Consumer coping survey wave 2014: What’s really new?
Question: We heard you’ll be presenting the results of your 2014 annual and nationwide consumer coping behavior survey. We’re not a survey sponsor last year. We learned about your survey results during your public presentation. We’re glad to learn that the 2014 survey public presentation will be held in April.
During last year’s presentation, you mentioned that you can help a company integrate consumer coping research into its annual UAI (usage, attitude, image) market survey.
Is this help from you available only to the survey sponsors or even to interested but non-sponsor companies like us?
We’ve also been attending every year your annual public presentation since 2012. The survey covered too many consumer product and service categories. There were more than 150 of them. Our company is in four of those 150 categories.
Your presentation did not cover those four because you limited your presentation to just the top three product categories in the classifications where our products belonged. Those were the classifications of the “near-dispensable” and the “definitely-dispensable” products.
We actually did not mind because you provided the supporting survey data for each of the more than 150 product categories that the survey covered, and you gave us a guide on how we ourselves can analyze those data.
The reason why we’re interested in learning how to integrate your coping survey into our UAI is because we’re only interested in our four product categories. Also, is there anything really new in the 2014 wave, especially for our four product categories?
Answer: Let me first address your last question about “anything really new in the 2014 survey wave.”
If by “really new” you refer to changes in the survey data for your four product categories, then I’ll say outright that there always are “really new” things to learn.
You mentioned that your four product categories are in the “near-dispensable” and the “definitely dispensable” classifications. A “definitely dispensable” product is what consumers regard as a recurring expenditure item that they say they can definitely do without. A “near-dispensable” is what consumers say they can generally or probably do without. It’s too bad you did not identify your four product categories. If you did, I could have gone to the survey data and showed you those “really new” things. But let’s proceed by referring to likely “changes” in the data for either of those near-dispensable or definitely-dispensable.
You can only analyze “change” if you’re looking at the survey data of two consecutive years. In the case of last year’s presentation you attended, those were the survey data for 2013 and 2012. So, do not just analyze the data for 2013, which was what the attendees who asked your question did.
The first “change” to check is the product classification movement. For this, you ask: “Did my near-dispensable between 2012 and 2013 move downward to become a definitely dispensable, upward to the nice-to-have classification, or stayed in the same classification?”
In last year’s presentation, I showed specific examples of this so that you would have a “model” to copy if you had to do the analysis yourself because I did not analyze your four product categories.
Suppose the change or movement has been downward, that is from a near-dispensable down to a definitely dispensable. Your analysis must now answer the question: “How did that happen? Which coping consumer segment was most responsible? Between 2012 and 2013, did the ‘maintainer consumers’ for the category decrease much more than the increase in the category’s ‘lapser consumers?’”
Suppose it was a case of the category lapser segment increasing more? In this case, you have to extend your analysis to answer the questions: “Which among the three sub-segments of lapsers increased the most and, therefore, was most accountable for the increase in the total lapser segment?”
If you remember, those three subsegments are: the core lapsers, switchers, and economizers.
The pertinent survey data will tell you that it can be anyone of the three, but there will be secondary and tertiary responsible sub-segments. Your key question at this point is: “What do I do?”
Suppose the primary sub-segment of lapsers that increased were the core lapsers—those who just simply left the category. You saw from my presentation last year that I recommended your customer lapser manager to get into a customer reacquisition campaign to bring back those core lapsers.
The task with the switchers is similar, that is, to reacquire the switchers from the category they switched to and bring them back to your category.
With the economizers, it’s to reacquire them from the lower volume of purchase they went to and bring them back to their former higher level of purchasing. Any of these will grow your business.
How do you bring about these reacquisitions? That’s a matter of uncovering consumers’ motivation and get them to agree to the marketer’s reacquisition initiatives. If this motivating initiative is a matter of positioning, then this is essentially a positioning issue.
This year’s consumer coping survey will be the fifth year that the survey series will be nationwide. Five years is long enough to present the consumer coping behavior data as a time series to analyze for micro- and macro-trends. That’s what will qualify more in your idea of “something really new.”
All of the foregoing leads us to your question regarding integrating the coping research into your UAI study.
The integration engagement is not limited to the survey sponsors. There was a year when two companies engaged my research organization for this integration. One was a sponsor and the other a non-sponsor. I offered two options: (1) I mentor the client’s survey research staff and then they implement the integration, which was basically a do-it-yourself (DIY) option, or (2) the client commissions my research organization to design and implement the combined coping+UAI survey research project.
Both opted for the latter.
The two clients were medium-scale companies and had gotten used to commissioning a third party for their research requirements. The first option, which was essentially DIY, was a long-term proposition, or one that they regarded as affordable for a large-scale company.
Keep your questions coming. Send them to me at [email protected]
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