Industry Research : BPO Employees Setting Market Trends in Philippines
Business-Process outsourcing (BPO) employees, with cumulative compensation of about P250 billion annually, are now more influential in setting market trends than the average Filipino, according to a study conducted by Nielsen Philippines.
In a statement, Nielsen Philippines Managing Director Stuart Jamieson said the BPO employees’ income has more to do with it than anything else.
"Being well paid than most Filipinos, BPO employees are formidable members of the growing middle-class population of the country. The spending habits of BPO employees reflect an affluence that is more than the general population, spurring consumer spending," Jamieson said.
In the Nielsen Outcall report, which provides a 360-degree view of BPO employees, BPO employees are able to alter their lifestyle to fit the demands of their job. They also change their purchase and consumption habits, helping set market trends.
With this, Jamieson advises marketers to tap BPO consumers by forming retailer collaborations around BPO offices. This is specifically advantageous for convenience stores and fast- food coffee shops that are frequented by call-center employees.
In terms of food products, BPO employees consumed more processed and pre-packed food during breakfast and breaks, while for dinner, their diet included other alternatives, such as pre-packed food, or dining out. They also showed high consumption of breakfast cereals, hard candies, gum, biscuits and chocolates.
"In some in-depth interviews which were used to complement the survey data, respondents say they prefer instant breakfast cereals because they can be eaten quickly at home or out of home. While consuming candies and gum help them to be alert and awake during night shifts, BPO employees rely on biscuits to keep them full in between main meals," Nielsen said.
The Outcall report also disclosed that BPO employees drink beverages such as iced tea, energy drinks, ready-to-drink juices and milk more frequently than most Filipinos. It was learned in the interviews with BPO employees that consuming these drinks is their little daily indulgence as these satisfy one or more of their consumer needs.
There was also a higher consumption of alcoholic beverages among BPO employees. Data showed that 76 percent of BPO respondents admitted that they consumed alcoholic drinks in 2012 compared to 40 percent of the general population.
Nielsen said BPO employees considered alcohol as a facilitator in establishing teamwork. They claimed that for spontaneous or after-shift drinking, they buy alcoholic drinks from convenience stores and places which are open 24 hours.
"For a planned drinking session, they go to grills and watering holes. These planned drinking sessions happen usually on paydays, when they have money to burn. BPO employees said they also drink during their day-offs in their homes or neighborhoods," Nielsen said.
When it comes to technology adoption, BPO consumers are more likely to own gadgets more than the general market. This is a strong indicator of the improving socioeconomic class of BPO employees.
Compared to the general population, more BPO employees own postpaid subscriptions, with significantly higher monthly spending than the total market.
The in-depth interviews say that mobile phones are essential in their lives because they enable them to manage their busy work schedules and, at the same time, cope with maintaining their relationships with family and, friends. They also use their mobile phones as a tool for entertainment to break the monotony of workdays.
"By being constantly on their mobile phones and staying online through their high connectivity and multiple- connection points, BPO consumers are more accessible via the Internet. BPO consumers live multiscreen lives. They watch TV while they have a tablet or mobile phone on hand," Jamieson said.
"This gives advertisers and marketers huge opportunities to drive innovation and interest to various categories, such as consumer goods, pharmaceutical products, telecommunications and financial services," he added.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, August 5, 2013