Mobile payments

Concept check and message development of a new M payment service
Layered approach to understand perceived value of the new mobile payment service, its target segment and to determine the most compelling message and positioning themes. What experiences have consumers had with different types of mobile technologies and mobile payment services? Is the new product compelling enough to change current behaviors? What are the primary drivers and barriers to changing behavior? What are primary usage scenarios? Which positioning theme is most relevant, credible and unique?

Testing times

Evaluating New Portfolio Solutions
Validate a new portfolio line up (being planned) including 5 base products (Does the portfolio seem too crowded? If so, what should be removed or consolidated?). Validate whether features allocated to various levels make sense (Should all levels be offered on all base products?). Gauge reaction to various packages, feature combinations and price besides understanding relationship between packages and functionality levels.

Getting Tech-Savvy

Understanding infrastructure solution needs
Can research help in understanding the overall technology environment of the organizations in terms of employee structuring, annual budgets and IT purchase decisions? What are the challenges that organizations face in dealing with their computing infrastructure? What are the areas of computing infrastructure that are the most problematic therefore, most challenging? (Security, Disaster Recovery, Mobile devices/remote access for end users, Policy and Compliance, Storage management strategy, End user collaboration)

Get Thinning

Acceptance of thin client devices
What are the reasons that restrict deployment of more PCs in an organization? Are there needs that exist in multi-user configuration and what is the consumer’s interest in such options? What is the mindset to thin client solutions (barriers and opportunities)?

Are You a Deserving Employer?

Perceptions of IT organization as an employer among laterals
Are fresh IT graduates aware of the strength of each IT organization and the discipline it operates in? What are the employee expectations from an ideal IT set up? Are there any clear differentiators? What are their pain points and frustrations as also delights with their current environment?

Brand Mantra

Consumer feedback into Naming Architecture
What do consumers and partners feel about the current and future service offerings of the IT company in question (if it includes bundled services covering multiple hardware and software products)? What are the views of customers and partners on current naming hierarchy and tiers, and how relevant are these? What are the possible alternative ways of conceptualizing and categorizing services to future customers?

Getting Ready for the Job

Evaluation and Acceptance of a new training program
The client was looking at opportunities and assessing if there is a market for outsourcing recruitment-cum-training needs in IT companies. The premise being that IT companies hire Graduates and Post-Graduates of Science/other fields and train them to fulfill their manpower requirements. What is the acceptance of such a program by both students and industry? How relevant is the program for students and what kind of program modalities will work with both sets of consumers?

Exploring the mind of the ‘latest-gizmo-seekers’

Determining drivers in high-end mobile phone purchase
What factors influence purchase decisions of a high-end, ultra-hip mobile phone (social, cultural, technological, economic etc.)? Besides, uncovering how consumers decide upon and shop for their mobile phones as well how they are actually using them. The research was meant to provide an initial basis or hypotheses for profiling customer groups for which this particular brand would have the most or least appeal based upon the above areas of exploration, awareness and perceptions of the brand.

The past few years have witnessed a marked jump in the number of engineering college students approaching computer training institutes for specialized IT-related courses. What can a computer institute offer to make its programs relevant to these professionals? Will the idea of forming an alliance with engineering colleges and having a computer centre in the campus appeal to students?

The Research Objective

Assess the appeal of an alliance with the engineering colleges and relevance of the programs. Thus, generate product positioning ideas for the program..

The Challenge

While the ‘do good’ nature of the program is bound to appeal to majority, how to gauge the strength of that need….relevance for others vs. relevance for me…as that is going to finally result in enrolments?

The Research Methodology

To get a holistic picture, a mix of qualitative and quantitative was undertaken with students of engg. colleges.

  • To get a holistic picture, a mix of qualitative and quantitative was undertaken with students of engg. colleges through questionnaire administering with a random sample (SS: 375, 3 metros) of the defined TG
  • Qualitative through Focus Group Discussions (2 metros).
  • Expert interviews were conducted with principals of the colleges.
Key Findings
  • While students are ‘socially’ satisfied that they are doing a professional course but on delving deeper, cribs about college galore: from insufficient lab timings to un-interested faculty…with placement promises not being met.
  • Cost and Managing time (from classes, projects, training) are two big barriers in enrolling for courses/programs.
  • Wish list 1: Get attendance + Get Training without putting in the extra hours. Wish list 2: Lower fees, so that it does not put additional pressure on parents
  • Across various streams, a positive reaction to the alliance for reasons of 1. Convenience; 2. Placement Assurance; 3. Specific program benefits
  • While placements remains the BIGGEST benefit, but we need to also give weight-age to ‘at your doorstep’ education and leverage on ‘convenience’ as an inherent benefit. Moreover credibility of placement claim is not high; considering that they were promised the same by college as well.
  • There is greater demand for short term courses like C, C++, Java, DotNet that are seen as a ‘must know’ for any IT job. On the other hand, long term courses (that promise dual qualification for non IT streams) are against the grain of their engineering stream – asking them to move away from their stream to IT…which is unacceptable and hence lose relevance.
  • Therefore, while the ‘intention to enrol’ score is high for both short and long term courses, the ‘for me’ feeling is missing in the long term courses hence enrolment is a concern.
The Result

The study facilitated the go-no go decision for launching the alliance, besides providing answers on the product position. Whether placements (which is a potent weapon) alone can break the ice with the students, or do we need another obvious and intrinsic platform like convenience to sell the story?

Sum up

The ‘do-good’ answers were obvious – all would agree to the product’s relevance if asked in the cut and dried manner but how relevant is it for you was the key question which was successfully answered in the end.

While the past few years have witnessed a marked jump in the number of engineering students taking up specialized IT-courses with out-of-campus IT institutes, how can an IT education brand make its programs more relevant for these professionals? And does the idea of developing customized programs, in alliance with their specific engineering colleges delivered via an IT education centre within their own campus, appeal to students?

As for many other categories, youth is the largest emerging segment for mobiles also, apart from being a key image driver. Considering the increasing saturation in the market, this segment has gained greater prominence. However competition to any mobile brand would span across all that occupies a share of ‘youth’ wallet, and not just other players. Hence, all the more reason to understand his psyche from an overall standpoint, before entering into category and brand.

The Research Objective
A four-some task:
  • Explore ‘youth’ psyche to unravel current trends
  • Explore their attitude towards category and triggers for entry
  • Map need-gaps & satisfaction levels with services offered, to generate ideas for future product offerings
  • Understand brand perceptions and image.
The Challenge

In a competitive market with easy-to-imitate service offerings, how to generate product possibilities that are differentiated and relevant?

Unravel youth trends beyond the obvious and what is known basis past researches on other categories.

The Research Methodology

Focus Group Discussions spanning SEC A/B/C, with graduates/post graduates/professionals, current and intending buyers for pre & post paid. Employing projective techniques using Image Associations.

Key Findings
  • 4 consumer segments emerged, on the basis of their attitude to fashion and trends, attitude to life (style vs. show-off vs. happy go lucky vs. studious), the way they see themselves (confident/assured, trendsetters, eager to impress), hard workers vs. smart workers.
  • Overall mindset: While FUN = FRIENDS, they are practical as far as future is concerned. Life is all about success and achievement to them, with the motto of ‘Be ahead, stay ahead’. That’s why they want to belong to a certain circle of friends,yet stand out from them. Relationships are passé when opportunities beckon but family ties are still very strong.
  • Ownership of personal products is on high with youth, with what is conventionally seen as ‘Indulgence’ turning into ‘Necessity’.
  • Cell phones are seen as Cool, trendy and exciting. They arouse curiosity – what’s new, who’s carrying what, testing new services/ features; and evoke a feeling of bonding & group-ism. Despite being a personal device, it is seen as bringing people together (unlike other personal commodities)
  • A day without it – frustrated, tense, empty, lonely – almost like without a girlfriend for a day. YOUTH MARKETING – TAKE THE ROLE OF ‘A FRIEND’ AT ALL JUNCTURES
  • Mobiles in many ways are similar to bikes, both very personal items. They are a ‘MUST HAVE': Having one is convenience, but NOT having hurts self-esteem. While it’s an essential, average bill not high. In fact, competes for the wallet share with as many as 5-6 items
  • Status is linked to the conspicuous item – the phone brand; hence service providers play second fiddle to the phone brand and are thought of only when there is a problem with network.
  • Possibilities for product development emerged from the need analysis
The Result

The needs and associations of the youth were very different from the adults, which was quite interesting. Considering we were competing in an over-active category, the insights were useful in tailoring the product/services to their requirements.

Sum Up

Youth marketing is always a stimulating topic but while it is an oft-heard and oft-read subject, the high point of this research was in its delivery to provide real usable learning for the brand.