Straddling Eastern Europe and western Asia, Turkey is a fairly large country covering an area of about 780,000 square Kilometers, with a population of about 78.5 million. Based on figures from a 2012 survey, half of this population is estimated to be less than 30 years of age, something which provides businesses with a unique opportunity (Euromonitor, 2014) (Guven, 2014).
With regards to marketing, a marketing mix simply refers to the planned blend of the following elements of a products marketing plan, also commonly termed as the 4 Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. A more recent trend however, has been the use of the 4 Cs of marketing, which challenge the more traditional 4 Ps. They are Consumer, Cost, Convenience and Communication.
In addition to the above demographics, it is worth noting that based on a report on consumer lifestyles in Turkey by the Euromonitor International, one of the things that greatly stands out, is the rising interest in the use of social media, which has in a number of ways, directly affected consumer habits (Euromonitor, 2014).
With regards to mobile and internet penetration, it is estimated that at least 87% of this population are subscribed to a mobile telephony service. At least 30% of these mobile subscribers can access 3G mobile internet services. Overall, it is estimated that at least 46% of the Turkish population have internet access. These figures are based on 2013 statistics conducted by internetworstats.com, by now the figures could have only grown (Guven, 2014).
What this provides companies with is a digital marketing platform through which they can increase consumer sensitization to their products, a trend which has been on the rise in Turkey. At least 70% of these internet users are between the age of 16 and 34. Most of them live in the larger cities of this country and are a vibrant group that is adaptive to new trends and technologies. They are typically the group of people that like to keep up with the latest smart phones and most fashionable clothes designs a strong selling advantage for companies in these industries.
Most of these consumers spend their time online on their mobile devices accessing social media platforms, browsing, engaging in social shopping and gaming. This avails to companies a marketing opportunity through social media platforms such as face book, (which is by far the most popular), and twitter, (whose uptake is steadily rising). More so, at least 52% of the online gamers are willing to spend money on these games. For companies, this spells out more potential, not just for placing ads on gaming sites, but also for in-gaming advertising (Joinville, n.d.). And while using these online marketing platforms, it is important for a company to take into account that nearly the entire population in Turkey are Turkish speakers and most do not speak English, or any other language for that matter. For a company to launch a successful online campaign, they stand to gain a greater advantage when they do it in the local language.
However, it is worth noting that despite these impressive figures of a great online presence, little of it translates to actual sales. Some of the statistics that exist on online sales largely include one time buyers, which makes the online market seem more promising than it actually is. More so, it is estimated that only about 0.7% of the total retail sales are generated online. Therefore, the above statistics may stand to help future online marketing efforts, not current ones.
It is also important to take into consideration that the Turkish consumers are especially price and discount sensitive. They are a people that enjoy having value for their money. This translates to low sales frequency, as well as low online spending per buyer (Guven, 2014).
Expounding more on the provision of services, three other factors come into play in addition to the 4 Ps to make up the 7 Ps of service marketing. They are People, Process and Physical environment/evidence.
Taking people into consideration, Turkey can be said to be a mixture of both the eastern and western worlds, something which introduces multi-culturalism. However, it is worth noting that the Turkish people are largely an Islamic population and because of this, Islam has always been an important symbolic system, and has in many ways influenced their culture. It would therefore be prudent to avoid using a marketing strategy that would in any way insult the Islamic faith, and to also use culturally neutral marketing strategies. Banking services, for instance, have largely benefited and continue to benefit from the introduction of Islamic banking a service that appeals to the culture of the place.
Combining process and physical environment, food industries, such as restaurants, can lay more emphasis on the interior design, in addition to the quality of service offered, in ways that appeal to the culture of the Turkish community while creating a pleasant ambiance. That way, customers are more satisfied; something which would guarantee their return.
Depending on the product or service industry, a company is bound to use a number of marketing strategies to attain the right mix to suit their customer, while serving their interests. It is also important to note that the mix chosen is bound to change depending on the change in consumer habits.
Euromonitor, 2014. Market Research on Turkey. [Online] Available at: http://www.euromonitor.com/turkey
Guven, A., 2014. Marketing in Turkey. [Online] Available at: http://www.idgconnectmarketers.com/blog-abstract/7440/interview-insight-marketing-turkey
Joinville, n.d. Guide to the Online Advertising Market in Turkey. [Online] Available at: http://joinville.se/guide-to-the-online-advertising-market-in-turkey/
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