Market Research Wrap: The art of contextualising global trends
by MarkLives (@marklives) Our weekly wrap of the latest market and consumer research:
- 2019 global trends
- Search diversifies
Interpreting global trends
Euromonitor’s report on the 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2019 outlines 10 major trends, and is intended to provide insight into changing consumer values and priorities and explore how consumer behaviour is shifting and causing disruption for business globally. Brandon de Kock, WhyFive insights director, shows us how to apply these to the South African context.
In short, there are three megatrends that flavour the consumer environment: the ever-increasing impact of technology; changing social norms; and increasing awareness of our responsibility to protect the planet. According to De Kock, in the South African context, we have to understand that our socio-economic landscape is simply too contoured for these kinds of trends to be overlaid without circumspection.
First, ‘generational’ ideas such as “age agnosticism” and “loner living” manifest very differently in our country compared with the developed world, explains De Kock — the 2018/2019 BrandMapp survey shows 30% of our population is under 15 and less than 10% over 60. Compare that with, for instance, Germany where 28% of the population is over 60 and just 14% is under 15.
He also points out the issues, such as plummeting education standards, souring ideas such as “everyone’s an expert”. It’s hard to be an expert if you don’t actually understand the tweet or the Facebook post. While concepts such as “back to basics”, “conscious consumerism” and “finding my JOMO” are certainly blueprints for understanding the behavior of the 30% of South Africans who live in top-end and middle-class households, he continues, when it comes to the other 70% (17m of whom are living on social grants) it’s hard to imagine they’d be worrying about plastic bags on an empty stomach.
Similarly, being “digitally together” isn’t really a priority if you’re struggling to pull together R10 for a top-up airtime voucher — and operating in one of the most-expensive data countries in the world, says De Kock.
In summary, for those who focus on understanding the upper end of the market for whom consumer insights like these are vital, these trends are really important to understand. But keep in mind that they are the privilege of the sophisticated consumer, not the mass market.
Voice drives new brand strategies
WARC has released its Marketer’s Toolkit 2019, which concludes that voice technology, improved measurement and the dominance of Amazon as an ad platform are driving growth and change in search marketing. [Cheryl Hunter]
Comments Alex Brownsell, WARC senior editor media, “The disruptive power of Amazon, the switch to conversational-style language, and the growth of voice and visual technology are converging to drive the biggest change to search behaviour since the first software began mapping the web a quarter of a century ago.”
Advertising spend for paid search has trebled over the past decade. Brands are especially enthused by the potential for voice search. Some 29% of clients taking part in the Toolkit survey (based on a survey of more than 800 client marketers and agency executives around the world) cited voice as the emerging technology they most expect to be important in 2019, an increase of 12 percentage points on the result from a year ago.
When asked about the application of voice technology in marketing plans, 40% selected voice-optimised search, ahead of content (25%), commerce (20%) and advertising (11%). There is also a growing realisation that search can now play a valuable role in delivering brand experience and inspiration.
Visual search — defined as anything using an image, rather than text to search — is also growing, facilitated by smartphones. It’s already changing the search landscape, particularly among younger audiences, leading to a shorter path to purchase for brands.
Register to download a report sample or buy the full report at WARC.
This weekly “Market Research Wrap” column offers readers a weekly overview and critique of the latest market and industry research.
Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.
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