiled down into some memorable core principles. Furthermore, these principles must have an unwavering support from the people of top positions from the company.
- It must be so that the learning process is enjoyable for the people and provide them with the freedom to learn from their mistakes instead of feeling like they have been punished.
- Most significantly, make sure that each individual is personally responsible for their ethics in work.
Following Nairin’s training and principles, 96% of the contestants commented that they found the training to be useful as well as 69% of participants challenged the existing practices within the span of one year.
Artificial intelligence will lead humans to lose jobs and will result into a widespread redundancy, that is the theory that is reiterated anyway.
New market research reports, however reveal that organizations which are investing in automated, smart teaching systems are more likely creating supplementary jobs along with it.
A reputed market research company surveyed 1000 businesses which have employed AI based systems and found out that 4 out 5 organizations have created more job opportunities that taking them.
Furthermore, 2/3rd of respondents said that there had been no reduction in overall jobs due to Artificial intelligence.
Even if the AI is at its very early stage, the technology that will be availed in next five years is going to be much better.
All the signs predicting that the incoming of machine learning will be used to supplement the existing workforce, are right on the money as per market research.
Other research findings
Moreover, other conclusions of the report show that AI is at present, is having a substantial bottom line effect – three quarters of interviewees were able to attribute a 10% or larger rise in sales as a result of their AI disposition.
As per market research, customer service will go through the most major transformation, with 73% of respondents stating that they can use AI for better customer satisfaction.
Head of this market research survey spoke about his findings and commented that the key point gleaned from the research was that Artificial intelligence could lead the world to one of the biggest socio-economic revolution the world has ever seen.
Furthermore, he highlighted the importance of ‘reskilling’ to reveal the power of transformative Artificial Intelligence technology within a business.
The objective of re-skilling would be to make employees better at leveraging data to enhance customer service, speeding up the R&D process and innovate.
AI to complement the workforce than replacing
Rather than replacing humans, AI will complement the workforce. Other statistics that backup these facts come from job websites which declared that there has been a five-times increase in the number of Artificial Intelligence careers advertised in the UK, in the last three years.
Other online market research sources stated that they also found that the demand for artificial intelligence experts and data scientists surpassed the supply, with 2.3 vacancies per applicant.
Employers in each sector are keen to use AI and need workers with the right skill to fill these roles.
As the AI sector grows, so does the potential for widespread application of Technology. Thus investing in training the right skills will take the industry to new heights.
Social media is one of the, if not best route when it comes to connecting with an audience.
Now days more and more brands use an array of social channels to build a following, effectively distributing content and to generate better engagement.
There is a wealth of possibilities and platforms to use social media to increase brand loyalty. There is built-in analytics which allow you to track your performance and improve your efforts.
In order to plan for ways to strengthen your social media game in the coming year, here are some trends you need to look out for –
Personalized Content will be in demand
- According to market research, 84% of millennials do not trust traditional advertising
- Therefore, it makes no sense to write content that is from selling point of view. If it is a brand you love and are trying to interact, the last you need is generic content.
- Personalization of the content for audience is become a major trend not only in content marketing but social media as well.
- As social media platforms evolve, their analytical tools and business specific features will glean more information and become more important to brands.
- This will assist marketers to create better personalized content.
- Some ways to get more personalized content is knowing your target market and making a user persona’s gender, age, education level, occupation, location etc.
- Then use a story-telling approach and tell the story in manner that your audience can understand and relate to best.
Short lived content increased popularity
Both snapchat and Instagram stories feature short lived content and video content. It is the best way to reach younger millennials and generation z. This type of content only lasts for 24 hours before getting deleted. This may sound frightening to marketers but offers many advantages such –
- According to a market research report, the short lived content is thought to be more authentic than spam posts or sponsored ads that push customers.
- As the content is lost quickly, it raises the fear of FOMO [ Fear of missing out]. It results into audiences taking fast action
- Ephemeral content catches audience attention, which is one of the most prized commodity on the net today
- Content can be accessed easily through QR codes.
Platform overlaps will push to be more selective
Just as multiple platforms offer single service, it is necessary for marketers to focus on a platform that speaks with their audience the most and gives them a wider reach.
For e.g. according to a Digital market research report, Instagram influencers see up to 10% of audience number on Instagram stories everyday which is considerably more than Snapchat [ which is more popular among younger users] Therefore, marketers must analyze and consider which platform gives them more relevant audience.
Image recognition and AI will take center stage
The social media trend is rapidly moving towards visual content. With several tools that use artificial intelligence algorithms for image recognition, the brands have the power to search pictures related to their brands on social media.
Marketers will quickly need to capitalize on the visual content trends more, as it undeniable that more people are likely to click on content that contains image.
Furthermore, with AI, it is easier for marketers to find image that do not have keyword text in them.
A lot of changes, like the above mentioned changes are anticipated in the social media arena in 2018, which means the role of social media marketers is also expected to expand and transform.
In the early 20th century, the American car manufacturers were in good luck, as people bought cars, as quickly as they created cars.
In 1914, the scene was transforming. In fact, a commenter once stated that the retailer could no longer just sell as per his judgement, instead he must sell what the consumers desire.
This commentator was Charles Coolidge Parlin, otherwise famously known as world’s first professional market researcher, who indeed invented the idea of ‘market research’.
A 100 years later, market research has become a huge phenomenon, in fact in the US alone, it employs more than 5,00,000 people.
Charles Parlin was tasked to find what makes the American automobile industry tick. For this, he traveled a hundreds and thousands of miles and interviewed car dealers.
Months of research later her presented his employer with what he humbly described as more than two thousand typewritten charts, maps, sheets and statistics etc.
Perfecting the art of advertisement
You may wonder if the person who employed Parlin was Henry Ford. After all he was one of the richest business men in car business during the time. However, no, Ford did not invest in market research at the time.
In fact, Parlin was hired by a magazine publisher.
The Curtis publishing company were doling out publications like the Saturday Evening Post, The Country Gentleman, The Ladies’ Home Journal which read widely at the time.
These magazines were reliant on advertising income. The company founder thought that he’d be able to sell more space for advertising, if they were perceived effective.
Therefore, he wondered if researching markets will make it possible to create better advertisements.
Consequently, he set up a separate division having only a vague idea, headed by Parlin.
He tackled agricultural machinery, department stores, but not many saw value in his activities initially.
He (Parlin) hoped to be a constructive service to the industry, explaining that the car makers spent heavily on advertisement and his employers wanted to know whether this important source of business was an element which would continue.
A consumer led approach
The invention of market research led the shift from a “producer led” to a more “consumer led” approach in business.
From creating things then persuading people to purchase it, it became trying to know what people want to buy and then creating it.
An array of market research techniques helped govern what might sell – focus groups, surveys, beta testing. Other eventually followed Parlins’ methods.
By the end of 1910’s, companies had started arranging their own market research departments. Meanwhile US advertising budget almost doubled.
The approach to market research became more scientific. In the 30’s George Gallup pioneered the idea of conducting polls. The first focus group was formed by sociologist Robert Merton in 1941.
By systematically analyzing customer preference was just a start. Marketers began realizing that it was possible to change them as well.
Manufacturing consumer desire
The characteristics of advertising were changing, no longer for providing information but trying to manufacture customer desire.
For e.g., in 1929, the American Tobacco Company persuaded women to buy cigarettes to smoke in public, as an act of female liberation.
Cigarettes, they touted were ‘torches of freedom’.
Thus attempts at discerning and directing public preferences have shaped every part of the economy.