NFO-MRUC's Future Outlook talks future with marketers

By , agencyfaqs! | In | September 19, 2003
Future Outlook, a joint initiative of NFO MBL and MRUC, breaks away from conventional methods of analysis in its futuristic perspective to market information

"Studying most surveys and research is like looking into the rear view mirror," says ND Badrinath, general manager, NFO MBL. "Through 'cross-tabs' and calculations of indices, and couple of more methods of deducing patterns from consumer profiling and natural segmentation, media planners try to find the right media fit for a brand, while marketers devise some helpful marketing strategies for their brands."

Future Outlook, a joint initiative of NFO MBL and MRUC, breaks away from conventional methods of market analysis in its futuristic perspective to market information. Rather than taking cues from the past, Future Outlook aims to lay before the marketer a what-could-happen-in-the-future kind of scenario. Based on some of the commonly asked questions by marketing managers - for example, the kind of consumer segments that may spring up in the next year or which consumer segments will go for newer brands and which for established players - Future Outlook attempts to offer customised answers to enable predictive modelling.

"Future Outlook uses the science of 'Predictive Modelling' to determine the growth segments marketers should go for, how they can distribute their brands across India, where to invest marketing efforts and budgets, how to strengthen retail opportunities to tap cross-selling, upgrading or brand extensions and also see if the current band positioning is working equally hard with all key growth segments, which is vital information for the marketer," elaborates Badrinath.

Future Outlook is a product of individual interviews of 2.3 lakh consumers in 40 metros and mini-metros, 22 states, 62 socio-cultural regions and 78 categories. The key parameters included 35 demographic and lifestyle indicators, 33 media exposure indicators, 179 indicators related to FMCG usage and 82 related to durables ownership. The product also leverages the information available in IRS 2002.

Badrinath explains how this information is customised to suit the needs of the marketers. "Using sophisticated data mining techniques, we intend to offer detailed and vivid descriptions of prospective consumer segments based on more than 300 indicators available, then go on to describe their product purchase behaviour and media habits, and follow this up with an assessment of business prospects for the near term."

The report, which took a-year-and-a-half to be put together, comprises three sections. The first section is on Consumer Segments. Consumer Segments are the natural consumer clusters and their distribution across different geographical units that emerge when the information captured in the IRS is examined. The second section Category and Brand Profiles helps understand penetration of category and sub-category by segment and market and penetration of brands in each cluster/market.

The third and final section of Future Outlook is Relative Potential for the Near Term. Here individuals in a cluster show a similar inclination to purchase a product when provided with similar marketing and sales stimuli. "By using this assumption, Future Outlook determines the segments that show potential for growth in the near term. This can be done for different groups of brands based on price or benefit. Alternatively, relative growth potential can be determined for different sub-types of any product category," says Badrinath. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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