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



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

Kelvin Kirk pureprofile

Latest News

Highsnobiety Partners With Citizens Of Culture To Help Lead Its Media Partnerships In Australia
  • Media

Highsnobiety Partners With Citizens Of Culture To Help Lead Its Media Partnerships In Australia

Culture-leading publisher Highsnobiety continues to evolve its local operations with the appointment of Citizens of Culture as its strategic partner across media operations within Australia.  Highsnobiety is a premium global brand dedicated to cultural pioneers, with work spanning across digital platforms, print media, documentaries, cutting edge events, a shopping platform and a full service creative […]

Investigation Reveals That Amazon Destroys Thousands Of Dollars Of Unsold Stock, Including Laptops, TVs And Face Masks
  • Technology

Investigation Reveals That Amazon Destroys Thousands Of Dollars Of Unsold Stock, Including Laptops, TVs And Face Masks

An investigation by British broadcaster ITV has found that Amazon is destroying millions of items in unsold or returned stock. The report specifically focuses on one of the 24 warehouses the company has in the UK. According to ITV News, the destroyed items are largely unused and new, either returned items or those which never […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Witchery Partners With GlamCorner To Boost Subscription Shopping
  • Media

Witchery Partners With GlamCorner To Boost Subscription Shopping

Australian fashion brand Witchery has partnered with B Corp GlamCorner as part of GlamCorner’s subscription box offering as the demand for everyday essentials soars. This partnership marks another milestone for the Australian fashion industry towards becoming more circular and introducing more paths to reduce textile waste. Customers nationally will be able to rent more of […]

Curry Club For COVID-19 Relief, Powered By UnLtd, Challenges AdLand To Raise $100,000
  • Marketing
  • Media

Curry Club For COVID-19 Relief, Powered By UnLtd, Challenges AdLand To Raise $100,000

The media, marketing and creative industries are being encouraged to host their own ‘Curry Club for COVID’ before 30th June to help meet the ambitious $100k target set by its organisers. Curry Club for COVID, which was conceived by long-time adtech executive Peter Bray, sales director at Impact, and is powered by industry social purpose organisation […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
UnLtd’s ‘Goals for Good’ Soccer Tournament Celebrates 10 Years
  • Media

UnLtd’s ‘Goals for Good’ Soccer Tournament Celebrates 10 Years

The UnLtd Cup is returning for its tenth consecutive year, marking a decade of soccer shenanigans that’s raised nearly $500,000 for children’s mental health charity, KidsXpress. On July 22-23rd, 28 teams from across the industry will battle it out on the soccer field in the two-day tournament at Sydney University Sports and Fitness Centre, Darlington. […]

Mobile Pnone Shopping Online With A Debit Card
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Ultra Commerce Acquires Vesta eCommerce

Australian-bred company Ultra Commerce has acquired New Zealand-based company Vesta eCommerce, a global software business providing leading product data management solutions. The recent acquisition is a significant move for the business, which is Australian born, owned, and headquartered, but has built out a global presence as it pursues rapid growth in the eCommerce market. Connecting […]

Crater Teams Up With Director Luna Laure For ‘Harry’s Story’, Canteen’s Newest Campaign
  • Campaigns

Crater Teams Up With Director Luna Laure For ‘Harry’s Story’, Canteen’s Newest Campaign

Canteen’s latest campaign features the combined talents of Director Luna Laure and creative agency Crater. The campaign strives to raise awareness for young people affected by cancer. The awareness campaign centres around Harry Barentson, who at 12 years of age found out his pregnant mum had cancer. The campaign aims to bring awareness to Canteen’s […]