Even in these times of digital marketing communications, regional marketers would do better to tailor advertising messages than expect one-size to fit all, according to Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO, TNS MENA, one of the world’s largest custom market research organisations.
“Research has again shown that there is no cookie-cutter approach to marketing communications. We may be in a digitally connected world, but it would appear that the same advertising message is best re-positioned for each geographic footprint, or even profile.
“We must go deeper and find out about each segment to ensure the right audience gets the right message and their needs are met,” he said.
Hamilton-Clark was citing the TNS AdEvalTM Normative Databank (Norms) – comprising an amalgamation of consumer-based campaign testing research across regional markets – that campaigns that have higher novelty value (i.e. better than expected), affective impact and personal relevance overall are more successful in building strong brands in the long-run.
Interestingly, he also confirmed that not all markets respond to same ‘style of message’. For example, advertising message providing great entertainment value becomes more critical in the UAE with one-third of the respondents mentioning the same; whereas ease of comprehension and good fit with brand persona get higher mentions in Saudi Arabia.
“Although the core message may remain the same, the actual style of delivery needs to be carefully considered. The UAE consumer is open to a dose of humour, quirky facts, and willing to read into the nuances of a tongue-in-cheek, abstract message delivered in a few words.
“By contrast, that approach is unlikely to work for the broad spectrum of Saudi consumers wherein the marketer should consider a straight-to-the-point message or storyline that is easy to understand, while guiding the consumer to take specific action,” he suggested.
TNS MENA’s unique syndicated programme, ‘TNS Brand & Ad Health Tracking Norms’, reflects actual consumer decision-making, with specific focus on Middle Eastern brands. The benchmark spans more than 120 brands, including 45+ FMCG, durable and financial categories across the GCC region.