OMD, the media services division of Omnicom, has just completed the fieldwork for its consumer study ‘Pathway Study’ across eight Asian markets, covering China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The results of the study would be released in early October 2008. OMD India officials are excited about the kind of insights that this study would bring to the table that would allow sharper communication planning.
Every market had its own set of contributions to the survey, and the Indian market had to execute its own fieldwork, and results thereof. According to Jasmin Sohrabji, Managing Director, OMD India, “Pathway will equip our planners to better understand consumer interactions with various channels and touch-points through their path to purchase, and thereby, develop a sharper, consumer-centric communication plan.”
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 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 such as buying a burger. In others, it could take months if not years to make a decision such as buying a car or a property.
An official communiqué explained, “Pathway promises to offer insights into the marketplace dynamics of a category that will help contextualise communications planning and pinpoint the true role for communications; consumer’s path to purchase in terms of its duration and configuration; the relative influence of 20-plus channels at each stage of the purchase cycle and the level of consumer involvement and more.”
Pathway, which was conducted in 14 countries in Europe and in the US in 2007, showed interesting results on consumer behaviour in these markets. For example, Pathway on the grooming category in Europe showed that European consumers tend not be involved in the grooming category; 21 per cent enjoy shopping for skin care products, whereas 51 per cent enjoy shopping for electronic items.