While the deal period or the terms of partnership were not disclosed, IMRB said that it will be re-launching MarketPulse in 2014 as part of this partnership and will be adding 10,000 households to the existing panel of 70,000 households. It will also be covering new states such as Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in the service.
The company claimed that the new service will include IMRB’s local market knowledge and Kantar Worldpanel’s global insights & international expertise. It also claimed that this panel will also be using insight from the 2011 Census and Market Research Society of India (MRSI)’s socio-economic category consumer classification (pdf) to offer more accurate insight for its clients. It will also apparently use more granular category definitions to provide clients with better insights on consumers’ purchasing habits across various products.
Launched in 1981, MarketPulse provides monthly insights on household purchases across various FMCG categories. It claims to track purchases across 60 categories in foods, beverages, household care, personal care and over the counter (OTC) products. We however wonder if this service will be able to provide a clearer picture of the market or offer the same ambiguous information, thereby adding to the existing confusion.
Over the past year, research agencies have been at the receiving end of Indian businesses, facing several complaints like data manipulation and inaccurate data among others: Last July, NDTV had sued Nielsen in the New York Court for allegedly manipulating TV ratings and viewership data, which was subsequently dismissed by the New York Court in May 2013 (A NDTV vs Nielsen timeline here).
Earlier this month, NDTV had also questioned the rationale behind its lowly position in the comScore’s recent report regarding online news and information readership in India and had alleged that comScore had included non-news properties for several media groups mentioned in the report, which resulted in its lowly eight position in the report.