Home arrow Consumer Psychology arrow Promotional Response Patterns  
Promotional Response Patterns
Important class differences exist with regard to promotional response. The social classes have differing media choice and usage patterns. For example, readers of National Geographic and The New Yorker are typically of a higher class than the readers of Police Gazette, True Confessions, and The Star. Even magazines in the same topic area may be aimed at different social classes as target audiences. The social classes also have different perceptions and responses to advertising and other promotional messages, responses which are significant in the development of proper marketing strategies.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on Marketing Strategy and Marketing Management HERE.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on Marketing Strategy and Marketing Management HERE.

The basis of advertising differences directed at the various classes should be founded on the differing communication skills and interests of these groups. For example, sophisticated and clever advertising such as that appearing in The New Yorker and Esquire is almost meaningless to lower-class people who don't understand the subtle humor and are baffled by the bizarre art. This certainly does not imply that they lack intelligence or wit, but merely that their communication skills or experiences have been oriented in a different way. Thus, their symbol systems are different, and they have a quite different approach to humor.

Beer producers segment markets by social class, with different brands and advertising aimed at each group. For instance. Miller and Lowenbrau, produced by the same company, appeal to different social classes. Miller with its "Made the American way" theme presents a strong working class, masculine image by featuring people in various tough, physical jobs, whereas Lowenbrau appeals on the basis of more-refined sociability by featuring upscale groups with the theme "Here's to good friends."

The marketer must also cautiously select key advertising words because of their different perceptions among the classes which could cause problems. Consider, for example, potential class reactions to an advertisement for a soap product used to wash baby clothes. In a motivation study of soaps and detergents it was learned that middle-class women associated the words "darling," "sweet," or "mother" with the word "baby," while lower-class women, reacted with such terms as "pain in the neck," "more work," or "a darling but a bother.

In addition, certain voice and speech patterns may be more influential than others for specific consumer segments. Thus, speakers with "upper-class" voices and speech patterns can appear more credible to higher classes than "low-status" sounding speakers." 'This supports such spokesperson choices as Sir John Gielgud for Paul Masson wines, John Houseman for Smith Barney, and Sir Laurence Olivier for Polaroid.

Consequently, marketers must understand their market thoroughly and communicate meaningfully to it within the range of their skills. The media patterns of each class are described below as well as some possible promotional appeals.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on Marketing Strategy and Marketing Management HERE.

Uppers. The upper classes tend to buy more newspapers, read more of the newspaper, see more magazines, and watch less television than other classes. They also listen to FM radio.

Upper-Middles. The media choices of this group tend toward FM radio, particularly classical music stations; magazines such as Time, Fortune, Vogue, The New Yorker, Consumer Reports, and House & Garden; and newspapers. The upper-middle class does not fully embrace television, worrying about its effect on their children. Nevertheless, they do watch significant amounts, with their programming tastes tending toward current events and drama. Because of later dinner hours and bedtimes, they have a high exposure to late-night television shows, such as the Tonight Show and Nightline.

This group and the upper classes represent challenging targets to the marketer in developing promotion appeals. They tend to be more critical of adverting, are suspicious of its emotional appeals, and question its claims. They usually display an attitude of sophisticated superiority to it. This is not to say, however that they are unresponsive to advertising. They can be attracted by approach that are different, individualistic, witty, sophisticated, stylish, that appeal to good judgment and discriminating taste, and that offer the kinds of objects and symbols that are significant to their status and self-expression goals.

Middle Class. This group tends to read morning newspapers and magazines sue as Reader's Digest, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, and Ladle: Home Journal and watches a good deal of television. This group, as well as the working class, takes a rather straightforward, literal-minded, and pragmatic approach to advertising. Effective promotion appeals are those portraying the horn and relating use of the product to success as a housewife and mother. Labor saving products such as instant foods, for example, are best promoted in a way that also satisfies conscientiousness.

Although attracted by discount coupons, this group is careful in the use o them. They want to be sure that the incentive is worth the effort, that they are being sensible in their use of them.

Working Class. The media choices of this group tend toward AM radio, heavy television viewing, especially soap operas, game shows, situation comedies variety shows, and late movies, magazines such as True Story, and afternoon and tabloid newspapers. For example The Star, The National Enquirer, and Midnight Globe sell 11 million copies a week, primarily to women who are over age 46, in blue-collar households, who are high school graduates of slightly lower income than average, and with larger-than-average households. Psychographically, such readers believe miracle cures are fascinating, politicians are dishonest, Laetril should be legalized, UFOs are real, and abortions should be outlawed.

This class is also the most receptive group to sales promotion offers. They are eager to take advantage of many of the offers that come their way, to cut costs or get something extra.

Lower Americans. The media habits of this group are similar to those of the working class except that they have even lower readership of magazines and newspapers. They are more audio (AM radio) and video (television)-oriented.

Both groups have early dinner hours and thus have heavier exposure to early-evening television than do higher social classes. This group comprises a large segment of the heavy television viewers, who tend to be under 30, high school dropouts, removed from the job market, with personal income below the poverty level.

Promotion directed to this class is constrained as a result of their lower education and intelligence levels and the difficulty they have in thinking abstractly. For these reasons it is suggested that simple, concrete appeals be used with greater visual stimulation, such as the use of color and heavy reliance on symbols.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on Marketing Strategy and Marketing Management HERE.

Source of Reference:
Albert Loudon and David Della Britta, Consumer Behavior : Concepts and Applications, , McGraw Hill. You can obtain this fine book here