YouGov has made its research operations purely digital in the Middle East and North Africa making it the only leading global market research company to provide an online-only research service in the region .
The decision falls in line with the company’s core global vision of being the leader in online research and data analytics all over the world, an ambition lead by its Founder and CEO, Stephan Shakespeare.
Since launching in the Middle East and North Africa 12 years ago YouGov has built an online panel of consumers who participate in online surveys across 21 markets. Between August 2016 and July 2017 those members completed over 3.4 million YouGov surveys online, compared to 670,000 just four years before, a testament to the phenomenal growth of the digital landscape in the Arab world.
Most exciting of all is the change in how people are choosing to participate in market research. Today, in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait, more than 75% of the country’s population now has a smartphone*. In May 2017 for the first time on the YouGov panel in MENA countries, mobile survey participation overtook desktop participation with 51% of YouGov panelists taking part in surveys on their mobile device compared to 49% on their desktop. Since then, mobile survey completion has continued to rise peaking at 61% in January 2018, while desktop participation declined to 39%.
For YouGov, fundamentally this evidence makes online research the most efficient and effective means by which businesses can connect with consumers and discover the deep dive insights they need in the MENA region. To that end, the company has invested heavily in its suite of online data products and custom services to provide insights faster, but with the same high level of accuracy expected by its clients.
Sundip Chahal, COO of YouGov commented, “Over the past 12 years we have seen online survey participation rates in MENA soar, and this continuous conversation with consumers has enabled us to build a powerful and robust data set, profiled across thousands of important attitudinal and lifestyle attributes, which we use to address individual client needs.”
“We should always use the most efficient means to connect companies, the media and consumers – it’s now digital across the region and we’re delighted – no one else comes close to matching our experience in the region. Our panelists are telling us they want to participate digitally – so that is how we will focus our operations to best support our clients in the region.”
For YouGov, it is the ‘effective dialogue’ that online research brings that makes them stand apart from their competitors in the region. Commenting on the digital move, YouGov CEO and Founder Stephan Shakespeare said, “Every single day, with each and every survey YouGov panelists complete, they are voluntarily building a richer profile of their personality and behaviour. Couple that continuous conversation with highly sophisticated data analytics and sampling tools from our research experts in Dubai, and you see the enormous potential digital market research can bring to the future of businesses across the Arab world.”
Source: *2017 Global Mobile Market Report - Newzoo