Television rules the roost in KSA

Eighty per cent of Saudi Arabian consumers believe that television advertising is the most likely medium to influence their buying decision, according to a “first of its kind” research study carried out for media agency MindShare.

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By  Tim Addington Published  September 11, 2005

Eighty per cent of Saudi Arabian consumers believe that television advertising is the most likely medium to influence their buying decision, according to a “first of its kind” research study carried out for media agency MindShare. According to the survey, the second most influential ad medium in the Kingdom was outdoor, with 44% of men and 41% of women claiming they were persuaded by the advertisements they saw on their travels. Newspapers came in a close third, followed by weekly magazines. The agency claims the Saudi research will enable it to more accurately spend advertising budgets in mediums that will have the highest impact for all its clients. The MindShare Channel Communication Survey was carried out by the Pan-Arab Research Center, which conducted more than 1500 face-to-face interviews with men and women aged 15 to 40 in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam Khobar during February and March this year. The study should help media planners and buyers at MindShare to identify the ideal media channel mix according to consumers’ relationships with product categories, their exposure to different forms of advertising, and their receptiveness to advertising at different times of the day. The agency carried out a similar survey in Egypt during the first quarter of the year and it will also be rolled out in the UAE at the end of 2005 and in Kuwait at the start of next year. “The increasing fragmentation of media and the rapidly growing choice of products, services and media demands a more in-depth analysis of media consumption,” said Samir Ayoub, chief executive officer at MindShare Middle East and North Africa. “MCCS deepened our understanding of consumer perceptions of the role and effects that advertising has on them,” he continued. The research also showed that 91% of men made more than five trips in cars every week and 41% of the Kingdom’s population went to a shopping mall and supermarket at least once every seven days. Women are more likely to be influenced by monthly magazines, with more than 30% saying that advertising in the medium was effective in influencing their buying habits, compared to just 18.4% of men. More women than men were responsive to radio advertising, with 26.6% admitting that it caught their attention — a figure that is 3% higher than for men. The survey also detailed areas such as how frequently people in the country took part in promotions and competitions, how many mupi panels they recalled during a 30-minute trip and which forms of indoor media they could remember over the last three months. “We all know how the market is suffering from the lack of reliable and frequent research currency,” said Ayoub. “In early 2002 we took the decision to carry out our own proprietary research to fill in the gaps in the market.” MindShare, which claims to have invested US$1 million in research over the past 18 months, said it would be repeating the survey every two years to monitor if consumers’ preferences had changed. The company has also developed a software program called ‘Moments’ which will integrate the MCCS results into its planning process.

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