80% Indians Trust And Rely On Traditional Media To Make Big Decisions, While Consumption Patterns Are Governed By Word Of Mouth: CHA-CHI INDIA IN-DEPTH SURVEY 2022

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2nd November 2022: An on-ground survey of 2000 Indians, over 100 days and 200 cities has confirmed that Indians are still old school when it comes to making opinions or decisions. If it is a decision to invest in gold or property, holiday or save, or who to vote for, it is most likely inspired by what media reports in the newspaper and on electronic news channels. Among the available news channels, regional is gold. The survey also found that, on average, people in India consume news from traditional tools more than from social media (80% vs 60%). In the survey, traditional media forms of advertising that have been around for years, and include radio, broadcast television, cable, print, and billboards.

Buying a phone, clothing, or imitation jewelry are still things that are ruled by word of mouth. If we have been given a recommendation by a friend, we trust it. Then comes social media and WhatsApp groups. Over 56% of Indians trust the recommendations they receive on WhatsApp groups, as against a mere 24% trusting influencers. Entertainment, on the other hand, is an influencer’s territory, with 71% relying on WhatsApp videos, followed by Facebook to get their daily dose of laughter or spirituality. This is mostly the content they begin their days with. Those without smartphones depend on their peer circle for it.

India in-depth is an endeavor by Cha-Chi to gain a deeper understanding of what influences India and how can brands approach communications in an adequate manner to create conversations and engagements among Indians at large. The survey was conducted through an all-India tour between the months of September and December in the year 2021. Led by a team of experts, including Cha-Chi co-founder, Priyanka Rana and head of events, Shivgeet Singh Hooda, India in-depth is one of its kind analysis available to brand marketers and communication experts. The survey conductors traveled a span of 32,714 km in a span of 101 days to gather responses.

“India is diverse, and as we travelled across cities, we observed how different our consumption patterns have been. A businessman in Gujarat May think absolutely differently from a businessman in Maharashtra. These 100 days made us realise that apart from language and food, even regional media holds as much importance when it comes to influencing big decisions for the masses,” said Priyanka Rana, Co-founder of Cha-Chi.

The survey further shows how men and women are in charge of making different decisions around the country, and not much is left in the woman’s kitty when it comes to spending money, even on household goods. 63% agreed to have only followed which brand to buy on the basis of their cost or as decided by their male counterparts.

Shivgeet Singh Hooda, India in-depth’s pilot and Cha-Chi’s event lead adds, “The challenges of conducting an on-ground survey are huge. Some days we even went without water or electricity, and sometimes with only one meal a day but at the end of the trip, there has been only gratitude for what our rich land offers and people that make it rewarding.”

“All the respondents we reached out to were gracious enough to help us without any inhibitions and filters. We received more insights than what we could have asked for.” Hooda added.

The survey also found that Indians across the nation are very familiar with all new digital technologies and mediums but often don’t consider them as the defacto news sources, with much identifying social media as a source of fake news. Overall, the survey concludes that the patterns of news consumption have changed over time as the audience tends to become more aware and consume selective news, however, not drastically. The biggest change driver was the pandemic because it changed customer preferences, buying, and entertainment behavior in general. “However, the trends show that this will change soon as the Indian M&E industry is on an impressive growth path, much faster rate than the global average with the rural region being a potentially profitable target,” Priyanka further explained.