"We are not facing an era of change, but rather a change of era." This was how María Castellanos, YMedia Corporate Research Director and responsible for the report, ‘Tipologías Trends in Media Consumer – Ymedia', began her presentation prepared by CIMOP and delivered yesterday by ESADE Alumni Marketing Club. She explained that, as a result of the technological revolution and the crisis, a new type of client has been produced that little resembles clients of just five years ago. "Average spending per household has decreased by 3,000 euros [from 32,014 euros to 29,813 euros, according to the National Institute of Statistics], while Internet access has reached 63.9%," continued Mrs Castellanos.
In this context, the report has identified five major trends:
- Possession vs. enjoyment and experience: 74% of respondents recognise that before they go shopping they like to find out about what they're going to buy first and 60.4% admitted consulting opinions in other forums. "The economic downturn has also slowed down the pace of life. We no longer want to have more, but enjoy things more, live more. So, more thought is going into the buying process," said Mrs Castellanos.
- Polarisation, disappearance of the middle class: 65% of consumers admit they are more cautious about buying; 71% have lost purchasing power and 70% cannot afford to keep up their previous standard of living.
- Regaining privacy and control over time: The use of social networks is decreasing, compared to other types of communication such as instant messaging. "It's goodbye to Facebook and hello to WhatsApp, where we can control more what we say and what others tell us."
- Technology to make life easier, not to enslave us: "In a short time, Spain became a leader in using technology, resulting in a bidding war to see who had more devices or the most recent models," Mrs Castellanos acknowledged.
- The centrality of television in media consumption, but never on your own. "In terms of home entertainment, television shares central stage with new mobile devices, tablets, mobile phones and PCs."
These trends have resulted in seven new consumer profiles, which this research has detected and which revolve around the axis of tradition / modernity and possession / experience:
- Reduced consumption: Generally, pensioners with an itemised and controlled consumption, whose purchases are limited to own-brands.
- Neo-traditional: Less affected by the crisis, with classical consumer habits, purchasing exclusive brands and having the time to enjoy them. Usually workers who are retired or near retirement age.
- Weighted: Most affected by the crisis, focused on subsistence and on the essentials. They are often parents whose children still live at home.
- Low cost: They have more modern tastes and buying habits regulated by self-control and unnecessary expense.
- Group: Their habits are influenced by group membership and are marked by technology.
- Optimisers: They are very concerned about consumerism; their savings are limited by principles; they are very rational.
Presenting the report, Fernando Conde, sociologist and director of CIMOP, insisted that this evolution in the consumer profile has been marked by an evolution of the behaviour of the average Spaniard over the last forty years: "We've gone from the logic of distinction to the logic of difference and then on to the logic of innovation," he explained, adding that between one and the other there was always a crisis. "It requires a change, but not a radical one, i.e. it doesn't break with past trends but rather it evolves them and begins to develop others."