CYBERTORIAL* The New Consumer prioritises progress and development, and seeks this through new experiences and wealth gain. In order for brands to connect with them, they will need to move away from traditional marketing approaches, to ones that are relevant, engaging, memorable and shareable. These takeaways are from Kagiso Media’s Episode One: Insights on ‘The New Consumer’ event. Michael Bratt attended to find out more about the New Consumer.
The New Consumer, targeted for analysis, was a person aged 24-35, who works full time and earns R8 000+ a month. Kagiso Media hosted the event to explore trends in marketing to this new generation (not necessarily Millennials, but mostly that group) as CEO Mark Harris explained that brands are being forced to adopt digital which is disrupting, not only the industries that they play in but also, the marketing approaches that they take.
“Traditional media is still strong, but it will be challenged as the youth adopt new ways of media consumption,” he added. “We at Kagiso Media are building brands that are engaging to the new generation that is coming through.”
Market at the speed of culture
The keynote speaker for the gathering was Pete Case, chief creative officer at Ogilvy SA, who shared his thoughts on the death of the traditional approach to advertising.
“Consumers are more in control and have more choices through technology,” he began, “and the consumers that we are trying to connect with can disconnect in an instant”. He said negative comments could destroy a brand, as with social media they can now be shared far and wide. If a brand does not respond immediately, that is the difference between the comment reaching 10 people versus 10 000 people.
His message to brands, in such a complex and confusing world is, “It’s about time we created some radical thought change around marketing”. His advice is to “market at the speed of culture, with relevant content that engages”. He showed six examples of what he considers to be great pieces of work, including VW Polo’s Beats campaign with Kwesta and Dabone (which he says was shared so much because the consumers were actively involved in the content creation process) and Truth Detector Radio, from Brazilian radio station Radio 89 FM, which showed live whether guests on the show were lying or not.
Case’s summary on the way forward included marketers simplifying the engagement process with brands and other stakeholders, moving away from annual set budgets to a more fluid media approach – in order to market in the moment, forming a close collaborative approach with brands and other stakeholders, and tapping into the culture of ‘now’.
New experiences drive the New Consumer
Stephanie Matterson, managing director of KLA, the research subsidiary of Kagiso Media, took attendees through research the company has done into the New Consumer. She explained that this consumer prioritises progress and development, and seeks this through new experiences and wealth gain. Safety and security is also a key need for them. “It is up to brands to deliver new experiences to the New Consumer in relevant ways… an experience can’t be frivolous, it must be meaningful and new… The way we articulate ourselves and the tone we use can make us hit the mark or not,” she said.
There were three surprising findings in the research. Firstly, New Consumers are not replacing engagement mediums, they are simply adding to them. This busts the myth that digital is replacing traditional channels. Secondly, email and Facebook are the most relevant channels to connect to them, but radio and television still rank highly. Thirdly, the overall general sentiment for New Consumers is that ‘spending money on popular brands is a waste’.
“Values have become a huge vehicle for brands with New Consumers,” Matterson says, giving three lessons that brands must learn in order to win with these consumers:
- The brand must be more of an enabler that delivers against the New Consumers’ needs, rather than just a badge
- The brand must reflect the New Consumers’ values and are not just for ‘show’
- The brand must have a clear sense of who they are, with a purpose that resonates with the New Consumer
The winners and almost winners
Matterson also gave examples of brands that have almost won with the New Consumer (but are not quite there yet) as well as those that are already winning. The former includes Black Cat, Lucky Star, All Gold, MTN, Spur, and Ford; while the latter ones are Adidas, Nike, Toyota, Microsoft, Apple, Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Google.
Straight from the horse’s mouth
What better way to fully understand the New Consumer than to get insights straight from them? The function closed with a Q&A session with four New Consumers who answered questions ranging from their musical preferences and listening methods to whether they would prefer a group or an exclusive experience. The bottom line from these New Consumers was “we are here and we are doing things in our own way”.
Here are some photos from the event:
To see the live tweets from the event follow Michael Bratt on Twitter @MichaelBratt8
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