Paul Rob­son, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Adobe Aus­tralia & New ZealandLinkedIn

The immense vol­ume and vari­ety of infor­ma­tion on the Inter­net makes it eas­ier than ever for con­sumers to form opin­ions about brands and make pur­chas­ing deci­sions. In such a heav­ily sat­u­rated media envi­ron­ment, mar­keters need to know what the most pow­er­ful fac­tors in the pur­chas­ing process are, which meth­ods are most valu­able, and what Aus­tralian con­sumers want. New research sug­gests that the answers are: highly-relevant and per­son­alised con­tent, a strong com­mu­nity of peers and a unique social con­text that binds the com­mu­nity, con­tent and company.

Mar­ket­ing Myth Busters, a study con­ducted by Edel­man Berland, in part­ner­ship with Adobe, shows most Aus­tralians are com­fort­able with online prod­ucts and ser­vices that have been cus­tomised for them, but they don’t want to sac­ri­fice their pri­vacy to get it. The study also shows that most Aus­tralians pre­fer to look at tra­di­tional ads in mag­a­zines or on TV, rather than online. So does this mean dig­i­tal mar­keters are fail­ing consumers?

Rel­e­vancy and per­son­al­iza­tion are key to deliv­er­ing suc­cess­ful dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. Dig­i­tal mar­keters are get­ting access to more infor­ma­tion than ever before but unless they can use that data more effec­tively they will miss oppor­tu­ni­ties. At the same time, con­sumers need to con­sider how much of their per­sonal infor­ma­tion they are will­ing to share in order to receive prod­ucts and ser­vices that are more rel­e­vant to them.

The Myth Busters research has also found that con­sumers believe the two most effec­tive ways to encour­age con­sid­er­a­tion of a prod­uct or brand is through rec­om­men­da­tions from some­one they trust (69%) and rec­om­men­da­tions from con­sumer reviews (45%). This sug­gests that through social media, peers have become an influ­en­tial fac­tor in pur­chas­ing decisions.

Con­sumers are actively using social media to seek out infor­ma­tion and reviews of prod­ucts from peers, but they want con­tent from brands to tell unique sto­ries rather than sim­ply ‘sell’. Their moti­va­tions for engag­ing with brands and prod­ucts, as well as the types of con­tent they wish to see, are very spe­cific and this means adver­tis­ers need to re-consider how they con­struct their mes­sages and con­tent for social media. Sim­ply mir­ror­ing the con­tent or meth­ods used in other media won’t pro­duce results.

The Mar­ket­ing Myth Busters study also found that:

  • Check­ing updates from friends is the pri­mary func­tion of social media for both con­sumers (32%) and mar­keters (40%)
  • 63% of con­sumers feel pos­i­tive or neu­tral when a com­pany cus­tomizes its prod­ucts or ser­vices for them
  • 84% of con­sumers agree that com­pa­nies col­lect too much infor­ma­tion on consumers
  • 49% of con­sumers said they ‘like’ brands on social media that they buy regularly
  • 51% of con­sumers see the action of ‘lik­ing’ a prod­uct or brand on social media equal to com­mu­ni­cat­ing tastes or inter­ests, while 41% see it as rec­om­mend­ing that prod­uct to friends or family
  • 51% of con­sumers answered “Yes, very much” when asked if they wished there was a ‘dis­like’ but­ton on social media sites
  • 75% of con­sumers believe adver­tise­ments should tell a unique story, and not sell.
  • Con­sumers and mar­keters pre­fer to look at ads in their favourite print mag­a­zine (con­sumers: 33%, mar­keters: 27%) or favourite TV show (mar­keters: 39%, con­sumers: 31%), com­pared to online media.

The con­sumer per­cep­tion of marketing’s inef­fec­tive­ness may seem con­cern­ing, but the fact that con­sumers pre­fer to look at ads in printed mag­a­zines and on TV sug­gests they’re still recep­tive to adver­tis­ing. Mar­keters should be more con­cerned with the con­text cre­ated by the mes­sag­ing and posi­tion­ing of content.

To cre­ate suc­cess­ful cam­paigns for the social and dig­i­tal world, mar­ket­ing con­tent needs to be cre­ated and posi­tioned in a con­text that is unique and rel­e­vant to the social com­mu­nity. But this can only be achieved by aban­don­ing stan­dard­ised mes­sag­ing and direct calls to action in favor of con­tent that; fos­ters com­mu­nity dis­cus­sion about rel­e­vant top­ics between peers, pro­vides unique brand or product-oriented expe­ri­ences and lever­ages in-direct social calls to action.

Con­sumers want to be social. They want to be a part of a com­mu­nity, and they also want to be involved with brands and prod­ucts that engage them with their peers in a big­ger social con­text. Is your com­pany cre­at­ing this con­text for its con­sumers yet?


To read the full find­ings of the Mar­ket­ing Myth Busters report, click here.

Dis­cover more about social mar­ket­ing and busi­ness impact at the Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Sym­po­sium in Syd­ney this July 16th. Click here to reg­is­ter now!