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.
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.
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.