Romanians in small communities (rural and urban under 50,000 inhabitants) are almost as informed, use the same channels and have similar expectations as consumers in big cities. Nevertheless, they are often ignored by brands. To analyze the relevance of brands beyond the big cities’ limits, Golin conducted its first ethnographic study, in partnership with iSense Solutions.
The conclusions of this study confirmed and completed the results of a quantitative survey carried out at national level, which showed important differences and similarities between Romanians in small communities and those in big cities.
Consumers in small communities seem to be more reluctant to adopt new brands, but much more loyal to a brand once they get attached. The emotional communication with local relevance is a defining element in attracting and making consumers loyal to the brand. We recommend brands to stop referring only to Bucharest and big cities, but to make the effort to get closer to the frequently ignored public from small communities
Deputy Managing Director Golin
Almost two thirds of Romania’s population (64%) live in communities with less than 50,000 inhabitants – 45% in rural areas and 19% in small towns. However, the penetration rate of Internet in Romania is high both in big cities and villages – 78% nation wide, 85% in urban areas and 76% in rural areas. At this rate, Romanians in small communities are as present in social media as those in big cities. The most used social and messaging networks used by them are Facebook (88% vs. 92% in all urban), Facebook Messenger (68% vs. 76%), YouTube (65% vs. 78%), and Whatsapp (60% vs. 70%).
As for the sources of information, TV and social media are preferred by Romanians regardless of the size of their community, but a significant difference is that word of mouth (information from family/friends/colleagues) is more used in smaller communities (ranking the 3rd vs. the 5th at national level, after news websites and company websites).
Before building a marketing or communication strategy it is very important for every brand to understand what channels and types of content are preferred by the target. Regarding consumers in small communities, our data show that they have a larger appetite for entertainment, hate wooden language and want to receive a greater amount of attention. Therefore, a friendlier tone of voice and a content more focused on entertainment could be the recipe of success for bringing this audience closer and making it loyal
Managing Partner iSense Solutions
According to the survey, 60% of Romanians in small communities consume entertainment (vs. 50% of all urban), and 41% (vs. 32%) want funny or entertaining information. They talk more about celebrities (37% vs. 27%) and they are more interested in information regarding fashion and beauty: 46% (vs. 39%) paid attention in the last year, 19% (vs. 10%) acted on and 37% (vs. 33%) shared it.
Also, they are more interested in health-related information (66% vs. 59% of all urban paid attention, 29% vs. 21% acted on), but share it less (40% vs. 47%). They pay more attention to information about the products they buy (66% vs. 56% of all urban), but they talk less about it (41% vs. 47%). Another important insight is that Romanians in small communities are less interested in inspirational messages (15% vs. 26% in Bucharest).
The study was conducted by iSense Solutions exclusively for Golin and included a qualitative stage (ethnographic interviews), as well as a quantitative stage on a sample of 500 respondents, urban and rural Internet users, aged 18-65 years. The data was collected online through the ResearchRomania.ro panel in August 2017 and are representative at national level. The results of the survey have an error rate of +/- 4,38%, at a confidence level of 95%.
Golin Romania is affiliated to one of the greatest international PR networks, Golin Worldwide, being the first office opened in CEE by the American company which has 50 offices around the world. Golin Romania is part of a group of companies which also includes MullenLowe (advertising), Initiative (media), Profero (digital), Medic One (healthcare communication) and BPN (media), and has been multi-awarded and finalist at major international and local festivals such as Golden Hammer, ADC*RO, Cristal Festival, CSR Awards, European Excellence Awards, IPRA Awards, PR Award Romania, Sabre Awards, Webstock, Internetics, IAB MIXX Awards.