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    Dynamics of northern consumers’ report provides deeper insight for businesses

    Deep market research is inevitable for any business looking for customer satisfaction and growth opportunity. Pierrine Consulting, Africa’s foremost consumer research firm recently studied the northern Nigeria market. Daniel Obi posits the inherent benefits of the findings to brand owners.

    Importance of market research

    As important as wheel is to a moving vehicle, so also consumer insight is to a marketer. Any marketer will function appropriately, generate sales and revenue with deep understanding of needs of the customers as well as the market demands. This will enable the marketer to tailor marketing strategies to align with the consumer needs.

    Marketers are therefore in constant search for consumer needs and always attempt to understand consumer behavioural changes in order to satisfy the customer expectation, achieve brand loyalty and deliver sustainable business success.

    Any opportunity therefore that presents prospect and gives understanding of the consumer is always appreciated by marketers who are often under intense pressure to keep the company going.

    Report on Northern market

    The recent market report on the Northern Nigeria covering the entire 19 states under the northern market cluster conducted by Pierrine Consulting therefore comes handy for brand owners who want to penetrate the Northern market. Any report on a segment of Nigeria society becomes vital for brand owners as Nigeria is emerging and has a vast economy with consumer population of over 200 million, the largest population in Africa with dynamic consumer behaviour.

    Pierrine report which studied Northern region consumer provides insight on that market which affords marketers the opportunity to create special products and messages tailored to the Northern consumers as no single message will appeal to whole Nigerians with its varying cultures and population ages.

    There was clear understanding from the report that the Northern consumer is unique in every way, characterised by a culture-influenced lifestyle, the importance of religion in daily choices and respect for social-cultural religious institutions and roles. “The Northern region accounts for 71 percent of total land mass of Nigeria, 54 percent of total population and about 30 percent of the national GDP”

    Obviously, Northern market, with its size and preferences, cannot be ignored by any discerning brand owner or business leader in Nigeria. Pierrine report says “the region is known as a leading market for seasoning, spices, malt, CSD, dairy products. The report therefore dimensioned some of the opportunity.

    The report which provided an informed view of the northern market opportunity from consumers’ behavioral dynamics revealed that the residents of Northern Nigeria spend N322 billion monthly on personal care products. This big revelation is already an attraction to players in the personal care segment.

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    The report which examined the Northern market opportunities for marketers further gave an insight by providing the items the amount was spent on. It showed that the N322 billion amount was spent monthly on top seven personal care products such as toothpaste, beauty soap, perfume, body lotion, sanitary pads, deodorants and antibacterial soaps.

    Though the report used Kano, one of the largest and commercial cities in the North and Nigeria as a proxy, it however gives the idea of the whole Northern consumer behaviour and preferences.

    Dimensioning the monthly spend, the report also discovered that residents of the region spend N163 billion monthly on carbonated drinks.

    Providing a breakdown of the spend on drinks, the report said “53% of northern consumers consume some form of non-alcoholic drinks several times every single week, 66% currently consume CSDs, 45% consume Malt drinks, 24% consume fruit-based drinks, 5% take wine products and 15% are consumers of Energy drink products. Over 60% have Zobo and unbranded milk products within their repertoire of drinks.”

    According to the report, Northerners also spend big on branded breakfast, as monthly expenditure on cocoa-based drinks, tea, cornflakes, coffee, oats, custard and Golden Morn is about N223 billion.

    As a necessity, food and food-related items constitute 55% of northern consumers’ monthly household expenditure. Additionally, 10% is typically spent on utilities, 7% on personal care products, 7% on clothing and accessories, 6% on airtime, 5% on transport, 5% on medical health, 3% on baby care products, and 2% on electronics.

    While 58% of Northern consumers have internet access, the report showed that cash transactions remain King in the region, with 91% usage level. The report however discovered a considerable on-going use of USSD transactions which it put at 31%.

    The Pierrine report also said branded powdered milk was the most consumed of all dairy products, at 89% incidence level. Evaporated milk was next at 8%, sweetened yoghurt at 35% and Butter at 30% usage levels. In all, Northern consumers spend N151 billion monthly on branded milk powder, N36.9 billion on evaporated milk, N35 billion on sweetened yogurt, N28.6 billion on butter, N20.7 billion on Mayonnaise, N5 billion on condensed milk.

    In addition, N102 billion was spent monthly on spices, N156b on laundry, and N146 billion on baby care products.

    The report also found that open markets and 7neighborhood stores remain preferred shopping points in the region, with 65% of customers making their purchases via this channel.

    Cash is King

    Other findings from the report indicate that cash is king at 91 percent usage level amongst Northern consumers, although there is considerable on-going use of digital platforms.

    “Daily use of alternative means to cash is still growing as 31 percent of Northern consumers currently use the USSD platform and about 20 percent make use of mobile banking apps of different financial brands, but cash is more used for daily transactions at 91 percent”. The report said 36 percent of consumers who are not currently using digital platforms are open to using it.

    It also discovered that 65 % of Northern consumers patronise open markets and neigbourhood stores.

    Internet usage

    According to the report, 58 percent of Northern consumers have access to the internet connection on their mobile devices.

    “Access to internet connection is skewed more towards upper socio-economic class males. 46 percent of the semi-skilled & unskilled, unemployed and lowest grade individuals have access to some form of internet connection. 98 percent connect to the internet via their mobile phones and the top online platforms currently used are Facebook, (82%), WhatsApp (78%). Youtube (23%), Instagram (26%), Google (13%).

    Methodology of report

    The methodology employed by Pierrine Consulting in arriving at its finding are 209 Computed Aided Personal Interviews, CAPI using a multi-stage random sampling method with interviews spread across different local government areas within Kano. It said all respondents were 18 years and above of both males and female. It was conducted in May this year.

    Of the age grade of those interviewed for the report, 18-30 years constitute 49 percent; those in the age bracket of 31-45 make up 38 percent while 45-54 years constitute 9 percent; 55-64 constitute 4 percent.

    On the demography of the population sample interviewed, the male population constitute 47 percent while the female population constitute 53% percent. On the social grade of the interviewees, 10 percent were higher and intermediate managers; 42 percent were supervisory and junior managers while 48 percent were semi-skilled and unskilled, unemployed and lowest grade individuals.

    The CEO of Pierrine Consulting, Seyi Adeoye, who says that the report which is aimed at providing an informed view of the northern market opportunity shows that the Northern market is definitely an exciting and profitable one for brands and businesses seeking growth at a time like this and beyond.

    It is significant that the value and dynamics of the Northern market as espoused in this research by Pierrine Consulting will benefit marketers and brand owners in their further efforts for growth and consumer satisfaction. Reports on other regions are encouraged for not only marketers’ benefit but the Nigerian economy.

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