A basic task to get to know people better is to define their characteristics. The more we know about them the better conclusions we can reach about them. In market research, one of the variables that is used the most is the Socioeconomic Level. However, despite its wide use, we sometimes ignore aspects of this criterion that allows us to classify consumers into groups with common general behaviors. Today we will tell you some five facts about this exciting topic.
- At least in Brazil and Mexico, socioeconomic levels are determined by national private organizations specialized in market research and public opinion. In Brazil, the organization in charge in charge of issuing the rule is ABEP (the Portuguese acronym for the Brazilian Association of Research Companies). In the Mexican case, it is the AMAI (abbreviated in Spanish for the Mexican Association of Market Intelligence and Public Opinion Agencies) that directs the efforts to regulate the criterion.
- Although a universal or regional criterion would help to be able to compare the socioeconomic levels between people from different countries, each one usually has its own rule. This is due, among other reasons, to the fact that each place is different and therefore the criteria are adapted to characterize the nationals in the best possible way. In addition, in each country a unique work team is brought together to carry out relevant research with the data available in order to define the scores and levels for use by most companies.
- The nomenclature is also not universal between the different sites. Neither is the number of levels. To cite three examples, in Brazil today they are working with 6 socioeconomic strata: A, B1, B2, C1, C2, and D-E. In Chile these are called socioeconomic groups and use seven levels: AB, C1a, C1b, C2, C3, D and E. In Mexico 7 socioeconomic levels are used: AB, C +, C, C-, D +, D and E.
- Regarding validity, each issuing organization periodically reviews the criteria in order to update them when necessary. ABEP has issued revisions in 2003, 2008 (several in the same year), 2009, annually from 2012 to 2016, and again each year from 2018 to 2020. AMAI has issued updates or revisions in 1994, 1997, 2000 (standard and short), 2008, 2011 and 2018 (with revision in 2020 without major changes).
- In general, the socioeconomic levels seek to define the characteristics of the households understood as the relationship between the dwelling and the group of people that inhabit it. It is advisable to know this condition in depth to avoid making deductions on individuals and their income based exclusively on the level to which they claim their home belongs. Not all members of a household are engaged in the same activities or have the same academic preparation, also spending and income are not the same among households of the same socioeconomic level in different places in the same country.
Perhaps the data we listed above make it appear that using socioeconomic levels is a complex task. It is if they are used in multinational projects or studies. In these cases, the most common solution is to apply the current criteria in each place. However, given the experience of market analysts at each site, everyday use of this topic can be trusted to give them a practical mastery of the local rule.
At Acertiva we have a team of experts in the application of scores to determine the socioeconomic level of consumers. Come to us to solve your doubts and share your needs with us. Your next success story is right around the corner. What are you waiting for?