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Is the “Great Firewall of China” Falling Down?
Written by Betsy
Thursday, 29 March 2012 14:50

Although the "Great Firewall of China" prevents Chinese from accessing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other popular social media platforms, Chinese consumers are heavily involved in social networking. Indeed, China has developed its own domestic social media space that is dominated by strong local players, which offer similar (or even superior) functionality than Western social media platforms. The following infographic illustrates the social media landscape in China – take a look at the full graphic (below) to see China's internet landscape. Visit G+ to view the original infographic.

Tencent was founded in 2008 and has become one of China's largest and most used Internet service portals. According to its corporate communications department, Tencent’s strategic goal is to provide users with "one-stop online lifestyle services". Specifically, Tencent’s leading Internet platforms in China – QQ (QQ Instant Messenger),, QQ Games, Qzone,, SoSo, PaiPai and Tenpay – have brought together China's largest Internet community. As of 30 September 2011, QQ IM’s active QQ user accounts amounted to 711.7 million, while its peak concurrent users reached 145.4 million.

In fall 2011,Tencent announced that it was rolling out an English-language version of its Weibo microblogging platform (similar to Twitter, which is prohibited in China), and early in 2012 it started advertising job vacancies, aiming to hire a team to launch online social games on Facebook.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 15:24
Has Content Marketing Caught the Travel Bug?
Written by Betsy
Monday, 12 March 2012 21:43

A close look at travel blogging and content marketing by Giulia Billi: Travel enthusiast, blogger and market research professional

Over a year ago, I decided to take a break from my career in marketing and research and left London to embark on a long journey through Latin America, lured by mythical wildernesses like Amazonia and Patagonia, indigenous civilizations and Brazilian music.

A daughter of our digital age, I prepared for the trip by reading forums such as the Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree and travellers’ blogs which offered advice on everything, from what to put in one’s backpack to suggested itineraries, and I continued to do so while planning my next steps in transit. While travelling, I somehow disconnected from technology and relied on old-fashioned hand-written journals and e-mails to friends.

Once back, though, I decided to revisit my travel experience and started writing a travel blog, My aim was, and is, to connect to the community of bloggers that so much influenced the planning my trip and share my own experiences. One piece feedback I got is to be honest and direct and offer an unadulterated and subjective view of my experience, which is a common reason why travel blogs became so popular source for travellers to look for information in addition to – and sometimes instead of – travel guides and magazines.

Travel blogging, whether just writing online about one’s own travel experiences or additionally including pictures and videos, has different nuances: it can be more evocative and descriptive or more focused on giving practical tips and ideas to fellow travellers and travel enthusiasts, or something in between, like my blog, which is evocative but has also some itinerary and travel suggestions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 07:38
A New Era of Cool: Statisticians as Heroes
Written by Betsy
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 14:45

The consumer research world is abuzz with the attention suddenly paid to the "unsung heroes" among us: Statisticians. For centuries, the secret to actionable data has been the math that goes on behind it. At face value, a number may be a number, but with thoughtful and proven formulas suddenly numbers tell compelling stories, and this has become increasingly valid with global commerce moving at warp speed. In a New York Times article entitled “How Companies Learn Your Secrets” explores the role of predictive analytics in retailing and branding; explaining how somewhat of a backroom science has become a must for companies seriously trying to understand consumer behavior.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 March 2012 20:31
A Drugstore Revolutionizes C-Store Retailing?
Written by Betsy
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:03

Monday (January 9) brought news that Walgreens would open a flagship store in Chicago The Chicago Tribune reported that the 27,000 square foot location will feature “…such new touches as a humidor, international newsstand, made-to-order smoothies, self-serve frozen yogurt, sushi and juice bars, and a barista selling exclusive State & Randolph brand coffee.Makeovers, manicures and wine? Also there.  Kairos Consumers thought this all sounded a bit familiar…and not because of the Duane Reade (chain owned by Walgreens) flagship opening last summer, which was reported by a July 2011 press release as "The World's Most Innovative Drugstore with Pharmacy Service." Rather, it seems that Walgreens is using its sure footing in the US drugstore market to indirectly go where several companies had once dared but had not succeeded: Bringing innovation to the convenience store concept. Remember the konbini rage? What happened to the Japanese convenience store prototype that was projected to forever change the landscape as we know it?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:17
Are You Scanning?
Written by Betsy
Monday, 05 December 2011 15:55

With a great deal of research experience in how various demographics across the globes use technology, Kairos Consumers has followed with great interest the proliferation of the QR code. For those unfamiliar with the QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) or its history: It is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) created in 1994 by Denso Wave for the automotive industry and gaining traction in recent years as a means of encoding a range of information that can be quickly decoded. An Op Ed on in August 2011 by Hamilton Chan, CEO of Paperlinks, suggested that QR codes are “here to stay”, but like all things tech-related, consumers need to first understand the utility.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 December 2011 16:05
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