OMD, the media services division of Omnicom, has released its ‘Pathway Study’, which focuses on the consumer shopping journey. By identifying the touch points at the key stages in the journey, the Study helps the agency in sharpening its communication strategy. Florence Oong, Communication Insights Director, OMG Asia Pacific, on her visit to India speaks to exchange4media.com on how their various researches help Omnicom in its communication strategy.
The study has been carried across eight Asian markets, covering China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. In India, the study has covered 11 categories under its consumer survey, which ranges from personal grooming to automotives and others.
The consumer purchase journey is a series of relationships between the brand and their consumers. The relationships can be understood through various dimensions such as duration, the role of media, and consumer involvement with the product and brand. To better understand this process and relationships by category types, OMD had designed Pathway, a study that maps the consumers’ path to the cash register. For some products, the path to purchase could be simple, involving quick decisions. In others, it could take months, if not years, to make a decision such as buying a buying a big ticket item.
Explaining the shopping behaviour pattern difference in India and other international markets, Oong said, “We did a multi-country comparison and we realised that Indian consumers tend to take a longer time when it comes to a buying decision. The decision is longer due to the factors of value of money and that they personally put time in their own research for any big ticket item. This is unlike Hong Kong or Taiwan, where the purchase decision tends to be short. And these tendencies in these regions are because the consumers are more impatient, make a quick research or consideration and buy a product. They do not deliberate for as long as the Indian consumer.”
Adding further on the challenges faced for materialising the study in India, Oong explained, “In any kind of research, the challenge is always making sure that when we do our research we are getting the right people to answer our questions. This study involves interviewing the consumers. So, in case of challenges, here in India we have not used online facilities for the research as the Internet penetration is not very high.”
For Oong, the study proves to be very useful to clients in this recession period. However, she confessed that the Pathway study started quiet before feeling the recession crunch. But now, with the study completed, she explained that it was even more useful in these times. She added, “Our job is to forecast the advertising budget. So now, at this time, as media planners, we need to think beyond mass media. We want to look at other touch points with opportunities to do effective and lower cost advertising. Hence, we need to identify so-called media marketing opportunity. It may not involve not just ATL activities, but also more of a 360-degree approach.”
According to Oong, the ‘Pathway Study’ was the largest study carried in India by the Omnicom Group and she was looking forward to many more other kind of insights through other various studies that would allow sharper communication planning for OMD India.