WPP Media's 3D tool predicts global consumer psyche

MUMBAI: "Prediction is difficult; especially when it comes to talking about the future" WPP Media worldwide head of consumer insights Sheila Byfield emphasised that the above mentioned Chinese proverb said it all when it comes predicting the future of consumers across the globe!

On 24 February 2003, Byfield made a presentation on "reaching the consumers who count" at an event organized by the Advertising Club Bombay and sponsored by The Hindustan Times and ETV Network.

Byfield presented some findings from WPP Media's latest tool named 3D to a discerning audience comprising of media and marketing professionals. 3D is an integrated single source data that gets into the consumers' psychographics, demographics and the psychological profile. It was derived as a result of a global research effort covering a sample size of 80,000 people globally.

A veteran with over 30 years of experience, London-based Byfield is the head of consumer insight with the WPP group. Byfield has honorary positions on the committees of several European advertising councils and is a visiting faculty at the University of Leeds, UK. She used this opportunity to introduce the latest offering to Indian media specialists.

Speaking to, Byfield says: "An effort of this magnitude requires tremendous localised customization in terms of selection of the appropriate sample size. I merely laid down the three major guidelines and the WPP teams in different parts of the world came up with their own insights specific to their markets. But the final research findings are mind-boggling. We hope to continue the same at regular intervals."

The core planning process of 3D combines the dynamics of brand equity, media consumption and an in-depth knowledge of consumer trends. The tool involves research from 20 countries around the world and is being used by the WPP Media globally.

She adds that 3D explores relationships between consumers and consumption. It revolves around brand relationships, social segmentation and media consumption. It envisages a pyramid where the best customers of a brand are placed at the top and those who share the worst relationships are placed at the bottom. It tells the user what should be done to guide the consumer up the various levels until he reaches the top.

The tool goes beyond the tradition SEC classification and examines attitudes. It classifies people into several segments such as cautious onlooker, impulsive adopters, progressive aspirants amongst others.

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