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Intelligence Report Highlights Rise of Emerging Markets and Importance of Giving Consumers What They Want

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rise of emerging markets 

 

The intelligence community is used to a bleak view of the world, but a recent report from America’s National Intelligence Council, titled “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” actually paints a pretty picture of the not so distant future.

The usual warnings on rogue nations and nuclear war are still present—that much hasn’t changed—but the most notable bit of information from the report revolves around the rise of the middle class around the world. Whereas Britain took 150 years to double its income per head and America went through 30 years to pull off the same feat, emerging markets India and China have done the same in a fraction of the time, and most notably, on a much greater scale.

As a result, we now see a spike in the number of people who have the means to pay for middle-class luxuries, such as a home and good education for their children.

Catering to the Needs of an Empowered Middle Class

Not surprisingly, many global brands have tried their best to address the surge in demand for consumer goods. Many brands have already raked in the profits from emerging markets, while others, such as Apple, are still in the process of tapping into this growing market—the company plans to shift its priorities to China.

Catering to emerging markets so different from the West necessitates the use of new approaches to sales and marketing.

Michael Silverstein, author of the book, “The $10 Trillion Prize” writes that companies must adapt to local circumstances when dealing with emerging markets China and India. He notes that it’s not just about providing products, but selling it in a way that appeals to the local market.

For instance, PepsiCo has released a spicy snack for the Indian market called Kurkure, a modification to their crisps which the company feels may be too bland for Indians. Apparel and accessories manufacturer Hermès has also e an exclusive line of French-made Saris in india. Likewise, Kraft released new variants to its Oreo cookies specifically blended for the Chinese market, with exotic, more oriental flavours such as green tea.

We at Enform believe that the actions of these companies demonstrate the importance of not just offering products, but actually creating and marketing products according to the wants and needs of your target audience. It all boils down to giving consumers what they want, how they want it.

Brand Relationship: How Consumers Respond to Social Network Marketing Messages

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When was the last time you ‘Liked’ a brand’s Facebook post on your News Feed or followed a brand on Twitter?

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A recent survey conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Pitney Bowes Software delved into how consumers respond to social media marketing messages from the brands they follow. The study shows that while close to half of consumers welcome messages from their followed brands, the response is eliminated when terminating the ‘follow’ or ‘like’ relationship—only 18 percent of online consumers welcome social media marketing messages from brands they don’t like or follow.

On the other hand, 1 in every 5 consumers who knowingly follow a brand, find their social media marketing messages irritating. This figure jumps to 40 percent in people who don’t follow the brand.

The study, titled “Social Media: Contrasting the Marketing and Consumer Perspectives,” involved 300 respondents composed of senior marketing executives working in business to consumer companies in the US, Australia, Germany, France, and the UK, along with 3,000 consumers from similar markets.

Discrepancies

What struck us the most here at Enform is the disconnect between what brands are doing with social media messages and what consumers want. By comparing how marketers use social media messaging for marketing purposes with what consumers like, Bourne’s study uncovers a number of discrepancies.

For instance, the study reveals that 36 percent of consumers are interested in messages about upcoming sales and promos, but only 9 percent of social media marketers report to creating such messages. Meanwhile, 36 percent of consumers expressed interested in receiving messages about new services and products, but only 19 percent of marketers have created such messages.

Marketers apparently use social media messaging as a means of interacting directly with customers, but only 15 percent of those surveyed report to seeing value in this, preferring instead to getting messages about discounts and bargain coupons.

Another discrepancy the study found is how 24 percent of marketers see newsletters as crucial in generating consumer interest, even though only 9 percent of consumers like receiving them.

Social Media Still Not Supreme

When it comes to brand interaction, only 19 percent of consumers admitted to using social media to contact companies online. Instead, 67 percent of users report to using email, followed by 31 percent who call companies, and 30 percent contacting the company through their official website. Of course, these preferences may change over time.

Given these results, we, at Enform believe that a change in strategy as far as social media messages shouldn’t hurt. These results however, do not mean that the best way to use social media, is to inundate customer base with spam; the best approach is, always send something of value to your customers.