Iraq has considerable untapped growth potential and is seen by many as “The next big one”, according to Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO of TNS MENA one of the world’s largest custom market research organisations.
Hamilton-Clark was commenting as his company unveiled the ‘Iraqi As Consumer 2012 (IRAC)’ study – a first-of-a-kind initiative – with IIACSS, a public opinion and marketing research company, which unveils a deeper understanding of what makes the Iraqi consumer tick.
“Considering the economic slowdown in the developed world, more and more clients would like to enter the Iraqi market which has intrigued marketers for years, however until now there has been very little information available,” explained Hamilton-Clark.
The study, which spanned 10 cities, looks at Iraq from the inside out to unearth the Iraqi of today – how they live, what they believe in and what they aspire to be.
“For instance we found that over 50 per cent of Iraqi consumers feel that the nation is headed in the right direction and have an optimistic view about the economic and political situation in the country which highlights the potential for marketers,” added Hamilton-Clark.
The study found that consumer confidence is much higher in Kurdistan (Erbil and Sulaimaniya) and in the South (Basra) with figures as high as 48 per cent and 54 per cent respectively, while in Baghdad the confidence level rates 32 per cent and in the Northern governorates only 27 per cent.
The study also reveals that overall 41 per cent think Iraq’s current economic situation is good and very good, with 32 per cent saying that now is the time to buy consumer durables. Meanwhile, 42 per cent stated things will continue to improve over the coming months.
Key study outcomes include understanding of socio-cultural, economic factors, identifying emerging trends and their impact on consumer behaviour and attitudes, as well as an in-depth understanding of consumer lifestyles.
“This enables brands to find the best way to connect with their relevant consumer, using different media touch points and generating new communication channels. To get the supply chain in line with Iraqi consumer demands, marketers must take time to dig deep and look across various profile groups to ensure desires, wants and needs are accurately met,” Hamilton-Clark concluded.
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