Market research firm ACNielsen ORG-MARG has been forced to revamp its panels to increase the depth of its coverage. This follows certain key fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies articulating that the existing data is not satisfactory.
According to sources at Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL), the consumer products major, in its interactions with ACNielsen ORG-MARG, had conveyed that there was a need to revamp the existing panels. HLL sources said the need for such a discussion was felt as in some of its categories where sales had increased, the same was not reflected in the market shares of the company arrived at by the market research firm.
This has been a grouse for not only HLL, but some other FMCG companies also.
A query to ACNielsen ORG-MARG on the revamping of its panels did not elicit any response. However, industry sources confirmed that the market research firm was revamping the panels so as to address the requirements of the FMCG companies.
Sources said Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) had also expressed unhappiness on the ACNielsen data from time-to-time, and was, in fact, understood to be considering slashing its subscription to the market research firm’s retail audit data by half.
Commenting on the issue, Oona Dhabhar, head-market research, P&G India, said: “P&G has been working very closely with ACNielsen/ORG on the retail audit and has been using the data for sometime now. While we did not specifically ask them to change the panel, we are looking forward to the revamping of the panel which will definitely increase the accuracy of the data.”
Differences of opinion with market research firms on market shares is not new in the consumer products and consumer durables sectors. It is well known that beverage majors Coca-Cola and Pepsi have waged wars in the media on market shares by two rival market research firms. Besides ACNielsen ORG-MARG, the other market research firm is IMRB. However, ACNielsen has the single largest panel and reach. While the bigger FMCG companies subscribe to such retail audit data to track their positions and those of their competitors’ in the industry, smaller companies are unable to incur such huge costs.
A leading solutions provider of syndicated and non-syndicated information services, ACNielsen ORG-MARG covers sectors like healthcare, consumer products, financial, retail, business-to-business, and media performance trends. The firm has been providing market measurement and customised research services to clients in India for over 40 years now.