Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) - QRCA Views Magazine, Fall 2021

For the inquisitive researcher, these markets provide rich and exciting opportu- nities to dive into often complex and unfamiliar cultures. As researchers who have a combined twenty-five years of experience conducting research in Southeast Asia (SEA), we are happy to share some pointers so that you can speak confidently with your clients or colleagues about how to approach qualitative research in this part of the world. To make sure we are sharing multiple perspectives on this market, we conducted interviews with some senior insights professionals based in Southeast Asia. A Quick Reminder about Geography The Southeast Asian region is home to more than 670 million people, in an area to the east of India, to the south of China, and to the west of Australia. Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand are the markets most frequently researched by global clients due to the size of their populations and growth rates of their economies. Malaysia, Singapore, Cambo- dia, Laos, Brunei, and Myanmar (Burma) complete the set, and all these markets have active qualitative practitioners. General Cultural Pointers for Qualitative Research in Southeast Asia Diversity and uniqueness of markets It can be challenging to manage and interpret projects in countries such as these, due to the incredible variety of cultures, languages, and religions across the region. Nichola Rastrick, Netflix’s director of consumer insights for APAC (Asia Pacific Countries), shared with us, “Southeast Asia is a geographical descrip- tor, not a homogeneous region, and due to the diversity, you have to take great care when you decide to take findings from one market and extrapolate them to others. Cultural differences can impact all sorts of consumer choices, from their insurance provider, snack brand, and what they choose to watch.” Religious and language differences are important Religion is one cultural influence; for example, Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation and therefore, operates very differently on a cultural level from Thailand, which is majority Buddhist, or the Philippines, which is majority Catholic. Attitudes and reception toward QUAL I TAT IVE RESEARCH IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW By Sophie Cox and Nadia Zulkifli n Firestar Research n Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia n letschat@firestarresearch.com S o, you just picked up a new client. Or, maybe an existing client has a new insights manager. Or, perhaps your client or business is expanding their global footprint. They’ve asked you to conduct a project in Thailand or Indonesia . . . Yikes, you’ve never done a project there! What now? 12 QRCA VIEWS FALL 2021 www.qrca.org n GLOBAL n