Q: Our CEO who’s also our CFO (corporate finance officer) believes that we won’t get practical and meaningful marketing insights from your Consumer Coping Survey that are not already in our Market UAI (Usage, Attitude, Image) Survey. Those of us in Sales who attended your industry briefing of the 2008 Consumer Coping have tried persuading him about the difference. But every time we cite any of your 2008 Consumer Coping results, our CEO dismisses the argument by telling us to re-tabulate or reanalyze our UAI data to get any of the Consumer Coping insights. He’s also arguing that many of the “different” consumer coping findings were a case of “rebranding and relabeling” on your part.
Please help us explain to our CEO what really is in your Consumer Coping Survey that we won’t get from our Market UAI Survey.
A: Two quick clarifications are in order. First, what is the Consumer Coping Behavior Survey? Second, what is the Market UAI Survey?
The Consumer Coping Behavior Survey (CCBS) is an every one-, two- or three-year survey of how household mothers cope during a particular difficult economic year via their budgeting behavior.
The budgeting is about a good number of recurring daily, weekly or monthly expenditure items. For the 2012 survey wave, these recurring expenditure items covered 159 consumer product and service categories as specified and approved by the survey’s three sponsors, namely, Nestle, Wyeth and Fila. The 2012 survey results will have its public presentation on February 20, 2013. That’s three months after the presentation to each of the three sponsors as specified in the sponsorship contract.
The Market UAI Survey (MAUAIS) is usually a quarterly, semestral or annual consumer company commissioned survey of a specific product or service category where the commissioning consumer company has a brand or brands participating. It’s a survey about the consumer’s awareness, usage, purchase, attitude and image responses to the different leading brands (including of course the commissioning company’s) in the specified product or service category.
Now to answer your question: “What marketing insights can the CCBS provide that you won’t get from your MAUAIS?”
We’ll limit our answer to the three major sets of differential marketing insights. The first is about learning how your target consumers’ budgeting behavior treats the product or service category where you belong. Many consumer companies may assume that their category is a “staple” or a necessity to their consumers or a near-necessity or at least a “want” and not a category that consumers regard as something they can do without, i.e., something dispensable. If your category is one of the 159 categories that CCBS surveyed, you may be surprised to find that in fact your consumers’ budgeting behavior treats it as a dispensable category.
Of the 159 surveyed categories, in NCR for example, 67 percent or two-thirds are either near- or definitely dispensable to the household mothers. This kind of marketing reality is not covered in your MAUAIS.
Because the 2012 coping survey wave and the 2008 wave were both nationwide, it became possible to insight into changes in the consumer classification of your category.
The coping survey data reveal that consumers may classify your category into any of these five classifications: (1) a staple that is a category that household moms’ budgeting behavior regards as “absolutely necessary,” (2) a near-staple, a category that to the moms is something “necessary but not absolutely,” (3) a nice-to-have, a category that moms “want but is not necessary,” (4) a near-dispensable, which is a category that to moms’ budgeting behavior is a recurring expenditure item that they “can generally live without” and (5) a definitely dispensable, a category that moms feel “certain they can live without.”
In comparing the 2012 survey data with those of 2008, there’s concrete evidence that consumers can and do change a category’s classification upward, say, from a nice-to-have to a near-staple or even to a staple. They also can and do change downward, say from a near-staple down to a nice-to-have or even down to a near-dispensable. You can learn about this eye-opening consumer behavior changes by the survey areas of NCR, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This critical business-growing analytical insighting is a distinct survey character of CCBS not found in your MAUAIS.
Finally, the coping survey data are analyzed to tell you what “coping behavior” market segments are present in your category.
The analyzed data also say which segment has the largest segment population size, which is the next largest and so on. There are three coping behavior segments found: (1) the “maintainer” market segment who are moms that have basically maintained your category in their budget, (2) the “lapser” market segment who are moms that have dropped your category from their budget, or lessened or substituted something else, and (3) the “non-user” market segment who are moms that have never used or bought your category. These are segments representing sources and opportunities for business-growing to your consumer company.
Specific Marketing Rxs are included in the analysis about what to do with each of these three segments. For example, do you develop and launch a “consumer retention campaign” for the maintainer segment, a “customer re-acquisition campaign” for the lapser segment, or a “new customer acquisition campaign” for the non-user segment? This is another distinctive feature in CCBS not forthcoming from your MAUAIS.
Can you integrate the CCBS into your MAUAIS for research cost-effectiveness’ sake? We’ve been asked this question in the 2008 coping survey public briefing and in almost all the survey waves of CCBS since its start in 1984. We’ve answered “yes” and even told our audience how to go about doing it. Those who wanted first to see how we go about doing the integrating had commissioned us for this particular survey project. There has been several who made this choice. After you’ve attended the February 20, 2013, CCBS public presentation and wish to take this route, you can arrange for a meeting with SWS (Social Weather Stations) for the purpose.