Tuesday, July 29, 2008

EGC: Europe: An Emerging Market For Go Education

It's funny and scary to see how others take dead seriously something that is only a hobby for me.

AC Nielsen is a big market research company, which collects market research data by web panel, among other means. The web panel works so that about once a month they send a web questionnaire, which takes 5 - 30 minutes to fill.

Typical market research questions include:

  • Brand recognition: They list a set of brands and ask which of them are familiar.

  • Brand image: They ask what kind of associations some brand brings into mind (quality, price, user group, etc.)

  • Advertisement coverage: They ask if I've heard about a specific campaign.

  • Buying habits, needs, preferences

Well, some players from Korean Myongji Baduk University were collecting similar information about go teaching. The brand recognition part was replaces by asking people to compare Japan's, Korea's and China's influence and contributions to go.. The need part was directed at gauging how much demand there is for professional teaching either face-to-face or over the internet, and what attitudes people have towards go and teaching.

Some questions were quite far-fetched: Since in Europe we use a mix of local language, English and Japanese, unification of go terms and concepts couldn't be less meaningful - it's such a small part of the whole body of knowledge. Also material is widely available. Therefore I guess it does produce new information for those who do it, and you are going to make your living as a go professinal, this kind of market research is the things to do.

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