The marketer must also cautiously select key advertising words because of their perceptions among the classes which could cause problem. Consider, for example, potential class reactions to an advertisement for a soap product used to wash baby clothes. In a motivation study of soaps and detergents it was learned that middle class women associated the words darling sweet or mother with the word baby while lower class women reacted with such terms as pain in the neck, more work or a darling but a bother.
In addition certain voice and speech patterns may be more influential than others for specific consumer segments. Thus, speakers with upper class voices and speech patterns can appear more credible to higher classes than low status sounding speakers.
Consequently, marketers must understand they market thoroughly and communicate meaningfully to it within the range of their skills. The media patterns of each class are described below as well as some possible promotional appeals.
Uppers: The upper classes tend to buy more newspapers, read more of the newspaper, see more magazines, and watch less television than other classes. They also listen to FM radio.
Upper Middles: The media choices of this group tend towards FM radio, particularly classical music stations, magazines such as Time, Fortune, Vogue, The New Yorker, Consumer Reports and House & Garden and newspaper. The upper middle class does not fully embrace television, worrying about its effect on their children. Nevertheless they do watch significant amounts, with their programming tastes tending toward current events and drama. Because of late diner hours and bedtimes they have a high exposure to late night television shows, such as the Tonight Show and Nightline.
This group and the upper classes represent challenge targets to the marketer in developing promotion appeals. They tend to be more critical of advertising are suspicious of its emotional appeals, and questions its claims. They usually display an attitude of sophisticated superiority to it. This is not to say, however that they are unresponsive to advertising. They can be attracted by approaches that are different , individualistic, witty, sophisticated, stylish that appeal to good judgment and discriminating taste and that offer the kinds of objects and symbols that are significant to their status and self expression goals.
Middle class: this group tends to read morning newspapers and magazines such as Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Good Housekeeping and Ladies Home Journal and watches a good deal of television. This group as well as the working class takes a rather straight forward, literal minded and pragmatic approach to advertising. Effective promotion appeals are those portraying the home and relating use of the product to success as a homemaker and mother. Labor saving products such as instant foods, for example, are best promoted in a way that also satisfies conscientiousness.
Although attracted by discount coupons, this group is careful in the use of them. They want to be sure that the incentive is worth the effort and that they are being sensible in their use of them.
Working Class: The media choices of this group tend toward AM radio, heavy television viewing especially soap operas, game shows situation comedies variety shows, and late movies, magazines such as True Story and afternoon and tabloid newspapers. For example, The Star, The National Enquirer, and Midnight Globe sell 11 million copies a week, primarily to women who are over age 46, in blue collar households, who are high school graduates of slightly lower income than average and with larger than average households. Psychologically, such readers believe miracle cures are fascinating, politicians are dishonest, UFOs are real, and abortions should be outlawed.
A study made by Social Research Inc., of the women in this group found that some interesting changes are taking place, which could have relevance to the marketer’s promotional strategy:
Although they are no longer captives of husband, children and homes and have a new desire for independence, these women recent efforts to put down the role of wife mother and homemaker.
Most have new interest in their communities and jobs:
They want products that will free them from housework or contribute to their comfort or gratification
This class is also the most receptive group to sales promotion offers. They are eager to take advantage of many of the offers that come their way, to cut costs or get something extra.