The FINANCIAL — “The FINANCIAL” continues to publish analytic publications prepared by “Terra Media”. The following publication includes the outcomes of the tracking research. Tracking research over the phone is a unique to Georgia project and is implemented on a daily basis.
The research sample constitutes 2,150 respondents. The tracking research project is being implemented jointly by the marketing centre “Terra media”, information service 09, and analytic group “gesomar”. The publication analyzes data about oil product consumption in Tbilisi over the last 5 months.
According to the joint data the top five companies of oil products can be identified, who collectively represent 82% of the market. The main competitors in the field are Lukoil and Wissol. Rompetrol takes third place in the list, while the fourth and fifth places are held respectively by Eco Georgia and Socar.
Together with the joint data it is important to analyse company ratings by different periods.
For the October-February period the following assumption can be made:
During this period, the company Wissol had a very significant gap according to the number of customers, which resulted in an increase in the number of customers of the other companies. Later the company tried to improve the gap and return to its previous status. Despite this, Wissol only manages to take second place in the rating list and is still far behind its main competitor Lukoil. In December and January Wissol maintained the same position but we can see a trend in the reduction of customer numbers for Lukoil and Rompetrol. At the same time, we see strengthening positions of other companies, Eco Georgia, Socar and regular pump stations (without brand names), which took only the minimal segment of the market before. In January and February we see more activity from Lukoil, which reaches the same rate as its main competitor Wissol. During the same time, Wissol also increases its customer numbers, but not to the same extent as Lukoil. Also the quantity of customers for all other companies reduces in equal numbers.
Despite attempts by Wissol and Lukoil to return to the position they held in the month of October, they were not able to reach their goal by February, however there are signs of these two companies being most active. According to the assumptions made based on the current tendencies, given that Wissol and Lukoil activity remains the same, by the month of March, these two companies should hold strong positions and be at the top of the ratings list.
Fluctuations in the numbers of customers for the companies may be connected to the varying degree of advertising activities within the period of October to February. Wissol is leading the market in terms of advertising presence.
In general, the main purpose of advertising is that the customers remember about the company and spontaneously or with the intent and decision what comes first to the mind is the name of the company being advertised.
For the period, when the knowledge of Wissol advertisements is very low (in the month of November), the number of customers is also very low. For the next period there is a significant increase in the awareness levels of Wissol advertising and respectively, there is an increase in customer numbers.
In general, the fluctuations in the numbers of customers are directly correlated with the level of knowledge about the company’s advertisements.
As for the types of services being used, during the survey there was no variation demonstrated in the types of services customers would get from the petrol stations – demand on petrol, diesel and gas maintain the same proportions. Also, changes in the customer numbers of any company do not correlate with the types of fuel being used.
According to the date, the most important element for the customers is the quality of fuel. Fuel price and every other factor seems to be decisive for the customers.
By the research periods, the customers are dissatisfied with the quality of the fuel in November. This is the period, when one of the market leaders – Wissol – starts to have significantly reduced customer numbers. In this period the reason of cheap fuel in choosing a particular station increased. Based on this information we can conclude that:
In the month of December Wissol in fact supplied low quality fuel, which resulted in significant losses in customer numbers. Later we see an increase in advertising and improvements in the petrol quality, however despite the efforts being made, the company could not regain customers that had switched to other companies.
In the case of Lukoil, reasons for the fluctuations in customer numbers are not clearly visible. However, it is clearly seen that when the number of customers for Lukoil and Wissol decrease, there is an increase in the number of customers for other fuel pump stations and this is logical because the customers stay within the same market. Customers do not disappear from the market unless there is some cataclysm happening. It should be noted that in such situations, customer numbers increase for regular (without brand name) pump stations and not other brands. We can assume that:
When we discuss the quality of fuel, the brands are viewed as the suppliers of the same quality of fuel products and if one of the brands provides low quality fuel, the customers think that all stations provide similar quality of fuel and thus the demand for non-brand fuel stations increases.