As part of Ipsos MENA’s ongoing commitment to deliver fast, high-quality data, the company introduces a new online panel in the country of Iraq. Iraq is the latest addition to Ipsos Interactive Services’ (IIS) MENA panel which already covers Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, and Kuwait. Communicate spoke with Joseph Habre, CEO of Ipsos in Lebanon and Ipsos Interactive Services (IIS) & Operations in MENA, to understand the benefits of the new panel.
Could you begin by providing a short overview of Ipsos Interactive Service (IIS) and what it does?
Ipsos Interactive Services is the online division of operations within Ipsos. An access panel refers to a website in which people join so that they can get invited to take surveys and benefit from a reward program. We provide our clients with access to respondents who are willing to participate in online surveys. In the MENA region, we manage access panels in nine countries and offer online reach through trusted partners in five more countries. We’ve been operating in the region since 2011.
What will the addition of the online panel in Iraq bring to the table?
Adding Iraq helps us expand our regional footprint and it helps us support research activities in the country. Internet & smartphone penetration is increasing in Iraq and there is more need for an online presence. In addition, given the size of the country, and periodical turmoil that makes travel difficult, face to face research may sometimes be difficult or impossible. Online access to respondents allows us to reach people throughout the country.
How long did it take to set up the panel and what were the challenges you faced while setting it up?
The panel launch was decided in January of this year and we went live on April 2nd, 2020. The entire set up took around two months. Our panel is available in both Arabic and Kurdish.
The main challenge we faced was with regard to language. We knew Kurdish was required but we discovered that Kurdish encompasses several languages which are not mutually intelligible. The official Kurdish language in Iraq is Sorani Kurdish, but even then, there are important varieties in usage between the different regions. We identified and recruited reliable and professional translators who could help with both translation and localization.
What insights do you hope to obtain from the panel?
Our panel is geared towards the needs of our clients. Insights are collected in order to answer a business question, support decision making, etc. A company may wish to introduce a new product, test an ad, understand shopping or product usage habits, etc. We pose relevant questions to our panelists, and collect some demographic data. We ask about demographics to better analyze the data. Once the data has been collected, it will be analyzed and reported on in a meaningful actionable manner. The client will know people’s opinion on their new product, how likely it is to succeed, or which concept or ad is preferred among different age groups; and may proceed with their product activities. Insights and research activities are not limited to products.