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Alex Vaidya CEO & CO-FOUNDER StoryStream

Enticing The Marketing Savvy Consumer

Consumers are on to marketers. They know the strategies, they know the endgames and they can see through every single claim. Consumers that are marketing savvy are the norm now, and yet there are marketers that haven’t quite clocked on.

Old-style campaigns are still being run, despite consumers increasingly considering them to be manipulative or false. Those marketers are damaging their brand’s image, turning people away to the ever welcoming arms of competitors and inhibiting marketing ROI.

Deterioration Of Consumer Trust

We’ve previously spoken at length about the decline of brand trust, so to summarise; an increase in transparency has caused consumers to be suspicious of marketers and brands.

It’s transparency caused by marketing techniques and business operations being openly discussed and accessible to outsiders. It’s transparency from instant communication technology spreading word-of-mouth around the world. It’s transparency aided by social media, review sites and forums publicising peer experiences, debunking and challenging brand’s promises.

Ultimately it all leads to consumers being less loyal; 46% of consumers say they are more likely to switch providers today versus 10 years ago (Source). This ‘Switching Economy’ applies to all industries; service providers, luxury goods, automotives, restaurants, holiday providers, the list could go on. We are all at the mercy of consumer opinion.

And they give this opinion all too readily. In 2016, 25% of consumers in the UK made complaints over social media (Source). And in April of this year, TripAdvisor announced crossing the half a billion review and opinions milestone.

What Consumers Hate About Bad Marketing

So where are (some) marketers going wrong? Why do (some) consumers dislike a large proportion of marketing? It’s due to the following reasons:

They feel harassed

91% of consumers say adverts are more intrusive than 2-3 years ago (Source). Marketing messages interrupt what they are doing, stalk them from one website to another and occasionally freak them out.

They feel they are being lied to

As bona fide brands, you’re not trying to trick or scam consumers. But you are trying to sell them something at the end of the day. That usually means saying you’re the best, better than competitors, hyping up a particular detail or paying someone authoritative to say they love you.

Unfortunately, consumers are a cynical bunch of people. Particularly when they’ve heard it all before.  

Your targeting is off

It’s so disappointing to see poor marketing campaigns. Fair enough it’s getting harder to create new, and engaging content. But increasingly it’s just not relevant to the person viewing it and if a consumer is being stalked by an inappropriate marketing message, they’re going to start seeing you in a negative light.

You’re wasting their time

You’ve created a campaign that’s not performing well, but rather than reevaluate it, you’re keeping it running with your fingers crossed. If a consumer didn’t like it the first time round, they’re not going to like it the second, or third or fourth time they see it.

So What Do They Want?

The marketing savvy consumer knows that marketing is a necessary evil. And actually, through good marketing practices they’ve found new brands, products and services that they may not have found any other way.

Consumers want relationships with brands built on trust, transparency and fun; so give them just that.

Relevant Stories

The crux of bad marketing is untargeted and bring messages. Your consumers want you to talk to them about things that genuinely interest them, when they are ready to talk.

Build a strong brand narrative. Content made and used by a brand should tell a story, such as the brand’s ethos, personality and the experience consumers can have.

They should be interesting and relevant to your individual consumers. Understanding what content has and hasn’t engaged consumers in the past will help shape your narrative going forward.

StoryStream’s customer Rickshaw Travel has mastered storytelling on its website, showcasing the brands fun personality, real holidays and destination experiences. Find out how Rickshaw increased conversion rates by 22% here.

Honesty And Authenticity

In a 2013 study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, consumers identified authenticity as one of the top qualities that would attract them to a brand. They are also s very suspicious of glossy, smiley, photoshopped campaigns.

Instead, they want to know the truth about products and services before parting with their money. And if they don’t get this from you, they’ll turn to their peers meaning they’ll be navigating away from your brand and possibly end up in the arms of a rival (see Search Snatching).

You need to embrace honest, authentic marketing which means;

  • Have values, stand by them and create content that reflects them
  • Own up to your brands mistakes
  • Only use truthful language
  • Incorporate real opinions, messages, videos and photos from past purchasers
  • Show personality and emotion

StoryStream’s customer Gousto let their current consumers explain the true value of their service to prospects by showcasing trustworthy reviews and photos, both on their website and through social adverts. Find out how Gousto increased PPC Click Through Rates by 30% here.

Marketing Centered Around Them

Consumer centric marketing is powerful because it focuses on the lifetime value of consumers. They feel much more engaged when you treat them as lifelong VIP’s rather than one-transaction wonders. You can do this by learning who your consumers are and what they like then shaping your campaigns around that.

This will involve digging around, listening to and reading comments, even the bad ones, and asking them! Social media and review forums are a goldmine of this sort of information.

StoryStream’s customer The Co-op makes consumer centricity marketing look easy. They work with their members, building campaigns around member’s actions and stories to illustrate the essence of their brand.

Two Way Communication

Too many brands feel like brands; the personalities behind the brands don’t shine through. When consumers feel they are being spoken to by an empathetic, entertaining and friendly person, rather than an emotionless logo, it encourages more sincere relationships.

Cultivate relationships with your consumers. Don’t just create content and hit publish. Ask them about their stories and experiences and see how your brand can relate to that. Monitor interactions and learn from them. Make communication with your brand easy and enjoyable.

The great thing about User Generated Content (UGC) is that it starts fantastic conversations. UGC is the consumer starting the conversation with you. If you use it right, not only can engage the original person, you can also use it to start new conversations with other consumers, on their level.

StoryStream’s customer STA Travel’s social media marketers bring relatable character to the brands social media feeds, stirring up conversations with consumers content (UGC) and continuing individual discussions with light hearted memes.

Getting Started

Marketing to savvy consumers may seem like an uphill struggle, but if you stop using inflated claims and instead focus on real, authentic messages and acknowledge the consumers as a part of your brand, you find the struggle will significantly lessen.

If you’re interested in finding out how we’ve helped the brands mentioned above achieve an easier marketing experience and improved ROI’s, then get in touch today.

First published on the StoryStream blog site