Analyst group finds gaps in CE marketing

Analyst group finds gaps in CE marketing

More focus should be placed on psychological rather than monetary factors, researchers find

CE vendors and retailers should focus on behavioural attitudes, motivations and cultural factors behind purchasing decisions when marketing digital lifestyle devices to Australian consumers, according to new research from analyst group, Forrester.

Analyst, Alyson Clarke, said the CE channel needed to segment the consumer market beyond differences in income, which is too often considered in isolation.

In a survey of some 6000 households for its Asia-Pacific Consumer Technology Adoption Study, undertaken in the third quarter of last year, Forrester discovered several distinct types of consumer profiles based on three variables. These were optimism (whether the consumer feels the technology will have a positive effect on their lives); income (whether the consumer can afford the technology); and primary life motivation (the lifestyle factors that determine what product the consumer chooses over another).

According to Clarke, there are great opportunities for those channels that market the 'family-friendly' elements of a technology.

"A huge percentage of Australians are family-orientated," she said. "The DVD player, for example, might not just be pitched as an entertainment device but also as a babysitter for the kids."

The digital home hub, by the same logic, can be marketed on the premise that different kinds of content can be broadcast simultaneously around the home from the same device.

Dell, the direct-selling competitor to the digital home reseller, is effective at getting these family friendly messages across, Clarke said.

"Dell's TV ad campaigns talk a lot about how you can customise your PC to make it more applicable to your home environment," she said.

Clarke said the CE channel also needed to do a better job of promoting the entertainment capabilities of the PC.

"Advertising specs might not appeal so much to people who want to use the PC for entertainment," she said. "Vendors might also want to look at tying in entertainment content to the sale of the device rather than just promoting the capability of the product."Similarly, there are some consumers who have the income to increase their adoption of digital lifestyle products but are, culturally, "suspicious of anything hi-tech".

"For these traditionalists, you may want to strip out the complexity of these products and pitch simpler devices," Clarke said.

Despite Australia's high penetration of digital lifestyle products, she said there was still good revenue to be made by resellers who identified specific gaps in the market.

"There are, for example, some profiles of consumers with an almost saturated penetration of digital cameras - but low penetration of notebooks or home PCs," she said. "Those people must be using the photo kiosk at their local K-Mart to print photos, or are organising them with their work computer. Either way, there is an opportunity to sell them a home PC."

Clarke said a lot could also be learnt about technology adoption using the cultural differences between Australia and overseas markets. Australia has, for example, a high penetration of digital cameras and portable MP3 players. She suggested this might be attributable to the dispersed population and our penchant for travel.

Australia also has a higher per capita uptake of DVD players and DVD recorders.

"Australians are a social bunch," Clarke said. "We like to live outside, and do things outside, and we want to enjoy digital content at a time that suits us rather than be a slave to the TV times."

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