IRS adds a new dimension to consumer classification

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing | April 29, 2005
Besides demographics, the study will classify consumers based on a consumption index

Like any other study, the Indian Readership Survey, which is the largest continuous media survey, classifies consumers on the basis of socio-economic class or SEC. & #BANNER1 & # That is the norm that every study, media or otherwise, follows. Certain others filters such as education, occupation, monthly household income (MHI) are also used in the readership survey.

But the consumption behaviour of households has never been used as a parameter of classification. That's precisely what the Indian Readership Survey will include in its forthcoming rounds.

It will, in the words of Ashok Das, MD, Hansa Research Group, which is the research agency for the IRS, make the survey more "consumption-oriented rather than demographic-oriented". "It adds a new dimension to consumer classification. It will provide indicators for identifying homes and can be used for most targeting and planning processes," he says.

The consumption behaviour of households will be plotted for 50 product/service categories appearing as an index in addition to the SEC profile of consumers in the survey.

"This is definitely a huge jump in terms of classification. And the assumption we are making here is that lower the penetration of the product/service category, the higher will be its premium," says Amit Ray, vice-chairman, technical committee, IRS.

Besides this new measure of classification, the governing body of the IRS - the MRUC or Media Research Users Council - will launch a new software in the marketplace called ILAP or IRS Local Area Potential in the coming months. "This is for micro-marketing purposes, where the consumption behaviour of households is plotted at the local level," says Ray.

What this means is that every city that is reported in the IRS will be broken down into small areas, basically, a cluster of wards, to increase the depth/penetration of information.

From the current two to four sub-divisions per city, clusters could now go up to thirty. "So information is distilled," says Ray.

Interestingly, the number of cities reported in the IRS will go up from 60 to 72 in the next round. This means, planners will have more information to chew on from now. 2005 agencyfaqs!

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