Developing Country Turkey: Digital Media Revolution

Imagine going from being something rather on the small scale, slightly insignificant, and uneconomically interesting, to becoming something so massive and explosive, in which even other international foreign investors are now looking at you and your great potential, this phenomenon happened in the small republic of Turkey. Turkey is located both in Western Asia and Southeastern Europe, surrounded by 8 countries making it an important energy and logistics corridor, linking Europe with the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Turkey is a country that is at the top of lists for emerging markets and advertising. Although many speak Kurdish and Arabic the official language of Turkey is Turkish. The population is 99% Muslim with the remaining composed of Orthodox Christians, Catholic, Protestant Christians, and Judaism. Turkish people are very modest people, and they consider family and relationships very important, Turkey scored a 37 in the individualism sector which shows that the country is based more on us then I, and people belong to groups, families, and organizations. Furthermore, Turkey is an immerging nation with a steady growing market economy, which has been steadily growing over the years. Over the last few years, Turkey has become a technology hub and has underwent a major transformation, that has allowed it to propelled forward due to the advancement, immergence, and implementation of technology, deeming it as being a trend setter in technology for other immerging European countries. E-commerce and digital sales have skyrocketed into the billions just in 2012 alone, and this new transformation is catching the attention of foreign investors, which could potentially change the face of Turkey’s economy in coming years.

Turkey just like any country has uniqueness to their business etiquette. As similar as a country’s etiquette and manners may seem to other countries around it, there are always going to be differences between them. In Turkey although it’s common to shake hands at a meeting when departing, shaking hands isn’t required. Whereas in America especially in the business world the meet and departure are usually always followed by a hand shake. The hand shake solidifies a mutual appreciation for each person’s time that they took to meet. When two people are friends or family the greeting is usually a kiss or two on the cheek. In the U.S. a greeting among family and friends is usually a hug and sometimes a single kiss on the cheek.

In Turkey when someone is entering a room if they aren’t greeted that person is supposed to greet the most elderly or senior person in the room. Whereas in the U.S. it doesn’t matter what kind of function usually the first person seen is greeted. Then after this occurs that person just continues around the room. The only exception is if they are greeted first they usually are engaged by an assistant or a person with a lower authority that eventually introduces them to the other members in the room.

In most of the businesses in this country it is frowned upon to give gifts. If gifts are given it is usually viewed as a bribe and is a breach in most codes of ethics. In Turkey however gifts are acceptable. It will actually be a sign of disrespect if a gift is offered and not taken. In Turkey most business events are at restaurants. The difference is that the host of the event is required to pay for the meal. Although it is generous as a guest to offer to pitch in, it will not be taken. Also on many occasions the host will tell the restaurant manager to not let anyone accept payment from any of the guests in their party.

When you want to meet with someone in Turkey you should schedule an appointment 1 to 2 weeks ahead of time. Also appointments should not be scheduled between July and August this is the time most will take their summer vacations. Punctuality for meetings is very important. However it’s kind of a norm to wait even if you get to the meeting on time. Unlike in the U.S. the first meeting with someone is a social one. Turkish people like to get to know someone and be comfortable with them before they begin doing business.

Family is very important to Turkish people. It is even important to the employers. Most employers will create policies in order to help their employees to balance family and work. Turkish men spend far less time doing domestic work than that of men in other countries. Men hold more high status occupations, such as in business, the military, government, the professions, and academia, which are more jobs in the public. Women hold more of the domestic jobs, those that are in the lower class, as you go higher up the economic social class, women hold more prestige occupations, and though it’s not common or encouraged women have occupations in the public like men, more women have begun to have more jobs in the public.

Consumer lifestyles in Turkey revolve significantly around the digital world. With the existence of the internet, Turkish people are so attached to their devices. They have tablets, smartphones, iPhones, and laptops. They utilize all of these devices as consumers. In America it seems that it is more split. People do shop online but they do just as much of in-store shopping. The influence of the internet, particularly social networking sites, has been significant in recent year in shaping consumer habits and attitudes. Among newer trends generating excitement amongst consumers is the greater demand for private pensions, schemes that allow consumers to better plan their finances, and the rising acceptance of using credit cards for purchases. Islamic banking is on the rise in Turkey, growing use of credit cards by university students as well as credit card use in online payments. Turkish consumers tend to shop online during the afternoon and evening and Turks are increasing demand for private pensions.

In Turkey culture is the most fundamental determinant of a person’s wants and behavior. According to some surveys that were conducted in Turkey spread over 7 regions it can be said that the majority of the consumers believe that the most important factors in buying goods and services are environment and friends, culture and tradition, and occupational social group. With these results it is believed that they shop where they believe there are good quality products because it is trusting to their friends, culture, and social group. Consumer lifestyles in Turkey also continue to mirror those in other European countries. Consumers in the U.S are much more advanced with the use of credit cards and shopping around the clock online but Turkey is not far behind.

It comes to no surprise, that the Internet is the most commonly utilized media in Turkey. It has transformed the way of life for those in Turkey, in how they operate in business, politics, and in their daily personal lives. Turkey became a digital and social media society practically overnight. In the last few years Turkey has experienced an almost near digital media revolution, with its reported 80 million in population. In Turkey, internet usage has drastically increased from 2013 – 2015, nearly 45% of the population accesses the internet, which breaks down to nearly 35 million internet users. Furthermore, Turkey is also among other countries with a strong social media presence, nearly 39 million people use Facebook, which ranks Turkey as being the 4th largest in global usage of Facebook, and in 2013 there were nearly 10 million Twitter users, and Turkey ranked as the 8th largest user. Turkey is now considered the 13th largest global online population and the 6th largest western European online population.

Turkey is a developing country, and a fast growing emerging global market, it has experienced such an increase in digital usage due in part to its growing population of youth. Research shows that a staggering 54% of Turkey’s online population is under the age of 34, with 38% of users being between the ages of 15 – 24, with males being the most prevalent users, the younger generation is faster at adopting new technologies, causing such a rapid increase in internet usage. As mentioned before, Turkey has a vastly growing emerging market due in part to its sizeable internet population which has produced a reaction for action effect. In other words, this new digital age has produced a digital economy, comprising of e-commerce, e-government, e-health and e-education services. Additionally, among the other popular forms of media in Turkey are Television in second, with a reported 44 million broadband subscribers in this year alone, newspaper, radio, with magazine and book reading in last.

 

Although, with the number in internet and mobile users in Turkey, a turning point is being established. For example, according to research, in 2012 91% of all Turkish users accessed video online, and 4.6 billion videos were accessed in Turkey in the year 2012, and more online news is being accessed more so than through newspapers, people are now preferring to watch more television online, and access their current events via online.

To reiterate, there is always a reaction to every action, as in the case with Turkey, with its vastly growing online population, there has been no absenteeism from government regulations for internet users, especially in relations to issues of politics and terrorism. For example, recently in September 2015, according to an article in the Sunday’s Zaman online newspaper, Twitter users were unable to access the popular website, and this was not the first time. Twitter had previously been blocked when photos of a terrorist holding a gun to an important officials head, hours before he was killed. Furthermore, the site was blocked when a collection of audio tapings of the President himself and his family, were leaked, which lead to a corruption scandal, and detentions were issued due to that. In addition, most notably, Twitter could possibly be blocked soon, due to a whistleblower making serious allegations against the President of Turkey son, following allegations of corruption.  There have been a slew of these instances of popular social media websites being blocked in the country of Turkey, including YouTube, which was banned for 30 months, certain keywords in the google search engines, including the word free, and censors have been placed on “politically sensitive” words on Facebook. Issues like these could pose as issues for incoming business or markets, seeing as the government is able to place barriers or restrictions on what they consider to be sensitive or inappropriate content, which leads me to my next point.

There are few political and national barriers that will prevent U.S businesses from doing business in Turkey, whether big or small. Turkey has a parliamentary democracy government, with the President and Prime Minister being the two most important figure heads of the nation. Turkey and the U.S have a mutually positive relationship, Turkey has been a Nato ally since 1952, and according to the bureau of European and Eurasian affairs the, “U.S and Turkey relationship is focused on areas such as regional security and stability, and economic cooperation”. In addition, the U.S stands in solidarity with Turkey in the fight against terrorism. Therefore, Issues with barrier would present themselves if a business provided products or services that were politically sensitive.

It would be beneficial to utilize a localized campaign, localized campaigns are originally conceived for nationally application, and are then modified for use in other countries. Turkey has many western features and is very accepting of foreigners and are very respective of outsider’s beliefs and religions. Moreover, according to market research, young consumers are aware of ads and actually prefer choosing products of western taste. Additionally, consumers in Turkey are keener to new foreign products such as Asian products that are more inexpensive, and western products that they consider to be more luxurious and modern in nature.

Likewise, due to the popularity of western traits being present in the Turkish culture, its possible western traits and trends, in the aspect of advertising, would be able to be utilized in our main advertising strategy, however with some variations. It would be important to include Turkish actors in the commercials for that ethnicity connection, as well insuring the commercial is produced using the Turkish language. Furthermore, according to research found on ‘marketing a business in Turkey’, it’s still important to understand Turkey is predominately a Muslim country, and the same taglines, gimmicks, and humors may not be successful when advertising in Turkey, in fact it can make or break the success of your product or service.  In our marketing strategy, in terms of different approaches compared to the U.S. our ads will culture-centered and non-politically sensitive, it would be important that we censor ourselves so as not to relate any of our ads to anything politically related. Similarly, we will be sensitive in how we address Islamic traditions, and ads catered toward women. In conclusion, we may create more ads catered toward the younger generations and males, since the youth are more of the consumers, specifically males of internet usage and online content, bringing me to my last point.

Marketing Communication

Metropcs is one of the leading phone service providers in the United States and more recently Mexico, the company recently teamed up with T-Mobile, where 4G Lite plans are now available on the T-Mobile network, the #2 service provider in the U.S. Metropcs offers a $30 plan, which comes with 2GB of data usage, $40 and $50 plans, and a $60 plan which comes with unlimited data usage, each equipped with free talk and text, no annual contracts, and is available on the fast moving T-Mobile 4G LTE network. Metropcs is currently not available on any other national markets at this time, however it would be a great service for Turkey.

Currently, there are 28 million smart phone users in Turkey, and this number is expected to grow to nearly 40 million in 2018, according to statistical data, Turkey is one of the leading developing nations in smart phone users, and internet usage. In fact consumer electronics were 2nd in the highest e-commerce sales in 2012, right after digital content and subscriptions.  There are three leading phone providers in Turkey Turkcell, Avea, and Vodafone. Metropc’s main competitor is Turkcell, which is the leading phone provider in Turkey, they offer other services and products, such as Internet, smartphones, and tablets, among other things. Phone services in Turkey operate differently than most leading providers in the U.S, in terms of packages. Meaning, users can pay a monthly fee, however they have a set amount of minutes for talking, texting and Internet usage. In addition, users have the option of buying add-ons, such as calling, texting, or Internet cards separately without a set plan. In saying that, Metropcs will be able to offer affordable and quality phone service packages, however will need to provide appealing competitive advantages into an already established and popular market in Turkey.

Therefore our service plans and features for Metropcs will be our break in market and advertising strategy. Out of all of Turkcell’s phone services, the All-in-one packages are the better deals for your dollars, its lowest package includes 500 limited talk minutes, 1000 text messages, and a 4GB limited data plan, starting from 59€ which equates to $64.00 in U.S dollars. In contrast to Metropcs, which offers the same Internet data plan, but with unlimited talk and text, and no annual contract for only $40 dollars monthly. Like Metropcs, users must purchase their phones first from Turkcell, however phones are made available free with an annual contract, in contrast to Metropcs, where there are no annual contracts so users are not paying for their monthly bill along with the cost of their phones, another advantage over competitors. Metropcs offers the best talk, text, and data plan services, at the best affordable prices compared to all other service providers in Turkey, which is the main competitive advantage.

The main goal of our advertising campaign would be to inform those in our target audience about our products and service plans, and get as many conversions from other service providers to Metropcs as possible within the first year of business, by establishing our brand identity, and effectively connecting with our target audience and mirroring their needs and wants. Our target audience are the main internet and smart phone users, those between the ages of 15-24 both male and female, though more catered to men, since they are the main consumers of internet usage in Turkey according to research studies, In addition, those within city and suburban areas, and from low income to middle class social class.

Due to the nature of popular advertising media, in television and internet, majority of the advertising budget would go towards television and online marketing. There are over 44 million broadband subscribers in Turkey, and 20 national channels, and there is at least 1 television in every home. We will navigate away from using heavy dosages of humor in our ads instead we incorporate some western styles, trends, and natures and will feature the young generation in 30-60 second spots, in their natural habitats, such as at schools, parties, business, sporting events, with family, and other social events. The choice to use some western ideals in our ads, is due in part to consumer buying habits, which according to research show Turkish youth are keener to wester products, and themselves display some western attributes. In addition we will also feature ads that show patriotism, as studies show Turkish people are very proud of where they come from, and can tell you much information about their families origins, and are always happy to tell foreigners about their country, it would then be beneficial to reiterate this patriotic pride. Lastly, we will be incorporating product placements, and endorsements from popular celebrities and athletes. These ads will run Monday – Friday, during daytime and prime hours, and also weekend during sporting events and movies. Through these ads, we want to convey to our audiences that no matter where you may go, or be at any given moment, be concerned with being in that moment and enjoying it, and no concerned with using all of your minutes, text messages, and data.

Furthermore, we will use online marketing on the most popular platforms in Turkey, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. According to market research in Europe, including Turkey from comScore, data shows video ads are effective almost immediately, and with a latency effect. This data also showed that as time progressed and the frequency of an ad was displayed there was more site visitation to that ad and this research also showed that as more accountability measures are put in place to measure online advertising, more money will be spent in online advertising.  Additionally, In terms of creative, it may be beneficial to have the most popular channels or YouTuber’s on Turkey YouTube to endorse our products and services, currently the most popular channels are in entertainment, such as ‘Turkish Music, which according to research from comScore reaches 8.5 million Turkish streamers a month and ‘Netd Mzik’ and ‘Cem Ylma’ who have between 1-2 million subscribers. In conclusion, we will also incorporate other forms of traditional advertising such as newspaper and magazine advertising, as well as print advertising, such as in the forms of outside posters and displays.

Turkey is an emerging and rapidly developing nation, and technology has propelled them, even ahead of other countries making them digital trend setters. International businesses, moreover even in the U.S are looking at Turkey and its emerging markets, and believe that within the next decade Turkey will have a strong and developed economy for other and new business sectors. Furthermore, due to such an immense growth and popularity e-commerce, it has made way for a variety of foreign investors to enter into the Turkish market, just in 2012 alone, data shows the Turkish e-commerce market reached $25 billion dollars. Digital technology has changed the face of the planet, and has changed the ways in which we are active in this world, it is providing a slew of opportunities for nations all around the world to become leaders through various markets and in business, it is making ways for immerging countries to become beacons of hope and gain new success, putting a more brighter future in the world we live in today. It is also possible that with this booming use of technology in Turkey, which it may even begin to change the face of how technology is used in business. Presently, more technology is used by youth and for purposes of entertainment, however is not yet heavily used in the business sector, however those same youth using technology, will transcribe or infuse that knowledge of technology eventually into their workplaces which could open a new window of opportunity. In ending, Turkey has provided new insights into the powerful capabilities of technology in immerging countries, and has provided an inside look as to how technology has and will continue to change the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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