Deputy General Manager
CRT Market Research
CRI: How is the development of market research industry in Chinese mainland?
Tian Tao: Compared with Japan and America, market research is a small and young industry in China. The capacity of the whole market is around 2 billion yuan or 244 million US dollars in 2004. Around the country, there are roughly 10 market research companies with an annual turnover of above 100 million yuan or 12 million US dollars.
CRI: How to guarantee the effectiveness of the report a company produce?
Tian Tao: First, we have to remain neutral and objective as a third party to conduct the market research. Second, it depends on whether you really understand the target market. For example, if you are doing a media effect report, you should know that in Hong Kong, more people will choose to read newspaper while in mainland, people prefer to television for information. With objectivity and knowledge of local market, a professional company can produce useful report and data for clients.
CRI: How is the ratio of foreign and domestic clients of your company?
Tian Tao: Around 50-50 now. At the very beginning, our clients were often foreign companies since they would need large amount of market data at their entry into the Chinese market. Later, domestic companies are gradually realizing the importance of market research and they will turn to us for such service.
CRI: What are the main problems for current market research industry?
Tian Tao: The biggest problem is the disorder in competition. Many research compnies are not competing in quality of their service, but in prices. That results in the ignorance of the professionalism and no reputation at all. Next, we are still in a process of localizing those western market research techniques and models in order to produce useful reports that cater the needs of our local clients. The last problem is the lack of market research talents. With the rapid development of the industry, large amount of work force is needed and we welcome any experienced market researchers to join us.
CRI: Have you started to do media monitoring of Internet advertisement?
Tian Tao: We don¨t have data at the moment, but we have started to monitor it from this year. In fact, Internet advertisement has witnessed fastest growth and its audience is much more educated. However, it is still handicapped by the amount of netizens and the speed of Internet access.
(Interview done on CTR 2005 Outlook Press Conference, February 23 2005, Beijing)