Who Owns Whom

The impact of research on innovation, productivity, and societal progress has been profound – from groundbreaking inventions shaping the 21st century to the challenges faced by professional research companies in the digital era. It is worth delving into the evolving research landscape, market dynamics, and the critical role of effective marketing in a rapidly changing economy.

How research has improved people’s lives

Research is at the core of innovation, and new products and services drive productivity, progress and new experiences. It is possibly one of the most undervalued activities in the economy.

A phenomenal journey toward the 5th industrial revolution

Source: Fingent.com

There have been many groundbreaking inventions that directly impacted the quality of societal life. The accompanying graphic shows some of the top inventions of the 21st century. In this era, we take for granted the invention of penicillin without which, people used to die from common colds. These inventions range from the printing press to the worldwide web; from typewriters to smart devices such as tablets, laptops, and phones; and from automobiles to airplanes.

Among those, the Visual Capitalist calls the transistor, which was successfully demonstrated on 23 December 1947, at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, the greatest invention of the 20th century. This non-mechanical tiny electric switch can be turned on and off by simply applying a small voltage to its base.

The importance of research

As Plato said, necessity is the mother of invention. Research follows the necessity to find solutions to a problem or satisfy a need. Advances in knowledge produced by research findings enhance productivity and reveal potential for wealth creation. Most research is hidden by large companies who conduct research in-house and protect the progress of their findings until marketability is reached, a time when IP protection will be sought for their inventions. Some companies are active in professional research aimed at converting data into useful and strategically relevant information for companies to develop markets, understand their competitors, and identify opportunities for their products and or services.

21st-century inventions have created new challenges for research companies to stay ahead of the pack. The proliferation of big data, search optimisation algorithms and online search trends have forced many research companies to innovate to create awareness about their service and draw potential clients.

Understanding the mind of a target market is key to successfully navigating the flood of information that is directed at the broad market. Smaller companies tend to rely on the internet and newer technologies to conduct their research to minimise costs and go to market sooner rather than later. Given the global economic downturn and associated job losses, the small business sector is growing, compelling research companies to adapt in order to meet the needs of this sector.

Points to consider on affordable options.

An example of the dangers of ineffective marketing is found in a Forbes article on The Cost-Performance Paradox of Modern Digital Marketing by Augustine Fou, who explains: “When marketers buy digital ads, some of that money goes towards showing ads and some of it goes to the ad tech companies whose technologies are used as the “pipes” to target and serve the ads – i.e. the programmatic “supply chain”. The portion of every dollar that goes through to the publisher/website is the portion that is used to show the ads. The rest of that dollar goes towards the revenue and profitability of the ad tech middlemen.

It is worth noting that according to Fou, ‘only half of the dollar goes through to the publisher, for showing ads. “on top of that 15% of the ad spend goes missing and cannot be accounted for. This is far worse than TV ads, for example, where agencies generally take about 16% cut of the ad budget.

Astuteness and cost-effective management of online marketing and advertising is what will produce results.

Research is one of the undervalued business activities, but it has a profound impact. It helps companies see the potential and necessity of new inventions and approaches to doing business. In today’s era, climate change and carbon footprint are driving transformation and forcing businesses to find novel products and services to remain attractive and competitive. Research propels industries and society forward, steering us forward and mapping a future shaped by innovation, productivity, and enduring societal progress.

Contact us to access WOW's quality research on African industries and business

Contact Us

Most Popular Articles

Mining and quarryingSouth Africa

Illegal mining – an explosive nuisance

Read more

ManufacturingSouth Africa

The South African glass manufacturing industry explained

Read more

Agriculture forestry and fishingSouth Africa

The third biggest SOE that is pioneering clean governance in South Africa

Read more

Related Articles

BlogCountries Other service activitiesSouth Africa

Funerals: Tradition and Emotions versus the environment

Contents [hide] Burials of lost loved ones always have, and continue to have, deep traditional and emotive values reinforced by perceptions of dignity and respect. With South Africa’s diverse communities...

BlogCountries Other service activitiesSouth Africa

How South African women are breaking the glass ceiling in business

Key Points On the sport scene History of women in business Status of South African women in business Importance of appointing women in leadership positions Women in private sector leadership...

BlogCountries Other service activitiesSouth Africa

Consulting Engineering Activities in South Africa

Engineering Consulting: The hidden gem in many a great infrastructure Contents [hide] The Status of Consulting Engineering in South Africa The Value of Consulting Engineering to an Economy Consulting Engineering’s...