Consumers are wising up to their power as social influencers

Consumers are wising up to their power as social influencers
Marketing Tech’s editor has more than a decade of editorial experience spanning computing, performance marketing and, currently, enterprise digital strategy. Simon’s career began in print, where he edited the news section of business computing title PC Plus and contributed to a variety of other special interest titles, including MacFormat and Computer Arts. He then made the transition to digital journalism, joining PerformanceIN where he covered a sector of the marketing industry where advertisers only pay on a performance basis. Most recently, Simon became editor at TechForge Media where he manages the editorial strategy of Marketing Tech and the company portfolio’s newest launch Connected Car.

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Targeting key influencers on social media to help get a marketing message out is a tactic that is proving successful for brands, but consumers are beginning to realise just how vital they are to this strategy.

Mobile gamification company 3radical has released the findings of a survey where it polled the opinions of 600 UK consumers, with 87% saying they were looking for a reward before reading or responding to a brand’s message.

An additional 50% then said a reward had become even more important over the past year. Proof, then, that brands can no longer get something for nothing when trying to coerce social users to influence their own network about a brand’s benefits.

The responsive minority

Consumers’ new-found recognition of their place in the social marketing ecosystem means that brands should rethink their engagement strategy, according to David Eldridge, CEO and co-founder at 3radical, or they may find their business perishes as a result.

“The fundamentals of our business are built on the knowledge that typically less than 5% of marketing communications are getting a response – that leaves a 95% opportunity for brands to get one up on their competitors,” he said.

“Our research shows that consumers are giving brands a clear message about what they want; nowadays, they are looking for a true value exchange between the business and the customer. It needs to be mobile and it must be contextually relevant to them.”

Targeting accuracy a moot point

You only have to look at the recent release of Marketing Cloud to realise the importance Adobe is placing on improving the accuracy of its contextual targeting and 3radical’s research has highlighted this further.

Close to half (45%) admitted they were less likely to buy from and engage with a brand if the relevance of information they received was inaccurate and not in tune with their interests and purchasing habits.

Brands will want to take heed of the fact that 30% stated they will ignore communications from their favourite brand and potentially end their relationship if the marketing does not appear like it has been tailored to them.

To counter this threat from consumers, Forrester Research analyst Rusty Warner advises marketers to change their tact and use bespoke content that “sparks an interaction cycle and provides utility while creating a value exchange.”

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