In just over five years the economic climate in Greece has changed dramatically. Amid the growing economic uncertainty and increasing debt concerns, consumer habits have also changed. Consumers are now more rational and careful with their budget. According to recent research by Nielsen, 93% of Greek consumers have altered their shopping habits in the last 12 months and 72% have switched to cheaper groceries.
Retailers however have continued to invest. Thousands of new SKUs have been introduced into the market and 15 new hypermarkets, 500 new supermarkets and 35 new discount outlets have opened. Despite this significant outlay, FMCG purchases volumes overall have declined.
A declining market however doesn’t mean defeat. The question is, how well do retailers know how to meet the needs of the Greece’s rapidly changing consumer base, and how can they reach them most effectively?
Some premium products continue to thrive
While many retail products have been in decline, there are examples of others that continue to thrive. Face creams that combine moisturisers and foundation, jelly based bullion cubes that guarantee a ‘homemade’ taste, and hot and cold closed beverage systems are all examples of products that have taken off despite price premiums.
In cash strapped times, why is it that consumers are willing to continue to spend on these products? The reason is that each of these products satisfies a need for convenience, efficiency and perceived value for money.
For retailers, understanding the needs of the consumer is power. By focussing on meaningful innovations retailers can meet the need for convenience, efficiency and value for money – all values that can cause consumers to adopt despite price premiums.
TV is still the most effective route to reach consumers
Today, although there are many new media channels through which to reach audiences, TV is still the most effective. 92% of Greek households turn on the TV every day. In winter, that figure goes up to 96%. No other media has this reach or power.
And, as more specialised TV channels appear this provides greater opportunity to reach target audiences more accurately. There are also more ad solutions outside of spot advertising. Product placement opportunities are increasing and if combined with programmes that resonate well with your target customer, advertising effectiveness will increase.
Adding online channels to TV boosts audience recall
As consumers now move more easily and efficiently across platforms, so too must brands. While the majority of consumers watch TV, they are also regularly connecting online. Recent research in the US has shown that brand recall and intent to purchase increases significantly when an ad is seen across both TV and digital channels - as much as +22% general recall, +50% brand recall, +67% message recall and +67% likeability.
Digital also delivers greater returns – especially when run in conjunction with TV. If brands can synchronize messages across mediums research has shown that incremental sales can be boosted by 6-10%. For an average brand, this equates to around 1-3% of annual sales.
The key is coordination. If the average consumers sees your message on TV and online, they will then expect to see the deal displayed in-store within two to three days.
Winning hearts and wallets - a new reality needs new methods
With consumers viewing content across multiple platforms, brands have to work harder to capture consumer attention – the old ways no longer work.
Communication has to be relevant, clear and simple, and ideally delivered within 20 seconds. In Europe it’s been shown that 20-second TV spots have a 20% higher return versus 30-second spots. Deliver the same 20-second ad across digital channels and you can potentially earn an additional 20% with increased reach and efficiency.
Remember, your consumers are your brand ambassadors. If you understand their needs and do a great job to engage them they will then motivate others to choose your brand. Your biggest challenge today is to get to know the needs of the new consumer and to reach them effectively. If you do, you will be half way there to winning both their hearts and their wallets.