Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

How to Think Like A Pakistani Consumer

Published in Mar-Apr 2022

Ipsos Consumer Book '22 in review.

Most ad people turn to Google for stats and research on brands – focus groups are only great when you don’t have to pitch an 80-slide presentation brimming with ‘out-of-the-box ideas’ in the next 18 hours.

Enter Ipsos Consumer Book ’22, which addresses the serious dearth of stats and trend analyses available to marketers in Pakistan. The book provides comprehensive data on important and local marketing-relevant topics, including Pakistan’s digital landscape, consumer lifestyle, penetration of categories, shopping habits and psychographic orientation. It provides detailed analyses of the growth potential in rural Pakistan and an insight into a day in the life of the average consumer. In-depth analyses of consumer trends in Pakistan from 2010 to 2020 are given in bite-sized formats, supported by bar charts, graphs and percentages. All in all, a decade-long worth of learnings you can skim through in less than 30 minutes.

Elaborating on the contents of the book, Abdul Sattar Babar, Managing Director, Ipsos in Pakistan and Patron-In-Chief of the book, says that “Since it was endorsed by the Pakistan Advertisers’ Society (PAS) in 2009, the Consumer Multimedia Index (CMi) has become a multi-object tracking and hierarchically organised single-source data bank, providing a panoramic 360-degree media reach and frequency picture that includes consumption data for over 70 products and services categories, as well as lifestyle and psychographic profiling across all urban and rural areas in Pakistan. Fortunately, the overall research design, sampling (50 cities and 500 villages across all provinces), target respondents (12+ M/F, all SECs), and over 90% of the information sought, have been consistent and comparable.”  

Indeed, the depth of the insights provided could translate into tailor-made marketing strategies for brands. For example, an interesting insight is that in 2010 only 29% of the people interviewed said they like to live in the ‘now’, whereas in 2020, 51% said they wanted to quit the toxic cycle of worrying about the future and start enjoying life today. Learning for brands: instant gratification reigns supreme and being in the present hits home harder than future planning. Another interesting insight is that, on average, the time spent listening to the radio has decreased from 67 minutes to 42 minutes from 2010 to 2020. Learning for brands: radio may be a cheaper alternative but it may not be where your audience is spending a major chunk of their time. Newspaper reading patterns have also changed in the last 10 years. Interest in headlines and front and back pages has declined, whereas current affairs, business and classifieds show an upwards trend. Learning for brands: change ad placement strategies.

As a marketer, I can endorse the fact that Ipsos Consumer Book ’22  is a treasure trove of local research and statistics and therefore gone are the days of researching international success stories and stats and then working out how they can somehow be adapted to the Pakistani market. Furthermore, ‘A Day in Consumers’ Life’ is one of the most delightfully insightful sections. It breaks down consumer sentiments, moods and emotions across living conditions, gender and geography (rural vs urban) over a span of 10 years – and can certainly give advertisers a pre-pitch sentiment analysis of their target audience and what makes them tick. Given that marketing is about human psychology, this section may provide agencies with their next big content hook.

Another section worth highlighting is Shopping Habits. Thanks to e-commerce giants such as AliExpress, Daraz and Yayvo, the incidence of online shopping has increased from 0.01% in 2016 to five percent in 2020, a promising trend for the plethora of Q-commerce start-ups cropping up in the local market, many of which are already raking in millions of rupees in funding.

The material can also prevent the production of the occasional tone-deaf ads that end up offending particular audience segments; for example, the recent ad featuring a person with a disability, that although aimed to be soul-stirring, ended up triggering a significant backlash from consumers who found it insensitive.   

According to Sattar, some of the leading names in the FMCG sector, the media as well as media buying and advertising agencies, have benefitted from this data pool. In his view, “This single-source data bank provides a basic understanding of consumers in Pakistan, thereby helping brand custodians define their core target groups, develop engaging communication and plan effective multimedia dissemination.”

The book is distributed free of cost to all multinational and national companies, media and advertising agencies, and media owners as well as to policy making institutes, social and development sector organisations, chambers of commerce and foreign missions. 

Ipsos Consumer Book ’22 is a good starting point to understand the habits, tastes and psychographics of Pakistani consumers – and once we understand consumers inside out, perhaps more brands will be able to successfully drive their messages home. 

Ipsos Consumer Book ’22:
An All-In-One Guide for Marketers in Pakistan

Patron-In-Chief: Abdul Sattar Babar
Published by Ipsos in Pakistan
256 pp

Taniya Hasan is a content marketer.