THE COMMUNICATION RECEPTIVITY CHALLENGE
Receptivity to advertising is essential for marketers to build brands and encourage purchase but there are two vicious circles which seem to be fueling the receptivity challenge.
The first is the “share of voice” arms race as brands clamour to be heard. This tactic has been encouraged by the proof that ad awareness impacts brand saliency and sales. Increasing clutter tends to lower ad awareness response, and with so many new channels available clutter has been increasing significantly.
So brands shout louder and more often because they’re afraid of being out gunned by their competition. Brands know that increased share of voice – over time – leads to increased market share but do they know that too much frequency in too short a time frame can have a negative effect on brand perceptions?
The second issue is that consumers are suffering targeting torment. As online response rates have dropped, the reaction has been to target consumers more frequently and more intrusively. Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction Video report, a 42-country study, gives us genuine insight into the perils and promise of targeting. Consumers have a highly negative reaction to targeting that is perceived as intrusive stalking, but a more positive reaction when targeting is based on relevance and topics of interest.
The AdReaction Video study demonstrated that giving people more control over how they’re served ads increases receptivity. Two good examples of giving people more control are YouTube’s Trueview and WeChat’s Moments system.Failing to give consumers control can have a very high cost. It was recently estimated that 50% of Europeans will be ad blocking in 2017 and that the US will hit the same level by 2018.
So how do we overcome this?The advertising industry needs to understand that continuing to boost the volume and intrusiveness of advertising isn’t going to engage the audience any better. We need to adapt to a new reality. Here are some suggestions for a better way forward.
Brands need to change what they value and develop a more balanced way of defining success. Neuromarketing has shown us the importance of emotional connections. BrandZ™, a global study of consumers’ opinions of brands by Kantar Millward Brown, puts a dollar value on brands based on their impact on brand strength, brand growth, and their ability to charge a premium price.
Emotional measures should have equal weight to the transactional ones that appear to have become the favored – myopic –way to define “performance”. Share of heart should be as important as share of voice, emotional connection as important as transactional response.
While consumers are becoming increasingly fed-up with advertising intruding in their lives, their receptivity to ads is critical to success. So what should we marketers do to combat this? We must remember that share of voice, noise, frequency and intrusion shouldn’t be used as a substitute for thought and effort to create emotional – and transactional – connections. We need to understand what the consumer finds valuable and deploy it creatively across a range of touchpoints to deliver a more positive advertising experience.
Please share your thoughts?
Michael A. Umogun (Business Development Lead) Kantar Millward Brown + 234 802 311 7969 / @michaelumogun