Issuu on Google+

10 THINGS MARKETERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RUSSIA

ddththee ssan ar ye 20 er ov r fo ' an ss ne ar si ye bu 20 r fo er n ov r pe 'o business' fo it is often seen as a ssia has be Ru en 'open for ut been ww it is often seen as a no Russia has is en BButev . ne go ng no lo en ev in rta cu . n litliticicalal iro po ue long gone aq op d an et ab iron curtain is po ph al ue n aq ow op ry – with its phabet and bibit tofofaammys ystetery – with its own al ure. ststru ructcture. , es nc re eetotoththeedidiffe ey es, d nc in re bl a ffe rn tu to sy ea ey s d t, it’ to turn a blin InInththisisco ddwwisishfhfulullyly an ext, it’s easy ntex cont mmininatator no de on m an m co or s ou vi no mon de ss'a'a d the most ob fin eleles rth obvious comci ve ne is ) w co os es find the mostsi M ly rth al ve ne pe is a (and es oscow) ththininkkththatatRRus ussia (and especially M Europe'. bibit tlik likee Europe'. atatioionnatat -c-cre ddofofCo HHea n or -b re w co Co os M r ou ea , ev n nstantin Pina ev, our Moscow-bor Ko teters ke ththatatmmar ththinings rs Konstantin Pitna 10 ke of t ar lis a er th gs ge to of 10 k,k,pu t lis a ininktktan er Th th ge a. to si t us pu R an Th ininkkab th ey nnth out t Russia. abou ininmmininddwwhe th ep ey ke th ld he ou sh should keep


#1 #1 Russians Russians are are still still in in aa brand brand new new world. world. Brands Brandsininthe theway waywe weunderstand understandthem themininthe theWest Westdid didnot notexist existininRussia Russia until the early 1990s. A tranche of consumers still remember the days when until the early 1990s. A tranche of consumers still remember the days when there were no ads or brands. there were no ads or brands. That Thatmeans meansthat thatthe thepicture picturehas hasyet yettotosettle; settle;the thebrand branduniverse universeisisfar farmore more dynamic, heritage is often slender and reputations are easily lost and won. dynamic, heritage is often slender and reputations are easily lost and won. What’s more, the consumer is more fickle and harder to hold on to. What’s more, the consumer is more fickle and harder to hold on to.

#2 #2 Moscow Moscow is is another another country. country. It’s fair to say that London is not the UK; New York is not the US and Paris It’s fair to say that London is not the UK; New York is not the US and Paris is not France. It would be even fairer to say that Moscow is not Russia. is not France. It would be even fairer to say that Moscow is not Russia. Here Herethe thedifferences differencesreally reallyare arehuge: huge:income incomelevels levelsare aremultiple multipletimes times higher and habits and media consumption are nothing like the rest higher and habits and media consumption are nothing like the restofofthe the country. country.

#3 #3 Don’t Don’t underestimate underestimate local local competitors. competitors. You’ll You’llalso alsobe besurprised surprisedby byjust justhow howstrong stronglocal localchampions championscan canbe. be. What’s the most popular search engine? It’s Yandex (Google is way What’s the most popular search engine? It’s Yandex (Google is way behind). behind). What Whatisisthe themost mostpopular popularsocial socialnetwork? network?It’s It’s‘VKontakte’ ‘VKontakte’(‘in (‘incontact’). contact’). Facebook is not even the second – it is way behind ‘Odnoklassniki’ Facebook is not even the second – it is way behind ‘Odnoklassniki’ (‘Classmates’). (‘Classmates’).


#4 #4 Russians Russians consume consume conspicuously. conspicuously. As Asininmany manydeveloping developingmarkets, markets,attitudes attitudestotoconsumerism consumerismare areless less conflicted than those in the West. It is important to remember that Russians conflicted than those in the West. It is important to remember that Russians did not have the pleasures of consumerist societies for over 70 years, so did not have the pleasures of consumerist societies for over 70 years, so aren’t apologetic or self-deprecating about material success and aren’t apologetic or self-deprecating about material success and aspirations: aspirations:ififyou've you'vegot gotit,it,flaunt flauntit!it!So Soshould shouldluxury luxurybrands brandstry trytotobe bemore more understated? Of course not! understated? Of course not!

#5 #5 Young Young lifestages lifestages are are very very different. different. In Russia, fitting consumers into life stages can be trickier. ‘Gap years’ do In Russia, fitting consumers into life stages can be trickier. ‘Gap years’ do not exist and most students live with their parents when they go to not exist and most students live with their parents when they go to university. People tend to move in together, get married and have kids university. People tend to move in together, get married and have kids much muchearlier earlierthan thanininthe theWest. West.Meanwhile, Meanwhile,ininaabooming boomingeconomy, economy,careers careers can progress very rapidly, meaning social standing can be hard to pin can progress very rapidly, meaning social standing can be hard to pin down. down.So Soaa25 25year yearold oldcan canbe beaaCFO CFO- -and andbe bejust justas aslikely likelytotobe besingle singleas as to have three kids. to have three kids.

#6 #6 Young Young Russians Russians rarely rarely watch watch TV. TV. IfIfyou youthink thinkititisistricky trickytototarget targetyouth youthininthe theUK UK––it’s it’seven evenharder harderininRussia. Russia. Local terrestrial schedules there are heavily dominated by government Local terrestrial schedules there are heavily dominated by government propaganda, propaganda,TV TVremains remainsanalogue analogueand andisiswidely widelypitched pitchedatatan anolder, older, mainstream audience. This means that to not have a TV is now a hip mainstream audience. This means that to not have a TV is now a hip lifestyle choice, and young Russians (especially the affluent and educated lifestyle choice, and young Russians (especially the affluent and educated urban audience) tend to say goodbye to their TV sets willingly. Besides, urban audience) tend to say goodbye to their TV sets willingly. Besides, with withpiracy piracybeing beingfar farmore moreprevalent prevalentand andmonetized monetizedthan thanititisisininthe theWest, West, the most popular TV shows and films are easily accessed online. the most popular TV shows and films are easily accessed online.


#7 #7 Fair Fair trade? trade? Never Never even even heard heard of of it! it! Russia is also unusual in having had an imperial, but no obvious colonial Russia is also unusual in having had an imperial, but no obvious colonial past. So the whole concept of Fair Trade and concerns or ‘liberal guilt’ past. So the whole concept of Fair Trade and concerns or ‘liberal guilt’ about conditions in the developing world are often quite muted. This means about conditions in the developing world are often quite muted. This means that thatethical ethicalororenvironmental environmentalclaims claimstend tendtotobe bemissed missedororeven even misunderstood by many consumers. misunderstood by many consumers.

#8 #8 Russians Russians buy buy in in different different ways. ways. ItItwould wouldbe beeasy easytotoassume assumethat thatliving livingininaaG8 G8country countrywith withaafairly fairlyhigh highGDP GDP per capita income would mean that people had bank accounts and be used per capita income would mean that people had bank accounts and be used totoonline onlinepayments, payments,but... but...as asalways alwaysRussia Russiahas hasitsitsown ownway. way.The Thefinancially financially unstable 1990s and a number of bank collapses long undermined people's unstable 1990s and a number of bank collapses long undermined people's trust in financial institutions. Even in 2012 Russia remains a cash or digital trust in financial institutions. Even in 2012 Russia remains a cash or digital cash economy on a day-to-day basis. cash economy on a day-to-day basis. People Peoplecan canpay paycash cashfor foranything anything- -including includingproperty propertyand andluxury luxurycars. cars. Online transactions are still more of an exception rather than a rule. Online Online transactions are still more of an exception rather than a rule. Online shops will deliver products by courier, who collect the cash from customers. shops will deliver products by courier, who collect the cash from customers.

#9 #9 Money Money on on the the other other hand hand is is more more mobile. mobile. The underdeveloped banking system also means that mobile payments (by The underdeveloped banking system also means that mobile payments (by texting and using stored value cards) are more common and more texting and using stored value cards) are more common and more sophisticated than they are in many Western markets. sophisticated than they are in many Western markets. Strong StrongWiMax WiMaxnetworks networksand andfree freeWiFi WiFiininmost mostplaces placesalso alsomean meanthat thatthe the mobile Internet and mobile marketing are more advanced. mobile Internet and mobile marketing are more advanced.


#10 #10 Not Not the the easiest easiest consumer consumer to to study. study. Russians Russians- -culturally culturally- -were werenever neverasked askedfor fortheir theiropinion. opinion.Russia Russiaisisstill stillnot not a market where consumers will easily ‘play the game’ and speak effortlessly a market where consumers will easily ‘play the game’ and speak effortlessly about their feelings about products or brands, setting aside the rational about their feelings about products or brands, setting aside the rational answers that can sometimes frustrate research buyers. answers that can sometimes frustrate research buyers. For Forthis thisreason, reason,marketers marketersneed needtotobe bemindful mindfulofofhow howthey theyapproach approach research, whom they target and what the best format for exploring a brand research, whom they target and what the best format for exploring a brand or campaign idea is. That’s where we come in. or campaign idea is. That’s where we come in.

AA few few words words about about us. us. Thinktank Thinktankisisan aninternational internationalqualitative qualitativeresearch research consultancy consultancybased basedininLondon. London.We Wepride prideourselves ourselveson on marketing thinking inspired by real people and have marketing thinking inspired by real people and have extensive extensiveknowledge knowledgeof ofemerging emergingmarkets markets(among (among them, them,Russia!). Russia!). IfIfyou’d you’dlike liketo tofind findout outmore moreabout abouthow howwe wehelp helpour our clients in international markets, contact clients in international markets, contact konstantin@thinktank.uk.com konstantin@thinktank.uk.comor orfind findus usat: at: http://www.thinktank.uk.com/ http://www.thinktank.uk.com/ http://www.thinktank-international.blogspot.co.uk/ http://www.thinktank-international.blogspot.co.uk/ https://twitter.com/thinktank_int https://twitter.com/thinktank_int


10 things marketers need to know about Russia