Get to know your audience through market research

JANUARY 24, 2012 – The buzz around the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – has many brands and advertisers trying to figure out how they can seize on new opportunities as their markets mature and their citizens start to develop their consumption habits. However, cultural and social differences mean ad campaigns will have to employ different tactics to lure in shoppers, a challenge that can be eased with market research.

Scott Goodson, the founder of cultural movement agency StrawberryFrog, writes in a column for Forbes that there are two major forces transforming the face of advertising – the internet and technology on one hand, with the growing markets of the BRICs, Southeast Asia, South Africa and the Middle East on the other.

“Their economies are booming at unprecedented rates, their populations are exploding and everyone is consuming like never before,” Goodson notes.

He warns that with the opportunities in the “BRICSDVIKS” countries, there will also be challenges, including overcoming rules about display or product advertising, understanding the residents and tailoring their marketing to counter roadblocks such as large amounts of the population living in remote areas.

“Because of their influence, advertisers in North America have to understand that brands must now innovate while brands strengthen their relationships with their customers,” Goodson adds. “That’s if they want to make any kind of impact moving forward.”

As a new study from the International Data Corporation shows, knowing who the perfect target audience is will be a key to successfully using a popular marketing strategy – mobile applications.

IDC researchers found that consumers in South Korea were the biggest downloaders of free and paid apps, followed by Swedish and American consumers. The company divided the consumer market into six classifications: Tech Evangelists (who own more devices, use the most apps and are influential on other groups), Impulse Buyers, Experimental Adopters, Pragmatic Purchasers, Disengaged Functionalists and Green Buyers.

Michael DeHart, the director of the Global ConsumerScape 360 degree program for IDC, noted that the actions of the first group, the “evangelists,” could drive other consumers to buy certain devices or download a particular application.

He said that companies planning to launch app-centric marketing campaigns should be targeting this group, since “focusing on Tech Evangelists’ download and usage of apps will deliver the largest ROI by far in terms of segment-based app development and marketing.”