How Brands Can Connect With Interests-Driven Consumers

June 23, 2014

GoogleTNSOgilvy-Brands-Connecting-Interest-Driven-Consumers-June2014Consumers are increasingly going online to seek information on their passions and interests, and these consumers are far more likely to choose brands that engage them on their interests than they are to select those that only urge them to buy their advertised product, according to a recent study [pdf] from Google, TNS and Ogilvy. The study calls this the “Path to Purpose,” and looks at the brand attributes that interests-driven consumers consider important when selecting a brand, via a survey of roughly 2,500 recent purchasers of products in 3 categories – auto vehicles, beauty products and smartphones.

For those consumers who are driven by passions and interests, the most important brand connections attributes when selecting a brand include:

  • “A brand that regularly gave me useful information in its advertising” (73%);
  • “A brand that engaged me on my passions and and interests with its advertising” (70%);
  • “A brand that demonstrated its principles at all times when I was looking at different options” (64%); and
  • “A brand that shared news, updates and special offers with me” (63%).

Other influential attributes included brands that regularly communicated through advertising that told a consistent story, and brands that produced shareable ads. Fewer found one-off but big splash ads (like viral videos) to be an important attribute.

The results suggest that brands connecting with these consumers should look to produce advertising that provides useful information, but that also engages consumers through storytelling and emotions. Interestingly, a new MarketingCharts Debrief, “Advertising to Baby Boomers: The Why and How” [download page] indicates that Boomers – with their massive spending power – would be particularly susceptible to this approach. The study cites research suggesting that Baby Boomers tend to approach online ads by evaluating their utility, and are less drawn to them by their entertainment value. This tracks with their approach to advertising in general, as they tend to rely on advertising as a product information source more than other generations.

Meanwhile, the Google study finds that there is very little correlation between media usage and the influence of media touchpoints, which might help explain these findings. For survey respondents, word-of-mouth is the most influential touchpoint when making a purchase decision, followed by retailer and store visits and YouTube. The study notes that YouTube has a large influence because it provides an “emotional experience of ownership.” Indeed, a study released late last year found 1 in 2 consumers saying that a YouTube video had influenced a purchase decision.

About the Data: Google partnered with TNS and Ogilvy to survey 2,458 recent purchasers of auto vehicles, beauty products and smartphones. The surveys were conducted in two different waves across 6 months.

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