Marketers have always been at the precipice of change and innovation, yet the vicissitude of the past year has tested those skills to the limit.
With bricks-and-mortar stores largely closed for business, digital natives have been joined online by swathes of digital newbies. However, these online novices demand the same level of customer service and personalization online that they would receive in-store from a knowledgeable shop assistant — and they’re uncomfortable with cookie tracking, location snooping, or surreptitious data collection to deliver it. In fact, 27% of online consumers have gone to the trouble of installing ad-blocking technology, with 22% paying for premium security software.
We may all be tired of email subject lines titled “the new normal,” but like it or not, the last 12 months have changed the way we “internet” for the foreseeable. With more eyeballs than ever online, to win and maintain the custom of today’s consumers, marketers need to connect with them with the right offer, on the right channel, at the right time. And although much time is spent scrolling social media feeds, email remains the preeminent medium, in both terms of favor, engagement, and imperatively sales — outperforming paid and social advertising by up to 92%.
These may be unprecedented times, but they need not be uncertain times. That’s why we commissioned this global study, to find out the trends and attitudes on personalization, privacy, messaging, advertising, and brand loyalty.
It shares insight from over 5,000 global consumers as well as by age group and gender to help digital strategists and decision-makers understand how these issues fit together to build more meaningful and lasting relationships between brand and buyer.
Paradigm Shift: The Rise of the Conscientious Consumer
Ethical consumerism has been on the rise for many years, with more and more consumers seeking out plant-based and environmentally-friendly fare, however, one of the biggest shifts we have seen is the rise of the conscientious consumer.
More than half of consumers have jettisoned a preferred brand due to its environmental, corporate, or political values and they are staunch in their want for brands to curb the amount it spends with Facebook. As consumers switch brands for ethical reasons, marketers need to skill-up and meet the rising expectations of the conscientious consumer.
58% of consumers have rejected a brand either because of its environmental corporate or political values
Demanding that there is a safe environment on platforms that marketers spend heavily on and associate with makes sense. Social channels were not built for marketers, and as well as turning off consumers, it’s a vertical hallmarked by a lack of transparency, performance fraud, ad blocking, and spamming ad frequency that has resulted in the abject engagement rates and lack of trust we see today.
A staggering 79% of consumers want the brands they do business with to invest in loyalty programs that offer value rather than shelling erroneous bucks on interruptive Facebook advertising and nearly ⅔ would like to purchase from brands that boycott Facebook. A further 77% see pulling ads from Facebook with positivity and 74% don’t think Facebook does enough to stop harmful content.
The data shows marketers should shift to a strategy of owning customer journeys and compliantly collecting and actioning data to build more meaningful relationships with consumers. Investing in social advertising to get consumers off that platform into our own direct channels, versus relying on social media as the channel to communicate to consumers.
Danny is a Content Marketing Manager for Cheetah Digital. Danny has spent his career in disruptive tech start-ups driving content strategy with a current focus on how brands can connect with modern consumers through a philosophy rooted in self-reported preference data. When he’s not extolling the value of zero-party data, he is guaranteed to be out running.