Former senior TNS executive, James Fergusson, has launched Mobile Digital Indaba (MDI), a specialist international mobile and digital insights agency, based out of Melbourne, Australia.
Fergusson, the company's CEO, says, "Mobile is the catalyst of huge changes in consumer lives and purchasing behaviour. The market research industry has been slow to react to mobile - as a result failing to meet client needs and failing to interact with consumers in a meaningful and engaging manner.
"You cannot just flirt with mobile as an alternate data collection technique, it challenges the validity and essence of much of the theory and practice underpinning consumer insights. You cannot simply force traditional research onto mobile." Fergusson reinforces passionately, "Mobile gives rise to many research techniques and approaches. In doing so mobile disrupts the cost model of traditional research. This is central to the MDI offer. We aim to provide better insights, faster and cheaper than anyone else."
MDI has already opened offices in Melbourne, Singapore and Cape Town to service the growing demand for mobile and digital services from clients in Australia, Asia and Africa. Clive Little and Kirsty Smit will manage the operations and lead the expansion across Asia and Africa.
Alongside a big data analytics capability, MDI has developed a single and integrated mobile app and platform that works on all mobile devices including feature phones, Blackberry, Windows, Android and iOS. This allows clients to engage with all consumers across emerging and developed markets, a major benefit to clients when many of the existing platforms are Smart phoneenabled only or limited to simple text interactions.
The MDI app has an extensive list of features and functionality including quantitative surveys, qualitative chat (group and one-to-one), mobile ethnography, image capture, diaries, passive measurement and geo-fencing (location) services.
"MDI has an impressive mobile technology platform and a very unique capability that will benefit our clients," says Asia MD, Clive Little, "but I'd like to add that in addition to our technology, our clients also benefit from the fact that we are still, first and foremost, research and insight professionals."
As part of an expanded offer and in response to discussions with clients, MDI is building mobile access communities that clients will access for ad hoc or ongoing work. MDI also builds and manages proprietary customer mobile communities that allow companies to engage with their customers 'in the moment'.
Fergusson says, "we have had a fantastic response from clients over the last few months as we have continued to build our offer around our unique mobile platform. We started by looking at the way consumers behave in the world and how they want to provide feedback on their experiences with brands, products and services. We truly believe what we have is the future of market research and one that is reflective of real world behaviour. We are very excited about our business."