Largest worldwide auto market gains interest in luxury vehicles

Female and urban drivers are growing segments in China’s luxury vehicle market, which are pushing the industry to grow 5.4 percent in the next eight years.

Frost & Sullivan’s “China Luxury Car Market, Forecast to 2025” found that 10 percent of 24 million passenger vehicles sold in China last year were luxury models. In China, compact SUVs and C-compact sedans were the most popular models of luxury automobiles.

“Compact SUV and C-Compact sedan are the most preferred luxury car segments in China. Increasing adoption by female and urban drivers, as well as the price conscious, will drive the demand for luxury cars from individual customers over the long term,” said Ming Lin Chan, senior research analyst of APAC mobility practice at Frost & Sullivan.

Automotive advancement

Chinese women are now looking for investments and vehicles that reflect their success within their careers, which is pushing the luxury segment forward.

Drivers born in the 1990s and 2000s in China are also likely to drive the luxury auto sector as well. As they all come of age and are allowed to operate a vehicle, they are likely to look for one that will elevate their social status.

Frost & Sullivan encourages luxury automakers to reposition their branding to include China and cater to affluent individuals who are likely to respond to a positive custom experience.

Augmented reality and holographic projections are two of many strategies and themes brands can use to integrate themselves into the Chinese market.

The report predicts that the luxury segment will dominate more than 60 percent of market share by the year 2025.

This is extremely important, as China is by far the largest auto segment worldwide.

Mercedes, Audi and BMW are the most popular luxury passenger vehicles in China, with a combined 68.8 percent of market share across SUVs and sedans last year. European automotive original equipment manufacturers lead the luxury car market in China.

Plug-in hybrids and battery-operated electric vehicles are expected to gain greater traction in the market thanks to Tesla and government encouragement. However, gas powertrain cars are expected to remain strong in China’s luxury segment over the long-term.

Technologies such as automation and smartphone connectivity are big drivers for the Chinese segment. Apple CarPlay is the most popular form of infotainment-connected service, while Android Auto is prohibited in China.

Additional insight

Luxury automakers should be leading the way in innovation, especially with digital, but a report from L2 shows that mass-market auto brands are driving laps around high-end manufacturers.

L2’s Digital IQ Index for the auto industry revealed that Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and Aston Martin are among the few automakers whose mobile sites lack any investment, with load times more than five seconds long. Mercedes was the only luxury brand listed within the top five rankings for digital offerings.

Almost half of the automotive sales growth in China this year has come from luxury brands, driven by consumers’ increasing household wealth and consumer confidence.

According to a report from Scotiabank, in March global automotive sales were up 1.2 percent over the previous year, with China one of the key forces behind this growth. As the Asian market becomes increasingly important to luxury auto brands, OEMs are set to benefit from newly eased regulations in China.

“Luxury automotive brands are adopting cutting-edge technologies such as augmented reality and holographic projections to ensure high brand engagement,” Mr. Chan said.

Source: luxurydaily.com; 5 June 2018

China’s hip-hop ban: lessons for brands

Why all hope isn’t lost for brands looking to tap Chinese counterculture.

In the summer of 2017, China’s mainstream video streaming platform iQiyi released a very special singing contest, The Rap Of China.

It was special, because the genre was largely a fringe artform in urban hubs, even though Taiwanese singer Jay Chou’s R&B influenced brand of hip-hop first entered into mainstream music more than a decade ago. But each of the 12 episodes of The Rap Of China—hip hop’s first appearance on mainstream TV—got between 200 and 300 million views. All of a sudden, music with a stronger hip-hop flavour became mainstream.

At first, its rise was dismissed by the government as a ‘foreign-born’ homage, an inevitable by-product of the cultural globalisation of the noughties that saw Eminem and 50 Cent find their way onto the walls of Chinese middle-class bedrooms. Yes, there was the inevitable display of streetwear and bling posturing. Chou eventually launched his streetwear label PHANTACi.

But there was something different about hip-hop in China. The lyrics often talked about overbearing parents, urban boredom and the desire to travel the world. Often sung in mixes of local dialects, Mandarin and English, Chinese hip-hop had a home-grown identity of its own and reflected the unique characteristics of the Chinese urban middle classes, striving for a new identity.

Within the first few episodes, The Rap Of China had generated enough memes and trending topics to skyrocket to a hit. With celebrity judges, gruelling rules and participation from some of the biggest Chinese underground hip-hop stars, it wasn’t long before the show’s key sponsors McDonald’s and Nongfu Spring’s Vitamin Waters upped their involvement by shooting fresh ads with popular contestants.

Nongfu Spring’s Vitamin Waters picked Sun Baiyi, a Guizhou-born contestant famous for representing the voice of the urban Chinese white collar class. Their ad promoted the drinks’ energy-boosting properties (perfect for the 50-hour week) against a backdrop of hip-hop cool.

But in January, the Chinese government stepped in. TV appearances by rap contestants on other shows were suddenly pulled. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), declared that “actors whose heart and morality are not aligned with the party and whose morality is not noble” and who are “tasteless, vulgar and obscene” should not be on television. Beijing decided that hip-hop, as an entire culture, didn’t align with party values. And an entire culture that had been speaking to thousands (if not millions) was outlawed overnight.

Although the hip-hop ban was heavily criticised by Chinese netizens (of course not in the mainstream media), the public had seen this before.

But imagine planning and investing in a campaign wrapped around a culture, only to have it suddenly obliterated. In a market where government crackdowns can come out of nowhere, sending shockwaves through business and culture, brands may legitimately ask: What does this mean for strategy? How can you plan around such political and cultural uncertainty in China?

Recent research by Flamingo and DDB examined strategies for dealing with uncertainty, finding ways to reframe it in a more positive light. One of these, the ‘guide’ strategy, calls for a brand to stabilise itself through a deep understanding of whatever issue it’s facing, followed by reframing and offering a clear message to customers. Here, a focus on long-term goals and messaging is best. In the case of the sponsors of The Rap Of China, one of them, Nongfu Spring Vitamin Water, did just that.

Since the ban, rather than crying over the loss of a single platform, the brand revisited its brand pillars, encompassing a connection with creativity, youthfulness and motivation. The brand went on to sponsor other TV shows in the music genre and to hold inter-university singing contests. By encouraging consumers to look beyond the hip-hop trend and to think of the value of creativity more broadly, Nongfu Spring’s cultural identity stayed in place, appealing to those who enjoyed buying and drinking the rainbow-coloured water.

In the case of Chou’s PHANTACi label, it started out in sports fashion / streetwear rather than hip-hop, but since the show has borrowed elements of hip-hop culture to curate its products and brand. The Rap of China satisfied the curiosity of the Chinese public about a foreign culture. PHANTACi knows that, and since the ban has continued to curate a foreign culture to mass Chinese consumers. But it has suffered less from the ban since its original engagement with hip-hop music is shallower.

Underground and mainstream

Meanwhile, Chinese fans have taken hip-hop back underground since the ban, doing what they do best: playing cat and mouse with official censorship. A new mainstream show called This Is Street Dance launched, with production style that can easily be mistaken for that of The Rap Of China, including the stage, graphics and clothes that the contestants are wearing. This Is Street Dance’s banner in central Shanghai

While we don’t advise that brands play games with the government, we do feel that there is a bigger lesson to be learned from how Chinese culture deals with these occurrences. As a brand operating amid uncertainty, it’s wise to ask what was meaningful about your original engagement with this culture, listen carefully to your customers to understand the reasons that they valued that engagement, and look to your enduring brand values to harness this in the most effective way.

In Nongfu Spring’s case, the brand understood that its engagement with music culture didn’t end with hip-hop. It survived, and even thrived, following the ban by staying close to its customers and not only understanding their need for alternative entertainment, but actually contributing to the creative culture.

Hip-hop in China is not dead, it will just manifest in a different way. It will return to its roots for a while, but what will not change is the mindset of the culture that spawned it. The soft voice of the increasingly numerous and forever resilient urban middle classes. Frustrated with urban life and social pressures, they are still redefining their identity, and brands that recognise and continue to play to this, perhaps with fewer gold chains, will thrive amid uncertainty in China.

Source: campaignasia.com; 24 May 2018

Ramadan and the new generation of Muslim consumers

WhatsApp facilitating daily Quran readings is just one example of how technology is shaping the holy month.

In recent years, Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, has gained increased importance for marketers as the Muslim population around the world rapidly expands—and particularly for a new generation of Muslim youth.

Muslims represent the second largest population worldwide, driving a significant share of consumer spending across sectors. While marketers in the Middle East and Africa have maintained a focus on Ramadan and its unique role, its cultural significance continues to lag in the west.

The majority of Muslims indicate that their faith and traditions impact their purchase decisions. But, the Muslim demographic is enormously diverse, making it hard to define a single and simple way to reach this audience. The month of Ramadan is the one touchpoint shared across the group, presenting a unique opportunity to establish meaningful connections with Muslim communities.

Ramadan is marked by religious significance, spiritual intensity and unique rituals affecting everything from eating and sleeping to media consumption. Today, Ramadan customs and rituals are undergoing a transformation, driven by digital natives who are shaping their own cultures and enjoying freedom to observe the holy month on their own terms. Young people are modernizing Ramadan rituals to give them a more personal meaning and suit their busy, connected lifestyles. They are discovering that sometimes keeping tradition means reinventing tradition.

Rather than focusing on a short-term sales strategy during this month, marketers should invest in long-term brand engagement strategies for both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers, built on shared values and consideration for the cultural importance of Ramadan.

Technology: an enabler of good practices

Historically, the distractions of technology have been deemed incompatible with the spirit of Ramadan. But for a younger generation of Muslims, technology plays an instrumental role in bringing them closer to values, traditions and one another during the holy month.

Yasmin, a 25-year-old Muslim from Egypt, shared her story about how reading the Quran became a daily practice with the help of WhatsApp group, Ekra2, where pages would be shared for members to read each day. Yasmin explained: “I never thought that WhatsApp would reconnect me with my faith.”

A young Pakistani tradesman maintained that “Ramadan apps are an absolute necessity.” When travelling for business, he relies on them for prayer timings, Quran readings, observing the right direction when praying, and connecting with family which is very important. As young Muslims use technology during Ramadan to inspire good practices, marketers can tap its power to enhance the festive spirit, facilitate sharing, good deeds and the formation of communities.

A quest for work-family-Ramadan balance

Muslim women are frequently the keepers of family traditions. During Ramadan, this role expands even further as they rise earlier, cook more and manage a range of social obligations.

As more women join the workforce and take on leadership positions, balancing these obligations while retaining time for self-reflection is a significant challenge. And the new generation of working women are feeling the pressure to live up to standards set by their older female relatives. Brands can help alleviate these pressures by offering practical solutions that minimize stress and create time for self-reflection.

Many women also see Ramadan as a time for personal growth and self-discovery. For those who don’t know how to cook, Ramadan becomes the perfect time to learn. “This Ramadan I want to know more. My aunt is cooking three dishes a day… I can at least learn to make one,” shared a young professional from UAE. Brands can help women unleash their creativity, add to their skills and spend quality time with family. Today, a lot of food brands make women’s task easier by sharing special Ramadan recipes, giving cooking tips and launching new products, but there is certainly an opportunity to go beyond that.

Ramadan through a youth culture lens

Allowing Ramadan rituals to evolve for contemporary society can preserve tradition in many ways. One busy young Muslim family chose to replace a lavish traditional meal with a BBQ, focusing on sharing a meal with family and friends rather than immaculate table settings. A millennial uncle gives Amazon gift cards instead of cash.

Younger generations have undoubtedly made Ramadan more Instagrammable, with fashion and social media fuelling ideas and interactions: dressing up in stylish outfits and high-end abayas, booking fancy hotel gatherings, and publicizing charitable activities. Ramadan symbolism and rituals have found a place in pop culture that brings together individual style and long held traditions.

With youth reshaping their approaches to Ramadan, marketers should explore how to help young families create their own traditions, and how their brands can offer innovative ways to engage with the occasion, make it more festive and encourage participation in charitable causes on a larger scale.

Ramadan presents a unique occasion for brands to connect with the Muslim communities in a way that is authentic and drives shared values. For non-Muslim markets, it can also be the right time to break barriers of misunderstanding.

Source: campaignasia.com; 7 May 2018

Data Shows Tablets Driving Highest Click-Through Rates

Tablet impressions drove 1.13% click-through rates that were the highest of any device in many categories such as Automotive, Consumer product Goods, Education, Financial, Food & Drink, Government, Home & Garden — and, yes, even Retail, Technology, Travel and Utilities.

The Drawbridge Q3 2017 Cross-Device Advertising Benchmark Report analyses billions of impressions served from July 1, 2017, through September 30, 2017, across every vertical, device, and format to identify trends. The data notes the likelihood of the types of devices consumers will use to click through advertisements to the company’s landing page to complete a task or make a purchase.

Marketers that disregard targeting on tablets may want to rethink their strategy. The third-quarter numbers from 2017 released by Drawbridge on Wednesday show considerable gains on tablets, especially when comparing CTRs from advertisements served on desktops and smartphones.

“Tablets are not replacing desktops, which was once predicted,” said Brian Ferrario, vice president of marketing at Drawbridge. “If anything tablets are merging with phones. Every device is becoming mobile, and the trick is to be present when the consumer is.”

Creatives should not be limited to just a few formats that are presumed to be the highest-performing, he said. The more dimensions and formats the better, as it’s critical to get consumers’ attention at the right time with those incremental touches across devices, so you need to run the gamut with everything and optimize from there based on what’s working.

Desktop ads saw an overall CTR of 0.03% and smartphone placements drove 0.49% CTR, Interstitial ads on smartphone and tablet helped drive higher CTRs on those devices.

Smartphones did well in some categories like Entertainment and Health & Fitness, but for the most part consumers seem to prefer a larger screen. For example, the CTR for the Retail category hovered somewhere around 0.25% in third-quarter 2017 on a smartphone, but came in at about 0.75% on tablets.

Utilities drove the highest CTR on tablets at 2.42%. The highest percentage came in third-quarter 2017 at 0.96%. Ecommerce came in with a quarterly high CTR of 0.67% in second-quarter 2017.

Video completion rates were also high on tablets, more so than any other device during the third quarter of 2017. Rates hit a high of 73.98% in the first quarter of 2017, dropped to 59.30% in the second quarter and then rose to nearly 70% in third-quarter 2017. The completion rates were based on video starts of a combination of skippable and non-skippable ads in 20-, 30-, and 60-second formats.

While tablets held the highest video completion rates in the third quarter of 2017, smartphones saw the highest rates in the first quarter of 2017, with 75.79%.

Source: mediapost.com; 20 Dec 2017

Reader/publisher relationship has ‘catalytic’ effect on ad effectiveness

Conventional wisdom says that if the editorial content around an online ad is good quality, then the effectiveness of the ad is increased. While there is certainly some truth to this, a new study purports to show that the issue is far more complicated the many in the industry think.

Inskin Media compared the conscious and subconscious reactions of 4,370 people who were served online ads on websites either with or without publisher branding.

The results indicate that the publisher branding on some of the sites increased ad effectiveness (measured as “increased consideration”) by 60% as compared to those without. So, in other words, the reader’s perception of the publisher may have just as significant an effect on how well an ad does as the content that surrounds it.

If the ‘relationship’ between the reader and the publisher is a close one, i.e. the reader has a high opinion of the site, the effects are even more pronounced. If the reader liked the publisher, consideration for the ads was 152% higher than those sites without publishing branding.

“The relationship a publisher has with a user can have a catalytic effect in terms of boosting the effectiveness of the ads it displays, which reveals an important lesson,” said Steve Doyle, CCO at Inskin Media.

“It shows that if online publishers pay more consideration to the reader experience, the ads will be more effective, so they can optimise yield while carrying more selective types of advertising.”

Brand safety

The study didn’t seem to reveal any systematic pattern that would suggest that editorial content and the impact of the ad. This applied to whether the article was negative or positive, or whether it shared a similar theme with the ad.

For example, an ad for a supermarket displaying food discount next to an article about obesity did not have major effects on brand metrics.

“Brand safety is considerably more complex than the industry might like to admit,” says Doyle.

“For example, we know brand safety is a “PR” issue but what effect does it actually have on readers’ brand perception? More research in this area is required to help marketers devise meaningful and effective brand safety policies, as the area is still a relative unknown.”

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 22 Nov 2017

Consumers willing to share location data with apps despite privacy concerns

Consumer willingness to share their mobile device’s location data with apps has grown in the last two years, although many still harbour significant concerns

The figures come from new research by mobile marketing platform Verve that asked 2,000 UK adults how comfortable they were letting independent apps know their whereabouts.

55% of respondents said that they were more comfortable sharing the information now than they were two years ago, with 73% allowing select apps to access the information. However, only 11% claimed to always every app they use to access their location info.

“Consumers are becoming more accustomed to the idea of sharing their device’s location with apps, in exchange for useful or personalised services,” Ian James, General Manager of International at Verve, said.

“This information is extremely valuable and creates huge opportunities for publishers, but also advertisers who want to engage customers with memorable and personalised experiences.

Trust and permission

Consumers are more willing to let certain kinds of apps gain access to their location data, 40% say they share their phone’s location with weather apps; and a third (33%) with transport apps. Many other verticals are fast leveraging the powers of location.

77% consider how well the brand is known to be a good indicator of how trustworthy they are likely to be with data, although the surveyed consumers had a range of other important considerations. 60% look for guarantees that the information is securely stored, while 59% like to have the ability to dictate how the data is used or have the ability to turn it off.

Another key concern is whether the information is anonymised, which 55% listed as being very important to them.

“To retain consumer trust and permission, publishers must be transparent about how that data is used, and brands must ensure resulting ads are both well-targeted and relevant,” continued James.

“Too often today, location data used by advertisers is not of a high enough quality to support this – the industry has to step up its game to truly unlock the power and value of location marketing.”

Consumers certainly expect benefits for sharing their information with apps, with 38% wanting special offers or coupons and 20% wanting on the spot offers.

64% say that concerns about their privacy make them less likely to share their information location with apps.

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 14 Nov 2017

Has smartphone usage fallen among young people?

According to new research by Kantar TNS, smartphone usage has fallen among 16 – 24-year olds for the first time.

The report states that mobile device owners in that age group spend an average of 2.8 hours using their phones daily. This is down from 3.9 hours last year. While this doesn’t sound like a lot, it is significant for a number of reasons.

Firstly, if accurate, it seems to fly contrary to the conventional wisdom that people (especially young people) are spending more time on their devices. Secondly, if the dip is indicative of the beginnings of a perception among young people that they are spending too much time on their devices, this could have wide-ranging effects across the marketing and advertising industry.

“Thanks to the growing number of social media channels and a consumer demand for everything on-the-go, I don’t see this decline as reflective of a nation looking to move away from mobile phones,” Josh Krichefski, CEO of MediaCom UK, said.

“Smartphone penetration is now at 85% of all adults, and video – which companies like Facebook and Twitter have invested in massively of late – is now most viewed on a mobile; video consumption has more than trebled in the last five years and it’s only going to keep increasing.”

“Too late to put the genie back in the bottle”

34% of the young people interviewed as part of the study reported feeling that they spend too much time on their phones and said that they want to cut down on their usage time.

There is, however, a disconnect between intention and action, as the 16 – 24-year-old age group still spend significantly more time on their phones than any other. The 3.8 hour daily average is way above the 2.4 hour average across other generations.

“According to our own research, there’s been a significant rise in teenagers, in particular, viewing TV on smartphones. This is most likely due to phones getting bigger and content optimised to fit them, allowing teens to tap into their favourite shows and entertainment channels on-the-go and when it suits them,” continued Krichefski.

“Young people now have greater autonomy over how and when they watch TV, and so one reason for the decline in smartphone usage could be the popularity of ‘multiscreen’ services, allowing the viewer to pick up exactly where they left off when watching content between devices – Sky Q is a good example of this. The smartphone, though, isn’t going away anytime soon.”

One of the authors of the report, Michael Nicholas, agrees that the findings most likely don’t signal the end of mass smartphone usage.

“It’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle — phones are too entwined in our everyday lives, so we’re not likely to see many young people taking the radical decision to ditch them,” he said.

“However, there’s clearly a conflict between our perceptions on phone usage and acting on it.”

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 31 Oct 2017

Why Amazon is investing so heavily in voice

All computer interfaces up to today have been unnatural, inhuman and discriminatory, the company’s chief technology officer says.

If you think about it, all computer interfaces have been designed for communication with the computer, not with humans, Amazon’s chief technology officer Werner Vogels said at Web Summit.

These are unnatural and inhuman interfaces, and they are discriminatory, Vogels told the conference in Lisbon Thursday.

“Let’s take the International Rice Research Institute in Manila as an example. They know everything about rice and they work with farmers in the region to improve crop yields. They have built a digital webpage with all this crucial information but no one was using it because the farmers don’t own computers. So, they put a voice interface over it so farmers could call in and describe their patch of land. It has helped greatly improve crop yields,” Vogels said.

People who have bought Amazon Echo devices love them, their reviews say so, he continued. “They use them for every mundane task possible because it’s effortless.”

One customer who has dementia wrote that Alexa had given him his memory back. That he could ask it for the date 20 times a day and it would give him the correct answer 20 times, without getting angry.

But Amazon doesn’t want the world to confine itself to its Echo devices. “The device itself isn’t that smart. All of that lives in the cloud. Alexa is a voice service based on a platform that does all the work,” Vogels said.

Brands and developers could even forego Amazon’s skills kit and use Amazon Polly, its life-like speech service.

“Polly converts text to life-like speech. It can be fully managed, it has 47 voices and speaks 24 languages. Duolingo, the language learning app is based on Polly,” he said.

Polly allows control over the tone, volume, context and different pronunciations, Vogels demonstrated. “It can be used to build voice chatbots, not just Alexa.”

Amazon is investing in developing all this because it believes that the future lies in a human interface to our digital systems.

“I truly believe a voice interface to digital systems will completely revolutionise the way we build these systems and it will open these systems to everyone in the world and not just digital natives,” Vogels concluded.

Source: campaignasia.com; 10 Nov 2017

‘Segment of one’, the future of consumer marketing

Think with Google’s Guest Editor, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed, shares his perspective on the shift from mass marketing to mass customization and how brands will adapt.

The connected world and the ubiquity of technology have rewritten the rules of building brands, innovation, media, creativity, and retail forever. While the internet served as the enabler for this transformation, the real driver has undoubtedly been the mobile phone.

Mobile is unlocking consumer control, empowerment, and choice to an extent we have never seen before, driving a hyper-segmentation revolution. As we move from mass marketing to massive customization—from focusing on averages to individuals—I believe that in the future we will build brands in segments of one. For marketers who have traditionally created and marketed brands to the dominant majority—the largest segment—this means thinking about marketing very differently than in the past.

Who is today’s consumer?

Today’s hyper-empowered, tech-augmented consumers are increasingly in control of the branded messages they receive and how they shop for brands. As micro-moment behaviour—where people instinctively turn to their device to act upon a need—becomes the norm, consumers’ expectations of value, convenience, and immediacy of response from brands are becoming increasingly demanding.

Search is absolutely central here, acting as the filter that enables the empowered consumer to get what they want, when they want, wherever they want. People—myself included—can’t remember what it was like not to be able to do things before their mobile was in their pocket.

This gives rise to two key characteristics of today’s consumer: immediacy and relevance. For example, searches for “open now” have tripled since 2015 and mobile searches related to “same-day shipping” have grown over 120% since 2015. And when it comes to relevance, expectation is accelerating rapidly. Since early this year, the volume for local searches without including the specification “near me” have outgrown comparable searches which did include it.

What does this mean for brands?

For brands to be allowed a part in the hyper-empowered consumer’s life, they have to be able to both anticipate and assist with their needs. This means being relevant, tailored, and personal—a huge shift from when brands (especially CPG businesses like Unilever) tended to be built for the masses. And they need to do it all in real time, in context, in the language.

There is a huge opportunity here for brands to help simplify lives in this complex world—to make massive choice digestible. Just think about how long it takes you to shop in a foreign supermarket where you don’t know the brands. Similarly, brands can help simplify the online world of seemingly never ending content to help organize people’s experiences in a connected world.

So what should marketers be doing?

It can certainly feel daunting and at times overwhelming to face this new world order. But I genuinely believe that there has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing. Still, what does all this mean for marketers in the day to day? In practice, I think it means three things.

Put people first. Leverage data to deeply understand the new and complex consumer journey, and be clear where your brand should be present to add the most value. Keep your consumer as the true north to connect with them on a one-to-one basis.

Cut through the clutter and build brand love by standing for something meaningful. People don’t just want a product to buy, they want an idea to buy into. Millennials and Gen Z show us time and time again that they want brands rooted in purpose and doing good for the world. Once that purpose is clear, it allows brands to create engaging experiences that sustain a far longer and richer consumer conversation than simply talking about a new product variant or a seasonal promotion.

Unlock the magical combination of data-driven consumer understanding and brilliant purpose-led creative to build deep and meaningful one-to-one relationships at scale. Marketing is magic plus logic, art plus science. Never before have we as marketers had the ability for the logic half of the equation that data affords us today. At the same time—as consumer attention is more selective—never before have we had such a need for the magic. At Unilever we have an ambition to have a billion one-to-one relationships—I don’t believe that a focus on the individual has to mean “niche.”

Mobile is rewriting communication and commerce, changing the relationship between brands and people forever. And with half of the world still waiting to join the online world, we are only at the foothills of what is possible. The brands that lead this, providing consumers with a frictionless experience online and off, are the brands that will win in the future.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Oct 2017

Who are the people using adblockers?

The use of adblockers might not be something that keeps advertisers up at night, but it does represent a creeping problem for the ruling, internet advertising paradigm.

Advertising revenue is a foundational part of how the internet operates, with many sites giving away their content for free in the hopes that they will be rewarded with increased ad revenue.

The use of technology to simply avoid having to see any ads is a practice that is spreading. This means that marketers and advertisers need to figure out why people are turning to the technology, but also the kind of person that is likely to adopt an adblocker.

New data from Kantar Media’s DIMENSION study 2017 gives us a good idea of who the average UK adblocker is and how they behave online.

Firstly, the reasons why people turn to adblockers are already fairly well known, but the study sheds a little more light on exactly what it is about ads that annoy consumers so much. Three-quarters of surveyed adblocking adults reported seeing the same ads over and over again, while 50% continued to see ads for products they had already bought.

Interestingly, adblocking is not an all-or-nothing practice. Only 19% said that they always use adblocking software, with 37% claiming that they ‘sometimes’ make use of the technology

So, who are these adblockers?

Introducing the adblockers

The study reveals that adblockers are 53% more likely than average to be aged 15-34 and not be married/living as a couple, or living with relations. They are 27% more likely to be aged 15-34, living with a partner and childless.

Of those adblockers that are older, those aged 35-54, they are 90% more likely than the average UK adult to make an online purchase more than once a week.

Adblockers tend to be more tech-inclined than their peers. They are 65% more likely to participate in a virtual world, 44% more likely to use the internet for tech-related purposes and 22% more likely to claim to love buying new gadgets and appliances.

But perhaps the biggest factor that unites adblockers is a love of gaming. Adblockers are 44% more likely to be die-hard gamers, 38% more likely to keep up-to-date with the developments in the industry and 28% more likely to say video games are their main past time.

Attitude to advertising

The data seems to indicate that adblockers may be more receptive to advertising than they first appear. 55% of the surveyed adblockers claim to like or tolerate advertising, so it must be aspects of the ads rather than the ads themselves that are driving adblocker adoption.

31% of adblockers agree that tailored or more personalised ads are more interesting than other ads. 29% reported that they do not mind seeing ads targeted at them if it helps to pay for quality content on sites they like.

What does this mean?

“Our DIMENSION study found that most UK internet users aren’t against advertising per se, but that many – from digital natives to slightly older, less tech savvy users – feel over targeted by repetitive or irrelevant adverts,” said Richard Poustie, chief executive of Kantar Media UK & Ireland.

“Their natural tolerance towards advertising is being eroded by poor advertising strategies, and in response an increasing proportion are turning to ad blockers.

“The most effective means for the industry to address ad blocking is to improve how they target and engage with consumers. As a first step, brands must have accurate insights into the preferences and attitudes of a given audience and use this information to select the content and channel of delivery that’s most relevant to them.

“A robust, holistic measurement strategy will then allow brands to build an accurate picture of how, when and by whom their content is being consumed and adapt advertising accordingly. The aim should be to provide advertising that optimises and enhances – rather than detracts from – consumers’ overall experience online, to discourage them from using an ad blocker to opt out of the advertising ecosystem.”

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 30 Aug 2017