Adland, It’s Time To Put Those Tired Assumptions (Clichés?) To The Test

Adland, It’s Time To Put Those Tired Assumptions (Clichés?) To The Test
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

In this guest post, Pureprofile’s managing director, Kelvin Kirk (pictured below), argues adland is too often governed by assumptions that, when put under the microscope, don’t hold water…

A well-known FMCG brand recently made some assumptions about the target audience for a gluten-free product range and were on path to invest heavily in marketing to the trendy Millennial Mums category.  It seemed like the right plan; this consumer group fits the stereotype of being more tuned into food trends and fussier about their family’s diets. Kelvin Kirk

After soft launching with potential customers they discovered, whilst this target market was interested in their product range, other customer segments were more engaged with the product. These included dads, single parents and those of Asian ethnicity – none of which fitted the original marketing stereotype or the relevant imagery of the digital creative.  What a missed opportunity for that brand had they not tested their assumptions.
It’s human nature to assume most other people think and feel in ways that we can relate to.  It’s also natural to imagine the consensus view presented to us in product campaigns on packaging, billboards or TV screens must be founded in truth.

Of course, neither assumption is correct – as was highlighted in the recent AdNation report, which identified significant projection bias within our local advertising and media industries.  The polarising political outcomes of the US election and Brexit in the UK also underscore this reality rather painfully.

Poorly researched assumptions are common in Ad Land creative – here’s a few examples:

 

  1. “We all aspire to be hipsters.”I’ve lost count of how many creative campaigns feature twenty something consumers – whether it’s cars, appliances or travel – it seems the target market for almost every consumer category is a young male or female hipster.  Even a glance at some of the latest researcharound car ownership will tell us that 20-somethings have a lower rate of car ownership than previous generations, with the cashed-up trendy 20-somethings more often inclined to take an Uber than own a car.
  1. “Your postcode determines your values and interests.” Postcodes are a traditional segmentation tool for campaigns, but are often poor determinants of interests, habits or spend.  The spectrum of income levels and propensity to spend can be extreme even in wealthy suburbs – for example Bondi’s ‘Eastern Suburbs’ is a broad mix of $5 million houses, lower value flats, and everything in between. To truly engage with target consumers, we need to stop looking through the lens of suburban stereotypes and rethink individual values of those consumers.
  1. “Millennials are impulse spenders.”  We’ve all heard the stereotype of the fickle, naive millennial spender who will readily part with their cash if the right random opportunity (such as smashed avocado on toast) presents itself.  In fact, research and experience tells us that the majority of millennials are thoughtful, budget conscious consumers who spend hours researching before they make a purchase.  In this light, appealing to ‘impulse spending’ within this age demographic may be a flawed assumption which limits our impact.

Digital platforms have made it much easier and more affordable than ever to test our assumptions on audiences. It is hard to imagine why marketers would commit significant money to campaigns without first ensuring we are engaging the right people.

Beyond that, researching with an open mind can deliver valuable insights that turn into great opportunity for brands.  For example, a surprise finding recently was that Australians of all income levels are spending more money on their pets than they spend on themselves. This defies logic in a tough economy – but armed with that information, a pet food company or pet accessory brand can adjust their marketing strategy accordingly.

Recognising that our hunches or beliefs around our favourite topics don’t translate to universal truths can be disconcerting. Making those assumptions on behalf of brands can be fatal.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]