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IMRB Consumer Portrait 2008: Understanding the new age consumer

23-January-2008
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IMRB Consumer Portrait 2008: Understanding the new age consumer

At an event organised by the Indian Market Research Bureau, several eminent speakers from the world of research threw light on the changing behaviour of the Indian consumer, who has different behavioral patterns depending on respective demographics and psychographics. Several speakers highlighted the current trends in consumerism and how marketers should go about tapping opportunities in future.

Topics ranging from ‘Consumer Portrait- India Tomorrow’, ‘360-degree relationships with consumers – New media options’, Emerging retail landscape’, and ‘Signs for things to come…’ were discussed at the forum organised by IMRB.

On the emergence of new media, it was concluded that the foundation of any media plan remained on traditional media, yet not negating the fact that new media like the Internet and the mobile were catching up rapidly. With changing consumerism in India, experts laid emphasis on contextual and localised communication.

Hemant Mehta, Senior Vice-President, IMRB, took the audience through the spending patterns of the new Indian consumer. He said, “The growth which is seen in consumer spending today has overtaken the GDP growth for the first time ever. Consumption is moving out of home, more towards lifestyle products, events, entertainment, and this trend is here to stay for long.”

He further explained that it was the aspirations among consumers were triggered by media and marketing communication that fueled the change in consumerism in India. “The phenomenal growth which we are seeing in several sectors in India is not driven by the upper section of the society. Instead, small towns and cities are contributing to most part of India’s growth story,” Mehta noted. Commenting on the urban consumer’s behaviour towards price and quality, he said that the urban customer was more value conscious and was ready to pay more for better quality products and services.

In a panel discussion that took place after presentations, eminent speakers such as Bhaskar Das, Executive President (Response), The Times of India Group; Pranesh Misra, Global Director, Marketing Accounting, Lowe; Sameer Sathpathy, Head-Marketing, Marico; and Sujit Ganguli, Senior Vice-President, ICICI Prudential gave their perspectives on changing media dimensions and consumer trends.

Giving a media perspective, Das said that all people wanted from media was trust and authenticity, entertainment and ways and means to become successful in life – which was where empowering viewers / readers came into the picture. Sathpathy shared the success story of the Saffola brand in changing its communication strategy from curative approach to preventive approach. Misra took the audience through the audio-visuals of Fair and Lovely commercials that adapted a newer communication each time they spotted a change in the behaviour and mindsets of women.

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