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Consumers in different countries respond similarly to certain values, says WPP Media research

MUMBAI: WPP Media worldwide head of consumer insights Sheila Byfield emphasized that different consumers in different countries are governed by similar value systems!

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.

Here we present some excerpts from Byfield's presentation:

Global Trends

People in different countries are moving at varying speeds towards their goals and aspirations. As far as demographic trends are concerned, the Asian population is getting younger whereas European population is getting relatively older. Global branding is an increasing trend.

People in different parts of the globe have similar value systems. People respond positively to self-esteem, health/fitness, honesty, protecting families, stability, controlling their own destinies.

However, there is a desire to indulge in self-fulfillment and it is socially acceptable to think about oneself or be self-centred.

Women are increasingly in control of the destinies of people around them. There has been a growth in religious sentiments and beliefs. People are getting busier and have greater number of choices. They are also getting more cynical, critical, demanding and more knowledgeable.

People in several countries expect to be exposed to global brands in the next five years. India is placed somewhere in between whereas the US population has a strong resistance to non-US brands. Marketers of global brands have started using similarities and brand synergies; incorporating localization and fine tuning to get a better response from the consumers in different countries.

Population demographic trends

If the entire world is a global village with 1000 people; then the population will increase to 1018 in the next year.

Countries share: 554 Asians; 124 Africans; 95 East-West Europeans; 52 US Americans, 55 former USSR Russians. In 1950, China and India were the most populous countries but in 2050 India will overtake China. By 2050, European countries will be replaced in the Top 20 most populous country list.

Currently, however, the US (with seven per cent of the world's population) accounts for 34 per cent of the world's GDP share; Western Europe accounts for 26 per cent; and Japan accounts for 16 per cent. In the US, freedom and knowledge are more important to people. In Japan, they desire personal enjoyment and development. However, they accept the fact that there could be lesser societal support for individuals. In India and China there is an ensuing clash between the younger and older generations. Religion is playing an important role in the minds of the people.

Languages spoken: 165 speak Mandarin; 86 speak English; 83 Hindi/Urdu; 64 speak Spanish; 58 speak Russian

Religion: 329 Christians; 132 Hindus; 187 Muslims

Children: 315 children with 28 babies added every year. Two babies die every year.

Prosperity: Three babies are born to the top 200 richest families. Around 200 people receive 75 per cent of the total income.

Basically, people are living longer but birth rates are declining. People are settling down at an older age and divorces are increasing.

Technology: Cellular phones usage is increasing; PC sales are slowing down but Internet usage is still growing rapidly. Local culture and infrastructure play an important role in determining new emerging technologies. Surprisingly, the US is not ahead in the adoption of trends. Korea is the top PC market (with 80 per cent penetration); Singapore is the top Internet usage market (75 per cent penetration) and Hong Kong tops the cellular market (with 97 per cent penetration).

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