As 2019 continues, some of the biggest shopping days are ahead of us again: Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas shopping season. This year, marketers, agencies and brands are looking for trends and new ways to interact with shoppers across all channels to keep the online carts and in-store baskets full ahead of peak season. What will drive sales this year? What digital and social marketing campaigns will reach people and turn them into actionable buyers? The key to creating a successful retailer strategy is to understand more about target groups than simply demographics — as it is their habits and behaviors that shape their purchasing decisions.
Learn To Reach The Anti-Social Social Media User
GlobalWebIndex asked social media users in the U.S. and UK if they have made a conscious effort in the last 12 months to reduce their daily time spent on social media. The survey shows that it’s a trend in both markets, as 45% of those surveyed said that they had made a conscious effort to decrease time spent on social networks. Perhaps surprisingly, even Generation Z and Millennials are at it, with around three in five of each group stating that they had done so.
The data also reveals that approximately one-third of Internet users say they have deactivated or closed a social media account in the past 12 months, with more men deactivating accounts than women. Up to 20% of consumers said they did this because targeted advertising and sponsored posts were too overwhelming. Interestingly, account deactivators are avid social media users and still spend more time on social media (2 hours and 44 minutes) than either the average internet user (2 hours 35 minutes) or those who’ve made a deliberate effort to limit their time spent on social media (2 hours and 22 minutes).
But what makes people turn to social media in the first place? Users love to be entertained, follow current affairs and opinions on news, and also research and review products and brands. These needs and behaviors offer room for companies to create campaigns that cleverly blend entertainment with commerce.
This can be done with entertaining influencer campaigns, funny images that consumers can share with friends and followers, upbeat music, and using gamification as a tool. Gamification can motivate consumers to positively engage with a brand or product through playing a game online and ultimately, build brand advocates. The elements to success are simple: the game is easy to understand, in the brand’s colors, there’s light competition to increase the fun factor, and the game is built for one channel and one channel only. Coca-Cola Chok and Samsung Nation social rewards campaigns are good examples of making the customer journey more engaging through gamification.
Prepare For The Rise Of Green Consumerism
Next to entertainment, there is something more serious that’s of interest to consumers: climate change. News on the state of the environment is influencing buying decisions, especially plastic products. While coffee shops, bars and restaurants are banning plastic straws and cutlery, reusable coffee cups and water bottles are on the rise and brands like Coca-Cola are rethinking their packaging.
The “throwaway culture” is slowly being replaced by “going green.” But buyers also show a growing interest in other eco-friendly products — from free-range meat to reusable shopping bags, LED lights, shampoos, shoes and yoga mats. L’Oréal saw a chance with this audience and is now offering vegan hair color. It is time for more brands and industries to take a step in the right direction and support consumers making smart choices. More than half of Generation Z, Millennials and Generation X agreed that they would pay more for eco-friendly and sustainable products, GlobalWebIndex found.
Companies also can create a positive impression by making their initiatives known to consumers. This can include donating to environmental causes, reducing waste disposal, limiting their use of chemicals and pollutants or using renewable energy, like IKEA does with solar panels. Keeping these values in place as the company grows — like using natural and sustainable materials when opening a new shop or office — will keep these customers on board for the long haul.
Let Them Put Their Money Where Your App Is
Payment behavior is another consumer habit to take a look at when creating ads in 2019.Today, 5% of the global internet population own cryptocurrencies, a GlobalWebIndex survey revealed. Within this specific target audience, men are massively overrepresented (around 70%), especially younger men.
This potential buyer group has an interesting set of characteristics: 80% say they always strive to achieve more in life, 63% describe themselves as risk takers, and 56% say they like to stand out from the crowd. Cryptocurrency owners are likely to agree with libertarian politics and are economic optimists. As many as 58% say they feel optimistic about the world economy, compared to 43% of non-investors and 52% of investors who don’t own cryptocurrency. In addition, they are extremely engaged online, enjoying tutorials on YouTube, content on Twitch and Reddit and they are willing to buy a product “simply for the experience of being part of the community built around it.”
Agencies, marketers and brands can use this unique set of insights to create consistent marketing materials that speak the language of cryptocurrency owners and can be shared in their places of discussion, where they share and comment on industry news. Influencers in the industry that review new coins on YouTube are a great starting point for a paid partnership. The campaigns should highlight the fact that a company is accepting cryptocurrencies.
Changing Consumer Behaviors Allow For Creative Interactions By Brands
Without looking at behaviors, brands could be missing out on opportunities to reach anti-social social consumers, eco-friendly buyers and crypto-owning customers. Companies cannot just focus on age, gender and location but must understand more about key micro-audiences to create personalized campaigns that resonate with their target groups — as catching their attention is important to staying competitive and gaining financial benefits. Marketers need to dig deeper into individual attributes and not simply look at age or gender. Putting the focus on preferences allows for an optimized shopping experience outcome. Humanized campaigns are not based on assumptions and stereotypes, but insights based on representative data.
Chris Beer is a Trends Analyst at GlobalWebIndex, the leading supplier of digital consumer insight to the global marketing industry. Beer is part of GlobalWebIndex's Trends team, who leverage the company's research studies to unlock the most up-to-date understanding of the modern digital consumer. Before he moved into the world of consumer insights, he spent some time working in publishing and media. He has a keen interest in transmitting practical knowledge of upcoming tech trends.