Talking AR & VR at ESOMAR APAC 2018

Kim Groff -- ESOMAR APAC 2018
A guest blog by Kim Groff, Regional Manager of CETRA’s APAC office

CETRA was proud to attend the ESOMAR APAC 2018 conference this past May. The event was held in Bangkok’s Shangri-La hotel with the beautiful Chao Phraya River as the backdrop. The fast-flowing water winding its way towards the bright skyscrapers and modern heart of Bangkok was a perfect analogy for the conference theme of “Drive.”

ESOMAR APAC 2018 was a dramatic exploration of all the ways the flow of information between consumers and businesses is shifting according to new and powerful business models. Augmented reality and virtual reality are key players in this shift, and the potential for their use in research was a key component of the event. Another major player is large-scale platforms such as Google, Amazon, and Line. These platforms are able to innovate with exponentially expanding speed and scale due to the massive user base with which traditional business models simply can’t compete. The massive scale of these platforms provides an equally massive source of data, pushing researchers ever closer to harnessing the true power of the “big data” movement.

Over and over again it was clear that to reach respondents today, there is no substitute for direct, personal communication. For VR and AR to work, the interface with respondents must look natural and familiar. It must be seamless. This is impossible to do without high quality cultural and linguistic input from native residents. This is where CETRA stands ready to assist. With our team of qualified linguists, we can provide the input needed to create a seamless market research experience. Our 20 years of experience with the linguistic side of market research gives us a unique edge in this exciting new type of research, and we look forward to seeing how research will shift and grow in response to the personal, in-the-room style of engagement.

ESOMAR APAC 2018 was all about looking ahead. What is driving change, and where is it driving it to? An insightful panel of research providers and research buyers took a look at this question together and discussed how they can best work together to create stronger business partnerships that will stand firm in the face of a swiftly evolving research environment. Cooperation, communication, and trust were the main takeaways, with all parties hoping to forge partnerships that are personal and reliable, even across the course of lengthy multi-year studies. The same is true here at CETRA. We understand the importance of having a well-trained and experienced staff who are able to build the strong, personal relationships that are so necessary to create trust with our partners on every project.

There are many factors that are driving research to new heights today. We look forward to seeing how the industry will grow and embrace the new opportunities that technology provides and how cultural relevance will become ever more critical during this personal, integrated new research world.

About the Author: Kim Groff is the Regional Manager of CETRA APAC. Kimberly earned her BA at Bucknell University, majoring in French and English, and her MA in Japanese Translation Studies at Kent State University.