Turkey two-speed market for retailers, executive says

Turkey two-speed market for retailers, executive says

Servet Yeşilyurt ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey two-speed market for retailers, executive says

Altavia Chief Executive Raphael Palti. Company photo

Turkey has a two-speed consumer market with rather mature big cities and consumption-hungry smaller towns, the founder and chief executive of Altavia, a leading European marketing partner and publishing services provider, has said.

“There is a slight difference between big towns and other towns in Turkey. It seems in very big towns the market is more or less mature. … Turkey is a very big country with a lot of people who wish to consume. Maybe there are two speeds today in the country,” Raphael Palti told the Hürriyet Daily News during an interview recently.

Altavia has more than 300 clients in Europe, 250 of which are retailers, Palti said. It was founded in 1983 by Palti in France. The group, which offers solutions in marketing and publishing services, is present in 18 countries in Europe and China. The consolidated turnover of the company in 2011 was about 609 million euros. Today the turnover of the company comes 30 percent from marketing services and 70 percent from publishing services, Palti said.

Palti, who came to Turkey 20 years ago for the first time and started Altavia’s Turkish unit about 10 years ago, is no stranger to Turkey. In fact he has a deeper connection with the country.

“My family was from Turkey. I still have some relatives here. My father went to France when he was 3 months old. My grandmother was from İzmir and my grandfather was from Istanbul. They emigrated to first to Italy and then to France in 1927,” he said.

More promotional than Europe

“The communication for retail business is more promotional than in Europe.” “I think Turkish people like living very much, taking pleasure in the moment. They like to play games, to bet, to win. … Tech business is very important here in Turkish market. People like to have the latest technology, which is a little bit different from some countries in Europe, where people tend to be more traditional, more preventive, more thinking about the future.”

“Turkish consumers are very price-oriented,” adds Altavia Türkiye Chief Executive Zeynep Necipoğlu, who was present at the interview, noting that advertising campaigns are pushier in the Turkish consumer market than those in Europe.

“The old continent is much more conservative. They hold [their] money. Turkish people are much more consumer-minded,” she said. “I think Turkish people use credit a lot,” Palti added.

Many of Altavia’s customers in Turkey are international firms, but more and more Turkish companies praise the value of marketing ideas and are willing to pay for it, he said.