I loathe being interrupted by ads, and go to great lengths to avoid them. So as a recruiter in the creative industry I've been increasingly intrigued by how marketing is continually evolving to capture an audience – firstly because its aligned with customer focused thinking (as are many creative roles such as UX/UI designers, content writers etc) and secondly because I love to geek out and see clever creative ideas executed. Last but not least - if an event on this topic has breakfast attached – I’m in!

Today at the Marketing Association Brainy Breakfast we had a range of speakers on this topic and it was interesting to see their take on this ever shifting landscape.

Consumer behaviour

Boyd from DBF ran some fascinating stats on consumer behavior. 69% of people distrust advertising – 67% of buyer's journeys are done digitally (includes research into products before a purchase) and 58% of consumers share their positive experiences online and/or ask friends and family for recommendations. I know I spend a long time online browsing, comparing prices, watching demo videos/ reviews and asking (interrogating) my mates before buying anything these days! 

UGC -User Generated Content

I learned a new acronym today! Alisha from Jucy showed us how successful UGC can be if done right. Essentially it's telling your brand story through organic content created by your fans & customers through social media, blogs etc. Not so fast though - in order for it to work, it must feel authentic rather than forced. In their case, tourists sharing pictures of their travels has been hugely successful. And as we know – people are more trusted than advertising so as long as this feels genuine and organic - it’s a great thing.

Storytelling in video

For decades, TV was king. But now there are so many screens to compete with, you need good content to cut through. Video is an obvious choice and if done well, a good video commercial gets liked and shared by the audience. Lisa and Jonathan from Ogilvy talked us through the excellent NZ Police recruiting video which got shared worldwide. Smashing targets for increasing diversity in recruits by a whopping 615% proves that if you keep your audience #1, be entertaining and relevant and have an idea that audience wants to share - it will be a success. The follow up ad cleverly used audience questions about joining the police and made that the core message.

Content is being democratised

In bygone years a small handful of executives decided what you the audience were to see and just put it out there. Brooke Howard-Smith explained how with UGC (See? already putting it into use!) this changes the whole game and identifying with the audience, who now have have a voice and myriad options.

Successful YouTubers (like 8 year old Ryan) make millions by creating content as consumers – and as people are trusted over brands it’s a HUGE space. Content needs to be less delicious (pretty) and more nutritious (inspiration/ education) to make the audience feel the brand/ product has a purpose.

I suppose in summary, with the overwhelming amount of content out there - we only want to engage with things that interest us. If you've made it this far would love to hear your thoughts!