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BlogCreepy and W-O-M Are On My Mind Today

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Internet Users Worldwide Who Fell that it is Creepy vs. Cool for Brands/Retailers to Interact with Them, by Interaction Type (Dec. 2020)

Creepy and W-O-M Are On My Mind Today

This blog is about two things: 1) Consumers creeped out and 2) Word-of-Mouth Activity. Let’s start with creeped-out consumers.

Internet Users Worldwide Who Fell that it is Creepy vs. Cool for Brands/Retailers to Interact with Them, by Interaction Type (Dec. 2020)Creeped-Out Consumers

I love reading about research into finding out if brand interactions are “creepy” or “cool.” It seems we really like when brands anticipate our needs and make it easy for us to interact. Yet we are creeped out when brands seem to know a lot about us in the first interaction. Research by Econsultancy and Cheetah Digital found that 54% of U.S. Internet users are creeped out about ads that follow them across devices. For retailers it is a conundrum: Users want help discovering things that “are interesting to me,” but please don’t know who I am. The hope of one-to-one targeting and retargeting is just too creepy for us all. As marketers, we probably need to return to contextual messaging. Contextual is more profile-based or affinity-based rather than hyper-personalized. So it is okay you know I like wine, but I get creeped out if you know where I like to buy wine and which kind I like.

To keep people from being creeped out, we need to focus on the balance between contextual messaging, personalized messaging and dynamic messaging. If we alienate consumers too much in this effort to hyper-target, then we risk more regulation, more interference, and more efforts to block all marketing on the internet.

Word-of-Mouth Advertising

Podcast listeners are strong word-of-mouth marketing advocates, according to new research from Engagement Labs. It is true that friends and family are the most influential source for brand information, yet heavy podcast listeners appear to be highly influential as well. Heavy podcast listeners are 54% more likely to be influential than the general public. Engagement Labs calls heavy podcast listeners “everyday influencers.” They are the most active in word-of-mouth engagement according to Marketing Charts. It is estimated that heavy podcast listeners engage in more than 100 offline conversations about brands per week while listening to podcasts more than one hour a day.

Heavy podcast users’ word-of-mouth activity over-indexes social media, radio, streaming or TV viewers. It’s an audience you can easily reach and who will then reach out to others.

Mark Mathis III is the chief creative & strategy officer, partner and co-founder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.