Marketers and media owners in Myanmar should get more regular and more robust updates on consumer behavior following a new joint venture between Nielsen, one of the world’s largest research companies, and local leader MMRD.
Electronic replacements for paper diaries used to record media consumption and purchase behavior are on hold, however.
That’s less a question of cost, and more about infrastructure of the market as a whole, explains Suresh Ramalingam, MD for Nielsen’s Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam cluster.
“We can easily get in the technology, in terms of data collection,” Ramalingam says. “It is about the market being ready.”
The first step is refining existing panels while relaying findings more often. Ramalingam wants daily media measurement, as well as weekly and monthly retail data, within 18 months.
“We want to get our timing inline with other markets,” he tells Media Business Asia.
Myanmar, which has been without an official national statistics body, will undertake its first census later this year, much improving marketers’ and agencies’ attempts to size the market.
TV, which reaches 51% of homes and absorbs the majority of ad spend, is measured via 550 TV households across capital city Yangon and second city Mandalay.
Nielsen MMRD’s retail measurement, meanwhile, is compiled from close to 3,000 retail outlets across metro and urban cities, both on and off premises.
Diaries are used almost exclusively to calculate TV ratings because chronic electricity outages preclude the installation of TV meters.
At the same time, standardized barcodes on packaged products are rare, a common problem in developing markets, holding back investment in barcode scanners to monitor retail purchases.
“The service that we have now will need to be enhanced rapidly if we are to capture the needs in the coming 12-18 months,” Ramalingam says.