Home > Marketing, Marketing Strategy > DCCI’s Marketing Matters Conference Part 3: ‘Marketing Trends and Accessing the New Economy’ by Professor Simpson

DCCI’s Marketing Matters Conference Part 3: ‘Marketing Trends and Accessing the New Economy’ by Professor Simpson

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marketing Matters Conference welcomed a total of seven speakers from very different segments of the strategic marketing industry. The speakers were all assigned a session of approximately an hour and these were followed by another short session which allowed the audience to ask questions about certain aspects from the presentation. Therefore there were a total of seven sessions that ran throughout the day and they covered topics such as the advances of technology and its impact of marketers, social marketing, ‘green’ marketing the King III report and other relevant strategic marketing topics.

The next topic which was discussed was ‘Marketing Trends and Accessing the New Economy’ and this was presented by Professor John Simpson.

Professor Simpson is the Director of the Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing and he has been in charge of many major projects at the Institute which is found at the University of Cape Town (UCT) since its inception in 1998. Professor Simpson and Bridget Dore are the authors of the very successful Marketing in South Africa: Cases and Concepts and it is currently going into its third edition. He has also headed up the School of Management Studies at UCT and was the Deputy Dean of the Commerce Faculty for a number of years. He still lectures Marketing, Consumer Behaviour and Business Strategy at the School of Management Studies.

The Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing has performed extensive research on the South African Market’s financial crunch and therefore Professor Simpson discussed the current marketing trends in South Africa and how to go about accessing the new economy.

The presentation was enhanced by two videos which portrayed case studies that were relevant for the topic of discussion as they showed how marketers should focus on accessing a wide range of economies and markets. The first video showed a woman from the bottom end of the market while the second showed a man from the top end of the market.  One of the most interesting topics from this speech was the discussion of the different levels of Living Standard Measures (LSM) and they were divided into four categories; Survivors, Strugglers, Frustrateds and Settled/Top-End.

The ‘Survivors’ fit into the categories of LSM 1-4 and they make up 33% of the population in South Africa. There is little growth in their income and most of it is spent of funeral plans, food and transport. They receive their income from grants and subsides and many of them reside in rural to semi-urban areas.

The ‘Strugglers’ form about 45% of South Africa’s population and they fit into LSM 5-7. They are considered as a good target market but they are also highly despondent as they are extremely indebted and therefore one must be careful in giving them the option of credit. They are low skilled and they experience little to no GDP growth but they are still likely to spend.

The ‘Frustrateds’ make up about 2.5 million of the total population and they fit into LSM 7-8. They are educated members of society and are normally teachers, policemen etc. The access to credit is easy but the access to housing, health and education is much more difficult to gain access to. They like to dream of better living conditions and getting better assets and they always think of allowing their children to be better off than they are. Their major characteristic is that they are highly frustrated with their current position.

The ‘Settled/Top-End’ makes up about 4% of the total population and they are currently worth R300 billion in spending power. They fit into LSM 9-10 and are growing rapidly yet they are spending slowly. The average income per household is anything from R18 500 and up and they are not standardised at all. Their life is about association with belief and comfort. They are further divided into three categories which are Drivers, High Flyers and Astronauts.

The discussion of these categories were all enhanced by videos which showed examples of the kind of individuals who would fit into these. These are extremely relevant within the context of strategic marketing as they provide a platform for marketers to work from when it comes to accessing the new economies.

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