Whenever we discuss psychographic segmentation, there often seems to be a variety of new ‘labels’ to describe these groups, but not enough about how to apply this segmentation system into true marketing applications.

The big difference with the psychographic segments mapped out in Grey and G2's Eye on Asia - Retail study is that at first glance, there just seems to be four new labels for four new psychographic segments that need to be learned in order to understand the research. But the fact that we can track these segments across national borders and that pan-Asian campaigns can be customised based on this segmentation system makes it very unique and very useful.

The four psychographic segments in Eye on Asia - Retail are Loyal Listers (26% of Asians), Passive Value Fans (22%), Whim Indulgers (24%), and Engaged Info Seekers (28%). Each group was classified based on shopper behaviour tendencies.

For example, for Engaged Info Seekers, actively seeking product promotions, demonstrations and experiential marketing are key motivations in the shopper journey. While Whim Indulgers, as the name suggests, tend to be more chaotic and more influenced by brand messaging and ‘new’ items. And across a general Asian spread, these groups tend to be more or less even in numbers (all close to a quarter of all Asians).

The exciting part is in the spread of these key segments by country. We find that certain segments are far stronger in some countries against others - notice that both Korea (44%) and China (55%), heavily influenced in brand choice by promotions and demonstrations, tend to have a large portion of Engaged Info Seekers, while countries like India (61%) and Indonesia (42%), are at the other end of the spectrum as Loyal Listers, who are far more focused buyers of what is necessary and loyal to strong brands.

There are some surprises, as we can see that Japanese have a large portion of Whim Indulgers (44%), though to the casual outsider, the country was usually perceived as very structured and organised. And Australians are typically non-Asian in shopper behaviour - the only country with a large number of Passive Value Fans (51%), generally not excited by the shopping experience in general, usually seeking the best financial values.

By the overall descriptions of these groups, one can plan a pan-Asian campaign based on a single campaign concept but with tailored tactical shopper campaigns to these specific segments by country groups.

For example, a shampoo brand can talk about being an ‘expert in damaged care’ as a single campaign message, but in the Korea/China/Malaysia cluster, promotions and demonstrations could support this campaign in-store, while in the India/Indonesia/Vietnam cluster, stronger brand displays and loyalty programs might make more sense.

Of course Japan (more fun brand experiences, sometimes nothing to do with the product) and Australia (basically stronger price discounts) are separate clusters by themselves, and require more detailed tactical programs, but one can see the overall potential of such a methodology from the research.

There is a wealth of information on other segment behaviours that can be exploited aside from just basic group patterns, of course.

If the hassle of classifying Japan and Australia separately is not feasible, we also know that the only segment that is not really driven by prices or promotions is Loyal Listers so one can take a broader approach of those markets that need special promotions (every group except Loyal Listers) and those that need more brand reinforcement.

And of course, the reverse is true, and getting greater specificity by country is also possible.

Vietnam’s four segments are pretty evenly divided with 29% as Loyal Listers but also have significant numbers of Engaged Info Seekers (26%) and Passive Value Fans (27%) - in fact, the latter two groups are heavily influenced by promotions which means that using this particular insight, you can group Vietnam with China and Korea instead of solely being driven by its single largest segment.

The variations and tinkering are endless, but the applications are very relevant for marketers driven to create greater efficiencies with single-minded brand messages but still succeed tactically on a market-by-market level.

Contributed by Steve Yi, Chief Strategy Officer, Grey Group Korea

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