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Bulgarian Market Research and Experience in the Recent Years
shared by Radina Nestorova, Market Test JSC, Bulgaria
In 1989, after the fall of Communist rule, Bulgaria’s Market research industry turned a new page. While consumer opinion and attitude were often underestimated in the past, it became a necessary factor for market survival in post-soviet Bulgaria. The pressing need for research professionals on every business team increased with the development of new markets.
The first market research agencies in Bulgaria were founded by professionals with educational backgrounds in Sociology or Philosophy. As the industry grew, the demand for skilled business professionals also grew. This demand continued to increase in the years before the Economic crisis; a major factor in this being the influx of multi-national corporations such as Unilever, Procter and Gamble, etc. who opened their offices here. While the 90’s may have seen the explosion of Market Research in Bulgaria, the influx of these larger corporations has most contributed to the market research revival.
Initially, some of the multinational corporations, but not all, simply dropped assignments, questionnaires and methodologies to be followed by its subsidiaries in the country and, after analyzing the data, prepared marketing strategies. Similarly, Bulgarian companies began to practice market research at the beginning without a clear idea of what and how to use the information received after that they improved their practices. Bulgaria experienced a financial crisis in 2010; it was a total economic disaster. The economy experienced some negative changes and many of the multinational corporations began exporting their subsidiaries from the country.
In more recent years new technologies and online solutions have created the ability to access respondents globally. The ultimate impact of this being that Market Researchers are able to remotely develop business insights faster and more comprehensively than previously possible. The combination of big data and traditional research helped businesses, in and outside of the Bulgarian market, increase productivity, resources and revenue.
For me, market research was love at first sight. I’m very happy to be a witness to the changes in the research industry; the most rewarding aspect of my career is the creative process. I feel most inspired when I have a new project, a new idea and a vision about the methodology and the research. The most exciting thing for me is that, because there is so much to learn in market research, it’s never boring for me!