NEWS15 April 2011

MROC Japan and Cross Marketing roll out community offer

Asia Pacific New business

JAPAN— A new market research online community service has been launched today by MROC Japan and online research firm Cross Marketing.

MROC Japan CEO Shigeru Kishikawa told Research there has already been expressions of interest in the service from brewer Asahi, and cosmetics and toiletry firms Shiseido and Lion, but the use of MROCs in the country is still at a fairly nascent stage.

Online qualitative research more broadly accounts for just 1% of total ad hoc research spend, says Kishikawa, quoting official industry statistics. He describes the Japanese industry as “kind of conservative” when it comes to newer methods.

Twitter, blogs and social networks like Mixi and Facebook may be popular, Kishikawa says, but social media marketing is still developing and researchers in Japan lag behind their US and European counterparts in understanding and utilising social media mining technologies.

As it currently stands, Kishikawa believes a full-scale, long-term MROC offering – the kind Communispace might run, with 300 or more people – might be “a very tough to sell”. So his company and Cross Marketing have developed both a short-term, small-scale solution they call a “tactical co-creation community”, as well as a “strategic co-creation community” that is bigger in size and scope.

With major companies already showing an interest, the MROC service appears to be off to a promising start – though Kishikawa says concerns remain over what effect the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster will have on MR budgets for this financial year.