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Mobile social and instant messaging giant WeChat has inked a deal with digital research agency Pondering Panda, which will allow both to offer businesses and other third parties access to both the fast-growing WeChat userbase and new kinds of digital research.
Pondering Panda will now, for instance, be able to include variables like location sharing, voice notes and video in its research thanks to the availability of those features on WeChat.
These features will apparently also allow Pondering Panda to broaden the scope of both its quantitative and qualitative research efforts and provide businesses with better insights, while also allowing offline interactions to be brought to online surveys.
WeChat claims to have a reliable respondent base through which Pondering Panda can conduct targeted surveys to gather and analyse user opinions across a variety of topics.
In a press release, WeChat claims that this is of significant benefit to Pondering Panda’s clients, who in turn get access to more dispersed samples and even better demographic coverage. In return for their participation, WeChat users gain fun and interesting peer-to-peer insights.
To kick off the research on the Official Account, Pondering Panda surveyed WeChat users to gain better insight into this new respondent base. The research indicated that the respondents were evenly split between male and female, with each gender respresenting about 50% of the total. Furthermore, it found that about 70% of WeChat users were aged between 18 and 34 years old.
With direct access to this sought-after demographic segment, Pondering Panda reckons it will be able to help businesses engage with this new audience to answer their most important questions. By leveraging Pondering Panda’s broad reach, which extends into 20 African countries, clients will also be able to interview and collect samples from hard-to-reach and varying segments of the population through their mobile phones.
“Pondering Panda pioneered mobile research in South Africa, and has conducted more than seven million digital interviews through mobile and online channels,” says Diane Gantz, CEO of Pondering Panda. “We’re now bringing our mobile expertise to WeChat with our own Official Account that’s designed to tap into the sought-after demographic segments represented by WeChat users and make use of WeChat’s unique features that allow for more in-depth feedback. This is great news for our clients – it gives them broader reach, better targeting, and improved demographic penetration in the South African market and beyond, further building on the number bases we already use for conducting research. It’s also good news for WeChat users. For respondents, we provide a fun experience with engaging surveys and games that are updated daily, and real-time feedback so that they can gain insight into the opinions of other users on WeChat.”
“The WeChat platform has already proved successful for information-gathering purposes and our partnership with Pondering Panda extends our online, offline offering to businesses looking to conduct targeted market research in Africa,” says Brett Loubser, Head of WeChat Africa. “This partnership will help WeChat to better profile its users and gather insight through surveys and quizzes, which will allow us to offer businesses the opportunity for quality data collection and engagement while Pondering Panda lets them leverage multiple respondent bases and channels to reach more people, through the medium best suited to them.”