Consumers becoming more critical of what they buy

TRENDAFRiCA April 29, 2014

The evolution of the global economy creates new expectations for consumers. Research house, TGI says, globally, that consumer confidence is looking stronger, however, higher incomes do not translate into more disposable income due to the higher cost of living.

Consumers are in fact becoming more critical of what they buy. Brands will not only compete within product category, but also across product category.

The current socio-political environment in South Africa shows that consumers are fighting back and brands will come under crossfire as consumers become stronger, more opinionated and righteous.

In South Africa, brands and marketers will need to work even harder due to the following factors:

  • Consumers are losing faith in government, brand promises and heroes. Content marketing will become key to win back consumers.
  • Credibility is central and messaging needs to be engaging and intelligent, consumers are increasingly rejecting ‘annoying’ advertising. South Africans are strong word-of-mouth (WOM) advocators. They trust the opinions of others because of stronger family and cultural connections.
  • Digital has become our way of unique self-expression and brands need to not only actively engage with consumers, but engage on a level that corresponds with values, both online and offline. South Africans are taking WOM online and are champions of mobile, internet and social networking, which provide a platform of greater social cohesion. Social media has provided a democratisation of opinion and expression, but these platforms require a major overhaul of the brand/consumer relationship from the advertisers.

TGI is a global network (Ask Afrika own the SA license) of single source market research with a sample of 15 000 consumers. It measures 19 product/service sectors and 8000 brands and has been running for 10 years in SA. There is a bi-annual global data release in February and in September. TGI can provide a ‘Touchpoints’ type of survey which can function as modular plug-in to an establishment survey and be bought by those wanting to acquire in-depth brand information.

Media consumption

Media consumption rates and technological aptitude are part of the TGI survey and the global trend in media consumption shows an increase in online consumption (including laptops, desktops and mobile internet) which is important in building brand relationships and in brand positioning.  Consumers are waking up to the reality that digital data is fast becoming a currency; personal data is a commodity with a price tag.

These are huge changes with wide disparities across countries  in terms of technological competence, usage and access. TGI which measures the behaviours and attitudes of 800 000 people in the world, seeks to interpret  what these changes mean  for brands:

  • There has been much debate around the rise of digital media – there are 2.5 billion internet users worldwide and China represents nearly a quarter of the global internet users. The lack of penetration in SA means that we are lagging in the digital world, yet we have the 4th highest cellphone penetration globally.
  • Digital growth lies in mobile access and smartphones are changing the way we communicate. Brands are being called on to use technology to create further connections.
  • Apps are becoming more engaged with brands, there are more apps in the world than people.
  • Trust has gone down year-on-year (YOY) since 2011 and the call for transparency, ethical conduct and fairness is taking centre stage in brand messaging. Newspapers and radio remain the most trusted mediums. As sources of influence the global trend has seen a comeback in the credibility of local newspapers and radio; online is influential due to its accessibility, but it is also very cluttered and not necessarily credible.
  • Twitter has become the new breaker of news with newspapers contextualising it.
  • OOH advertising is becoming more noticeable, as people tend to filter out the noise of excessive and repetitive marketing messages from television and online.
  • The reach of television is becoming diluted twice, it is losing consumer attention as it becomes a second screen, with many people multi-platforming and fast-forwarding through the advertisements.

TGI Township data survey

Ask Afrika have recently launched TGI Township in SA as these communities are misunderstood to a large degree. Understanding and appreciating the nuances of township consumers will empower brands to successfully tap into this market. Above the line advertising is key in townships with a focus on radio, television and out-of-home (OOH), word -of-mouth WOM still garners the greatest trust.

Marketers need to realise the limitations of demographic segmentation and focus on mind-sets and lifestyles to foster a genuine understanding and engagement with these markets.

TGI provides socio-economic lifestyle measures and audience measurement figures for all media universes. It has the ability to contextualise the local media landscape within the global context, which is highly beneficial to marketers, media planners and strategists working with international brands. TGI provides textured and detailed information on technology devices, cell phone usage, financial service types, shopping habits, product categories, brands, financial services and institutions, activities and automotive preferences. In addition it measures life stages, sport, lifestyles, travel, attitudes, large appliances, clothing, small appliances and footwear.

TGI’s SELs (Socio-Economic Levels) are a good alternative to LSMs (Living Standards Measures), with more comprehensive segmentation. The selection and weighting of robust TGI samples is based on global best practice.


Source: TGI Research



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