What is the impact of the growing emerging market segment and why is this consumer becoming increasingly important to brands wanting to grow market share? Kirsten Mercer and Makhetsi Phakoa explore the subject.
When it comes to marketing, there is significant strength in numbers – the more people a brand is exposed to, the better. The more people talk about a brand, the more it lives. The more it stays top of mind, the more marketing spend is converted into sales.
South Africa’s growing emerging market segment is representative of a high collective spending power with access to more disposable income as well as social grants. This access drastically changes what is aspired to and attainable for the individual as well as the collective. Simply put, for brands and marketers the wants, needs and purchasing behaviours of this audience cannot be ignored.
The past few years have been testament to mass urbanisation and massive changes in transport infrastructure. Commuting patterns have changed and so has lifestyle. This has had an impact on shopping patterns and one of the results of this is that convenience has become paramount.
Brands need to offer convenience
The emerging market consumer shops within a one kilometre radius of a taxi rank or station and she wants convenience. For brands this is a golden opportunity to take advantage of these shifts in behaviour and ensure that they are visible and in the right place with the right products. Tailoring a message to the needs of the individual is also key in gaining affinity with this consumer. Furthermore, this consumer is extremely savvy, she knows what things should cost and appreciates added value.
Real value offerings will ensure that brands compete effectively
While out of home media offers key marketing opportunities, there is still the necessity for brands to work harder to cater to this savvy market. For brands to compete effectively, they need to tailor their offering in order to offer real value. Moreover, the offering needs to be relevant.
Peer influence drives decision making
Word of mouth among this audience is hugely influential and generally, there is not much that surpasses the recommendation of a peer. In order to harness word of mouth and penetrate this market, it is essential that brands are consistent with marketing presence and in-market representation.
Mobile provides a key touch point
This consumer group is tech savvy and makes extensive use of online social platforms and social interaction. For brands wanting to move with the times, and move with this market, interacting via this touch point is a vital element in the marketing mix. It provides a further opportunity for consumers to engage with the brand and vice versa. This further enhances the brand within the consumer’s daily journey and within their daily life.
The continued rise of the emerging market remains critical in terms of a segment that cannot be ignored by brands and marketers. Within the context of the South African economy, this consumer segment will continue to grow and this growth will continue to provide marketers with unrivalled opportunities. The key, however, will be to interact with the consumer in the manner that most beneficially provides value to the brand and the consumer.
Kirsten Mercer and Makhetsi Phakoa work for ProActive, the activation arm of Provantage Media Group. Follow on Twitter @ProvantageSA
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