IIBMS – Key to Buyers\’ Minds

CASE II Key to Buyers\’ Minds IIBMS – Key to Buyers\’ Minds Consumer buying research has turned a new leaf in India. The era of demographics seems to be on the backbench. Now, Marketing Research people are less likely to first ask you about your age, income, and education etc. Instead, there is a distinct shift towards inquiries about attitudes, interests, lifestyles, and behaviour – in short towards a study of consumers\’ minds called psychographics. Pathfinders, the marketing research wing of Lintas, occasionally came out with its highly respected \”Study on Nation\’s Attitudes and Psychographics (P:SNAP). The first in this series was released in 1987 with an objective to develop a database of lifestyles and psychographics information on the modem Indian women. The second was in 1993, and the third in 1998. Pathfinders choose woman for the study because of the belief that more often than not, in urban areas, it is the woman who makes buying decision. The Pathfinders\’ study involves interviewing over 10,000 women over the entire country and segmenting them in clusters according to their beliefs, attitudes, lifestyles, and lastly their demographics profile. The idea is to identify groups of consumers with similar lifestyles who are likely to behave towards products or services. For advertisers and advertising agencies, this profile helps enormously. For example, an advertiser may want to give a westernised touch to a commercial. The profile of the target customer, as revealed by this study, tells the advertising people the perimeter within which she/he must stay, otherwise the ad may become an exaggerated version of westernised India. For the purpose of this study, Pathfinders divided the Indian women in 8 distinct cluster of varying values and lifestyles. Figures from two studies are available publicly and are given below:   Cluster 1987 (%) 1993 (%) Troubled homebody 15.9 18.3 Tight-fisted traditionalist 14.8 10.0 Contended conservative 7.0 9.3 Archetypal provider 13.0 8.8 Anxious rebel 14.1 15.8 Contemporary housewife 19.2 22.1 Gregarious hedonist 8.7 6.6 Affluent sophisticate 7.3 9.1   The studies seek to track the macro level changes and movements within these 8 clusters in a period of time. We note from the table that in 1987, 8.7% of the women could be classified as \”gregarious hedonist\” – those who consider their own pleasure to be supreme in life. \’In 1993, this figure fell to 6.6%. The \”troubled homebody\” segment – those with large families and low-income, increased from 15.9% in 1987 to 18.3% in 1993. Information, such as this, is obviously useful to assess the collective mood. That\’s why Pathfinders have an impressive list of clients fort heir P:SNAP, which includes Hindustan Lever, Cadbury, Johnson and Johnson, and Gillette. SOME PSYCHOGRAPHICS PROFILES OF INDIAN WOMEN Rama Devi, the Contended Conservative The lady lives a \’good\’ life – she is a devoted wife, a dotting mother of two school-going sons, and a God fearing housewife. She has been living her life by the traditional values she cherishes – getting up at the crack of dawn, getting the house cleaned up, having the breakfast of \’Aloo Parathas\’ ready in time before the children\’s school-bus honks its horn, laying down the dress her \’government servant\’ husband will put on after his bath, and doing her daily one-hour Puja. She fasts every Monday for the welfare of her family, looks at the \’freely mixing\’ and \’sexually liberal\’ youngsters with deep disdain and cannot understand the modem young woman\’ s 19reed\’ for money, jewellery, and jobs. Her one abiding interest outside the household is the Ganesh Mandir that she has visited every Wednesday, ever since she got married. She lacks higher education and hence has little appreciation for the arts, the literature, and the sciences. Her ample spare time is spent watching the TV, which is her prime source of entertainment and information. Shobha, the Troubled Homebody Shobha married young to the first person she fell in love with, Prakash. Four children came quickly before she was quite ready to raise a family. Now, she is unhappy. She is having trouble in making ends meet on her husband\’s salary who is employed as clerk in a private business and is often required to work up to late hours. She is frustrated, as her desire for an idyllic life has turned sour. She could not get education beyond high school and hence there are hardly any job opportunities for her. Her husband also keeps on complaining of the long hours of backbreaking work he has to put in. He consumes country-made liquor routinely. Shobha finds escape in Black and White TV soap operas and films that transport her into the world of her dreams. She watches TV almost all through the day and her children roam around in the locality streets and cannot expect any help from their\’ ever-grumbling\’ mother. Purchases are mostly limited to \’essentials\’ and any discretionary purchases are postponed till it becomes possible. Neeru, the Archetypal Provider Neeru epitomises simplicity. Her life is untangled. It runs on a set timetable with almost clockwork precision. She works as a primary school teacher in a rural government school about 50 kilometers from her district town residence. She is married to a social worker in an NGO whose income is erratic. Her three children, two teenaged sons and l0-year old daughter are getting school education. The day begins with the lady getting up before anybody else and finishing the household chores as fast as she can. There is no room for delay as the State government \’Express\’ bus, on which she ravels to her school will be at the bus stop across the road precisely at 8.00 A.M. If she misses that, the next ordinary bus comes at 11.15 A.M, quite useless as it will reach her school only at 1.00 P.M. The school closes at 2.00 P.M. There are private Jeeps running sporadically, but the fare is high and Neeru does not believe in wasting hard earned money. Besides, she travels on husband\’s \’free pass\’. Neeru prides herself on her

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