Earlier this year, BBDO and Microsoft joined forces to pursue a global research study to understand what factors really prompt consumers to discover, engage with and act after being exposed to advertising.
The results of this effort were shared on Microsoft’s Advertising Week main stage in New York City under the title “What Moves You?” by Natasha Hritzuk, Senior Director of Global Insights from Microsoft Advertising and Simon Bond, Global CMO of BBDO Worldwide.
The study unveiled that there are two dominant, but distinct routes through which consumers become aware of campaigns:
o Serendipity: perception that the consumer just happened across content that is relevant to them. In reality, advertisers have provided consumers with streamlined, targeted content. Serendipity drives consumers to discover an ad or campaign.
o Social channels: consumers seek a more ‘organic’ engagement with brands through social levers: their social circles, trusted sources or influencers.
The study also revealed that the routes to engage in ads in developed and emerging markets differed.
o In developed markets (US and UK) advertising was primarily discovered via serendipity. Hitting consumers with the right information, at the right time and the right place is very important.
o In emerging markets (China and Brazil) discovery was through social channels.
However, after the initial discovery, the motivations cross:
o In developed markets, consumers seek external validation curated through social networks
o Whereas in emerging China and Brazil, they seek internal validation curated via authoritative content.
Needless to say, the implications of these insights are far-reaching, especially if you are a global marketer. In order to increase the potential success of your campaign, it’s no longer enough to come up with a compelling idea and scale it across the globe in the same way at the same time. What is important is honing in on the benefits of serendipity and social and their proper sequencing in developed versus emerging markets.
Even though all markets are not all the same, the end outcome for marketers who leverage this study’s insights are: successful consumer engagement.